Local Artist Check-in: Laura Dillon Rogers

Posted on September 3, 2014 by

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Vintage clothing, wool fabric, and the influence of earth and nature are just a few key components of Laura Dillon Rogers’ woven wall sculptures. Rogers is an emerging fiber artist from Charlottesville who creates weavings from silk, wool, and cotton materials. Her fascination with vintage clothing, along with a creative knack for repurposing thrift store finds as a teen, evolved into a creative and fulfilling artistic profession.

Photo credit Meredith Coe Photography

Laura in her studio. | Photo credit: Meredith Coe Photo

Rogers has teamed up with national retailers such as Urban Outfitters (her work is currently sold out on their website, more coming soon!), but you can also find her art at local venues right here in Charlottesville. “Drifting Ledge,” Rogers’ first solo exhibition presented by New City Arts, opens on September 5th at The WVTF and Radio IQ Gallery for First Fridays. The opening reception will take place from 5–7 pm and is sponsored by Feast! and Early Mountain Vineyards.

Take your art collection and inspirations in a new direction with Rogers’ one of a kind weavings. Don’t miss the show, and be sure to follow Laura on Twitter and Instagram for regular updates on new designs.

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“Drifting Ledge” exhibit at The WVTF and Radio IQ Gallery. Photo from New City Arts

Laura Dillon Rogers

Tell us a little about yourself. Where are you from? If not Cville, what brought you here?

Born and raised in Charlottesville, with a year-long jaunt to NYC when I was 18.

When and why did you start making art? Have you always been a fiber artist or have you worked in other mediums as well? What brought you to this medium?

Since I was a child, I’ve been making… anything. Mostly sewing projects with my two seamstress grandmothers, but you could find me creating anything from paintings to ceramics to film photography. I’d say the creative gene stuck. My interest in fibers became most recognizable in my life when I was in high school; I’d buy old wool sweaters and turn them into tank tops and skirts. In my teens I also began collecting vintage clothing and fabric to alter and remake into new garments.

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Most influential artist as a child? Teen? Adult?

As a child – every one of my teachers.

Teen – any and all fashion photographers.

Currently – India Flint, Hazel Brown, mostly other fiber artists and independent clothing designers!

What aspects of life excite you, stir your affections, fuel your passions, inspire your art? What influences your art?

My daughter mainly, but finding a new passion fuels my love for life in general. Currently I’ve delved into herbalism, birth doula work, plant dyeing, and continuing to learn new weaving techniques & yoga. No matter what the medium, my art has always been influenced by the changes, colors, and textures of the earth and nature.

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Photo credit: Meredith Coe Photo

Can you tell us a little about your artistic process including materials and techniques?

The start of a weaving begins with measuring and then threading the warp onto the loom, the most tedious, but also most important step. This will determine the width of the finished piece. I then choose a few yarns or fabrics in an appealing color combination for my vision. Once I get going on the loom, the rest is history. I don’t usually plan a weaving unless it is a custom order, or if I have a story to tell with an exact vision.

What message(s) do you convey through your art? What do you want people to take from seeing your art?

I would like to think that people become illuminated when viewing my work. Fascinated by the fibers, patterns and detailing. It seems that many people are unaware (as was I!) of the process of this ancient art, and it is fun to watch them feel the familiarity of weaving as they see the way the loom works. There are always a lot of “ooo’s” and “aah’s” when friends and family watch me weave; it’s an exciting feeling to share my process!

photo credit meredith coe photography

Photo credit: Meredith Coe Photo

What does a day in the life of an artist look like from your perspective?

Well, for me, a day in the life is chasing after a three year old and attempting to weave during nap times, or even involving my daughter when she is willing to give me her five minute long attention span. Ideally though – waking up, making coffee or tea, a quick yoga session, then full attention on the work and day in front of me.

What makes Cville special for artists of all forms?

Cville has its own style, but the creatives here love any and all styles. There isn’t one specific ‘look,’ which is refreshing. The artist community in Charlottesville is strong and supportive; it is great to be a part of it!

Favorite place in Cville to… be creative?

At home.

Favorite place in Cville to… see art?

Second Street, The Garage, McGuffey – all of the galleries!

Favorite place in Cville to… grab a bite?

Oh boy, do I have to choose one!? Bizou, Mas, Zocalo.

Favorite place in Cville to… get a drink?

Tea Bazaar or Mono Loco, depending on the day!

Any other Cville favorites?

SPCA Rummage Store has the best finds!

What does the not-so-distant future hold for you and your art?

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Weavings in Laura’s home.

This September will be my first solo exhibit, presented by New City Arts in the WVTF space off of Water Street. Also this fall, I intend to integrate wearable weavings in the form of tops and jewelry. No other shows planned yet, but hopefully soon.

Lastly… Describe yourself in 10 words or less.

Affectionate, aware, bold, cluttered, mothering, true – forever working towards balance.

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