A trio of different styles

It is perhaps a testament to the variety of this year’s crop of Austin ArtWorks Festival artists that I had trouble sussing out a common thread between the three featured in this week’s column.

Bag by Mariella TerBeest-Schadweiler

Bag by Mariella TerBeest-Schadweiler

In fact, the best I came up with was that their strongest common ground was the fact of their singularity — in terms of background, style, medium, and elsewise.

Jesse Gerhard is a veteran who, after receiving an injury in Iraq that caused him to rethink his career, left his job as a state trooper and turned his woodworking hobby into a career. All of Gerhard’s products are made from recycled and found lumber, which the artist collects from dumpsters and backyard wood piles throughout the Twin Cities area.

Gerhard celebrated his first solo exhibition in 2014, and continues to show throughout the region. Find him at booth 45.

Mariella TerBeest-Schladweiler of Preston designs and creates upholstery fabric handbags (told you they were different) with her sister, who lives in Baraboo, Wisconsin. The pair named their business “Helen’s Daughters” to honor their mother, and have been weaving unique handbags since 1989. Throughout the years, these bags have traveled all over the world, been collected, treasured, and loved by all who own them, and have received numerous honors and awards. Catch TerBeest-Schladweiler at booth 23.

Don Tran of St. Louis, Missouri rounds off this week’s trio with his own textiles. The artist stitches artwork into black linen fabric so the vibrant colors of the silk threads stand out, starting with simple light chalk lines and following with his imagination. Tran is a native of Vietnam and the youngest of thirteen children. While he earned his MBA from Webster University, his work and passion remains in hand-sewn silk embroidery — a traditional art within the Tran family that has been passed down for many generations. Find Tran’s award-winning work at booth 20.

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