TAFA: The Textile and Fiber Art List | Joel Fremion Art Fabric Collage

Joel Fremion Art Fabric Collage

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Joel Fremion, 'Material Me'

Joel Fremion, ‘Material Me’ – Ossion, Indiana, USA


My Grandparents owned a Custom Drapery/Upholstery shop in Fort Wayne, Indiana, when I was growing up. My Mom was their Designer/Sales person so I spent a lot of time there. She eventually opened her own studio (1969) in a wonderful Victorian home which they restored top to bottom. The Drapery shop was housed in the daylight basement. I was studying Architectural/Interior Design at a local University thinking I might join the family business. I was able to re-design the attic of this home into my first apartment/studio as a class project.


One of my Design Profs encouraged me to enroll in some fine art courses at The Ft.Wayne Art Institute when he recognized my drawing skills. I did so, and supplemented my Design studies with classes in Art History, printmaking, painting, pottery, and metalsmithing. While studying painting I became on of those artists who could not finish a painting. The practice of painting was not emotionally fulfilling for me. In fact, it was rather depressing. My painting prof suggested working “outside the box”. I had been giving my Mom’s discarded fabric sample books to the design school and had saved some of the samples for myself. I designed a large collage based on a Picasso sculpture, Collage #1 ca. 1975. Having some expert seamstresses working on the premises was very helpful. Upon its completion I felt it was the first “finished ” piece of art I had ever created. I completed another large fabric collage in the 70’s based on a Cezanne painting. I had become enamored with the Impressionists and hoped that I could simulate their style in fabric.


I bought an old building in 1978 (restoring old buildings was another practice I enjoyed) and my family opened a Design Studio/Art Gallery/Antique Shop. By this time I was married and started a family. I dealt in art of all types but particularly Regional Impressionism. Although I was not practicing my art at this time I was traveling and visiting many museums. I took up painting again in the late 80’s but with the same results I had experienced as a student. I finished Collage # 3 in 1991 and entered it into The Hoosier Salon”s annual show not knowing they did not accept “Fine Craft”. My work was accepted and I won an award (Best work, first time exhibitor). That was all the validation I needed to create more fabric collages.


Since 1991 I have created 255 pieces and have won numerous awards at The Hoosier Salon, The Indiana Artist Club, and many other art shows. Most of my work has been mostly shown in the American Midwest. Now that I am semi-retired, I am able to produce more work and travel more for business and pleasure. My goal for the next five years is to break out of the Midwest and show my work nationally.  I do accept commissions, so do not hesitate to contact me.

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