Rufous: The Stuff of Life

Exhibit dates: February 12 – March 28, 2015

Rufous: The Stuff of Life features two local artists, Becca Barnet and Michelle Jewell. This exhibition and site-specific installation has been a year in the making, and features the collaborative and individual artwork that explores their respective media of taxidermy and fibers.

About Becca Barnet

Becca Barnet grew up in Spartanburg, SC where as a child she turned the entire basement of her family’s home into an interactive diorama of a rainforest. In 2009, she received a BFA in Illustration from the Rhode Island School of Design.

After RISD, Becca moved to New York City and worked at the American Museum of Natural History and created display items for traveling exhibits (think: 50-foot dinosaur!) She also worked for a metalsmith and a taxidermist.

In 2011 she moved to Charleston to work for the SC Aquarium and was a lead fabricator in the Madagascar Journey exhibit. After much soul-searching and lots of art gigs that were just not permanent enough, Becca decided to create a job for herself in 2012. She started Sisal & Tow: fine fabrication. Specializing in model-making, props, decor and taxidermy, Becca is now a full-time artist, creating one of a kind paintings and installations for restaurants, offices, events and museums.

About Michelle Jewell

Michelle Jewell inherited an affinity for sewing from her mother whose been stitching since before she can remember. Raised in the upstate, Michelle always enjoyed crafting, writing and illustrating short stories, making flipbook animation and letting her imagination run wild in the forests near her house.

In 2010 Michelle left her job to follow a dream of becoming a creative business owner. Combining her love of illustration and sewing, Finkelstein’s Center Toys was formed. Since starting her toy design company Michelle has constructed over 200 commissioned art dolls and expanded the business to stores in three countries.

Using a combination of new, up-cycled and remnant fabrics, hand embroidery and sewing machine sketching, her imaginative pastime has developed into unique 2-D and 3-D fiber art prints and sculpture.