2006 Southern Breeze Winter Issue - (Page 24)
sbr064-1-43.qxp 11/16/2006 8:26 AM Page 24 travel ART OF LIVING To Dye For
Fairhope fabric artist Ameri'ca Jones Gallaspy brings a centuries-old
ritual to life in colorful pieces of art in upholstery, scarves, curtains,
and more. W hen Ameri'ca Jones Gallaspy is working elbow-deep in dye,
creating art from the most basic material cot- ton, silk, or wool fabric
she might be alone in her studio, but she can feel s t o r y by M I C H E
L L E the presence of ancient women who performed ROBERTS MATTHEWS the
same kind of ritual. That's one of the things p h o t o g r a p h y by K A
R I M she loves about textile art: the shared experience SHAMSI-BASHA of
creating something in the same way it's been done for thousands of years.
Growing up in Daphne, Alabama, Ameri'ca Ameri'ca in her Fairhope never
dreamed of being an artist. Her plan was to studio right and a sample
become a marine biologist, so it was quite a of her colorful art below .
shock when, as a senior in high school, one of her pottery pieces became
her ticket to one of the country's most prestigious art schools, the
Ameri'ca Jones Gallaspy Savannah College of Art and Design. 450 Equality
Street Art, it seemed, was her destiny. Ameri'ca whose Fairhope, AL 36532
name rhymes with paprika she was named after 251-709-0188 her Italian
great-grandfather, Americo hungrily www.freshhousedesign.com devoured her
classes at SCAD, graduating in three years instead of the usual four with
a major in textiles. After a stint teaching high-school art in Maryland,
Ameri'ca returned home to Daphne. For a few years, she did large-scale
metal sculpture, moving into wholesale production of her designs. Tired of
the pressure to produce, as well as the physical demands that led to back
surgery, she decided to return to the soft, light medium she loves best,
the anti-metal: fabric. These days, she's working with interior designers
and individuals, creating fabrics for use in custom curtains, bedding, and
upholstery. She also makes silk scarves in a rainbow of colors. Working
with cloth is total contentment for me, she says. But she's been too busy
to spend much time in the studio lately: in September, she and a friend
opened McSharry's Irish Pub; she's the director of Gulf ArtSpace, a con-
temporary arts center in Fairhope, and in January, she'll curate Stitch,
an art show spotlighting the way women have expressed themselves through
fiber arts throughout history. Last but not least, Ameri'ca is looking
forward to a brand-new project in April: the birth of her first child.
Freelance writer Michelle learned that while Ameri'ca and her now-husband,
William, were in Italy, they found the church where her great-grandparents
were married, and they got married there, too. 24 souther nbreeze.com
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of 2006 Southern Breeze Winter Issue
Words & Notes
Storefronts - Hybrid Theory
Sweet Dreams - Tres Chic
Art of Living - To Dye For
Fixtures - Pillow Talk
Our Backyard - Coastal Sunrise
Make Yourself at Home - Office Space
Are We There Yet?
Dinner is Served!
Painting to the Music
Cheers - Loco for SoCo
Dish - Fiesta!
Chef's Table - Sushi by the Seashore
Let's Eat - Tongues Afire!
2006 Southern Breeze Winter Issue