E15: Fiber Arts


Transformer is proud to announce the 15th Annual Exercises for Emerging Artists ProgramE15: Fiber Arts. Founded in 2004, Transformer’s annual Exercises For Emerging Artists is a peer critique & mentorship program created to support a selected group of DC-based emerging artists at critical points or crossroads in their professional growth and creative development.  

Focusing on a different artistic discipline each year, E15 will bring together four emerging DC-based artists exploring the use of fiber & textile for rigorous peer & mentor critique as they create a new work or new body of work. The invited artists will receive guidance and feedback from a series of visiting mentors comprised of established textiles artists, curators, gallerists, and critics, as well as Transformer staff and their peer E15 artists.

Designed to stimulate and encourage the participating artists as they create new work, the artists will participate in bi-weekly meetings & as well as studio and museum visits over several months period (April - June 2018), resulting in a group exhibition July 14 - August 18, 2018. Additionally, as part of E15: Fiber Arts, Transformer will present a public Crochet Jam, with visiting artist and E15 mentor Ramekon O'Arwisters, on Friday, June 22 in Farragut Park. Crochet Jam is presented as part of Halcyon's By the People Festival, and The Golden Triangle BID's Farragut Fridays series.

Exploring topics of technical production, historical relevance, gender and identity through fiber art, E15 artists include Aliana Grace Bailey, Rachel Schechtman​, Dulcina Abreu, and Alanna Reeves; with mentorship from Dominie Nash, John Paradiso, Julia Kwon, John Chaich, Ramekon O’ArwistersJesse Harrod and Transformer staff.

Artists invited to participate in the Exercises are nominated by Transformer staff, Advisory Council, as well as area arts educators and curators. 

This year’s Exercises for Emerging Artists program is made possible with the supported of The Robert Lehman Foundation.


Aliana Grace Bailey is a mixed media artist, designer, and social good doer—thriving off of vibrant colors, intricate patterns, bold typography, and raw emotion. She is embracing and exploring the ways in which different mediums hold a special purpose and create beautiful conversations. Aliana strives to give viewers a sense of joy, healing, and a reminder of how to love—themselves and the world. She is a Washington DC native and a summa cum laude graduate of NC A&T State University, where she double majored in Social Work and Visual Arts/Design. Currently, Aliana is a practicing artist, graphic designer, and a socially engaged teaching artist at The Sanctuaries. She will be attending Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) in the fall of 2018 to pursue her Master’s degree.

Rachel Schechtman is an interdisciplinary artist who lives and works in Washington, D.C. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from The George Washington University in 2012.  Rachel uses a variety of materials to make sculptural assemblages and installation work. She is most interested in materials that have been discarded or which have a common utilitarian use. Her recent explorations have included the use of medical equipment, food products, fabric, foam, butcher's twine, sewing pins, and materials that change over time through evaporation or chemical reactions. Rachel’s work explores issues tied to the body, health, gender, family, control, and the anxieties that stem from each of these.

Dulcina Abreu was born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Graduated from Parsons The New School Major in Fine Arts (2016), AS in Fine Arts from The National School of Visual Arts in Santo Domingo (2012) and AS in Fine Arts and Illustration from Altos de Chavon School of Design (2014). In parallel Zie has been working closely as an independent curator with institutions as The Museum of Contemporary Ceramics in Santo Domingo, Museo del Hombre Dominicano, Photo Shelter Gallery NYC and Lyle O.Reitzel Gallery NYC, learning and building new platforms of exposure for Latinx / POC artists. 

Abreu's artwork is primarily focused on dance as medium, creating spaces to talk about resistance and identity through performance art, installation, poetry and sculpture. With pieces as "Lady Walk" or "Cartografia" Abreu plays in between representation and translation of the aesthetics of Dominican labor in NY, each one piece inspired by transcultural phenomenon around construction craftsmanship or basic assembling line performance. Zie projects have been presented with art institutions as New Museum, Lyle O. Reitzel Gallery, Sheila C Johnson Design Center and Studio 301.

Alanna Reeves was born in Washington, DC, 1993. She is a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design where she earned a BFA in Illustration and concentration in History of Art and Visual Culture. During her time there she participated in the institution’s European Honors Program, a program which offers the opportunity to conduct independent studio projects, all while in the heart of Rome, Italy. This study its location resulted in an intense focus on language, cultural perception, and origins. Reeves explores these themes through fiber works, gouache and ink paintings, and printmaking. She currently serves as founder, editor, and writer of HUE: Culture, Color, Theory zine which has been accepted into university special collections.