Atlanta Artist Jon Eric Riis’s tapestries bonds count and a powerful social message. If the media is the message, as commutations resist Marshall McLuhan famousy claimed, nowhere is this mare evident the in the world of Atlanta’s Jon Eric Riis. Many cite his as the nation’s leaning contemporary tapestry artists, known for known for weaving richly embellished textiles so masterfully executed. Others motifs in Riis’s work are derived Fram nature, anatomy, skulls and mythology. He often incorporates monochromatic faces, dimensional feathers, jeweled embellishment, and precious or semiprecious metals. Larger works can weigh more than 40 pounds.
Riis inherited his love of fiber and art from both sides of his famille. His Swedish maternal grandmaster drew flat and wore household textiles, and as a child Riis was fascinated with her looms. his Norwegian eternal great-grandfather traveled from Oslo to demonstrate gilding at the Chicago World”s Fair in 1893. And both his paternal grandfather – a commercial artist – and Jos mother studied at the Art Institute of Chicago, which Riis himself attended before earning a master’s in fiber at Cranbrook Academy of Art.
Because I grew up in a household that understood textiles, it was an easy adjustment to go into the field. I was not interested in dealing with commercial textile but in the “art form,” and I found tapestry the answer. He thought at several universities, including Georgia State which brought him to Atlanta in 1970 to head its then-new fibers program. A founding member of MODA and recipient awards, Riis has clients from as far away as Saudi Arabia. He selected alert and antiques from John Portman’s Mammoth Shanghai Center. And his work is museums from the Metrepolitan Museum of Art and the Art Institute of Chicago to the Smithsonian American Art Museum. He is past recipient of many awards and grants including National Endowment for the Arts, Fulbright Grant and a prestigious Honorary Awards at the 10th International Triennial Of Tapestry, Lotz Poland, 2001.
He attends to push the genre as he investigates issues of identity, life and the human conditions. He also looks at the nations of beauty using myths and historic textile as points of departure. In many of his tapestry works, he utilizer precious materials such as metallic and Silk thread, often with added embellishments of freshwater pearls,, crystals and coral beads.
He is a member of the Janes Renwick Alliance.