The fine line of fiber art as ‘art’

I recently have gotten word of a community art fair happening and it said fibers were an acceptable medium.  I thought, cool!  I can submit my handspun yarn and have people in the community see it and it’ll be fun.  Just as a precaution, I decided to send an email to the gallery sponsoring it, making sure yarn was an ok submission.  As I suspected, a skein of handspun, hand-dyed yarn is not fine art.  However, my yarn would be ok in a weaving piece.  I’m not that heartbroken, I prepared myself for this kind of answer.

My question is, when does fiber art become ‘art’?  It seems like there is this fine line when it comes to fiber arts.  Some people consider my handspun yarn ‘art’ and knitting not ‘art’ while some people consider my knitting ‘art’ and not my yarn.  Where do us fiber artists go from here?  How do we know what we are making is ‘art’?  I do consider my yarn as art, but that’s because I know the process I’m going through to make my yarn. What do other fiber artists think?

I was looking forward to my first art/craft fair, but now I know they aren’t just looking for yarn.  Perhaps if I knitted some weird abstract thing out of my handspun yarn…


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