As I walked into the home of Fritzi Huber, I knew right away that she would be an intriguing person. Little did I know. First off her home is filled with numerous pieces of art and objects that at first glance, you know each has a history and meaning to her life. As I was getting my camera and gear together we made small talk and discussed various subjects, mostly about Fritzi. It was then that she matter of factly stated that she grew up in a circus family. Now I don’t know about most, but I know its not often that I get to meet someone who actually comes from a family of circus performers. I thought this was pretty high on the neatness factor. Fritzi’s folks were aerialists in the Circus Brumbach and her days spent “on the road” with her family had a great influence on the development of her art.

Fritzi’s art form comes from her exploration into the life cycle of  fabrics, dyes and paper.She transforms scraps of fabric into a pulp which she “reweaves” into paintings.  She essentially creates her own paper and each finished piece is derived from the fabric surfaces. She relates that one challenge of consistent road travel was the relationship developed with water. Where, how much, how to aquire it, how to discard it, its potability, its use etc. From this she developed a sense of well-being when in close proximity to water. This is accounted for in her living in coastal California and later, Wilmington. Her art, papermaking, is water intensive. As she puts it “it’s water abundant, a veritable feast of things wet with purpose”. Another influence from life on the road was her inability to possess a library card, a privilege only enjoyed for 2-3 months  when the troupe returned home. For those few months she would read  as many books as she possibly could. She remembers walking down the aisles and closing her eyes and letting the aromas of the books themselves lead her to her selection. These aromas were from older books, some made from non wood fibers and hand cast. It is these personal remembrances that led to and influenced her art, and the process, of creating paper.

Fritzi has received numerous awards and grants in North Carolina and California. She has conducted workshops on paper making at Baltimore’s Pyramid Atlantic, Gatlinburg’s Arrowmont School of the Arts and Crafts, Savannahs’s College of Art and Design, the Mingei Museum of Art in La Jolla, California and the San Antonio Center for Arts and Crafts. Her work has exhibited around the world from the  Musee du Pays et Val de Charney in Gruyere, Switzerland,the Bienal International de Artes in Brusque, Brazil and St. John’s Museum in Wilmington. Fritzi is represented in many public commissions and collections throughout the United States and internationally in Japan, the Netherlands, Mexico, Finland and Hungary.

Fritzi is represented locally at New Elements Gallery , 216 N. Front Street, Wilmington, NC. For information on her work call 910-343-8997 or drop by and view her wonderful, unique medium.