By Lynne Parenti
Smithsonian Artist Research Fellow (SARF) Annet Couwenberg returned recently from her native Holland where she gave a presentation at the American Embassy in The Hague.
His Excellency Timothy Broas, US Ambassador to the Netherlands, introduced Annet to an engaged public which included a mix of creative minds from different professional fields and cultures. Annet’s talk was about the SARF program and her project, The Skeleton and the Skin, in the Fish Division working with Lynne Parenti. Fish anatomy is a natural analog to Annet’s creations as a textile artist in which she develops dynamic 3 D forms from pliable material, such as buckram, a stiff cloth used commonly in millinery. Many of her creations are reminiscent of the Dutch ruffled collar. Annet is a distinguished member of the faculty of the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA), Baltimore. Annet and Lynne will discuss their work together in a public forum at the National Museum of Natural history in February 2015.
The Smithsonian’s Artist Research Fellowship Program (SARF) was established in 2007 to bring accomplished visual artists to the Smithsonian to work directly with SI researchers and the collections. Annet is one of just 14 artists chosen for a SARF award this year from nearly one hundred applicants.