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home : arts & entertainment : arts & entertainment January 22, 2018

12/26/2017 12:15:00 PM
Local weaver organized traveling show
Linda Davis and one of her woven pieces, “Three Sisters Winter Sunset.” photo provided
+ click to enlarge
Linda Davis and one of her woven pieces, “Three Sisters Winter Sunset.” photo provided

By Helen Schmidling

"Color Gone Wild," the 2018 traveling show by the Weaving Guilds of Oregon (WeGO), kicks off a statewide tour January 8 at Central Oregon Community College in Bend.

For Sisters resident Linda Davis, it's been a yearlong labor of love as she's headed up the 2018 traveling show committee. Davis is a spinner, weaver, knitter, seamstress and longtime member of Central Oregon Spinners and Weavers Guild. It's been a constant communication with more than 700 members of WeGO, a nonprofit statewide organization of weaving, spinning and related fiber craft guilds.

"I don't have Christmas decorations - my house and studio are filled with (show) entries," Davis told The Nugget.

All of the entries were due at the end of October, so for a couple of weeks, the UPS truck visited her home every day. It was a Christmas-come-early as she opened box after box of magnificent textiles.

WeGO, formed in 1981, sponsors this traveling exhibit every three to five years. The organization also puts on a regional conference every 10 years, which includes weaving guilds from Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Alaska and British Columbia.

While Sisters is known worldwide as a destination for quilters, it's also home to a lively community of spinners and weavers. Spinning is the art of gathering fiber together to form yarn, which is then used by weavers to create textiles from clothing to household decorations. Once regarded as a major occupation, weaving now exists as more of a hobby and avocation for those who have time, talent, resources and a love of fiber, color, and design. Fibers can come from plants (flax and hemp), animals (sheep, goats, and alpacas), and man-made synthetics (polyester and nylon).

Davis learned to sew and knit as a teenager, and has had a lifelong passion for fiber arts. When a new job took her to Boise, a weaving shop there soon captivated her. She was drawn by the colorful display of yarn, signed up for a weaving class, bought a loom, and the rest is a colorful history. Her weavings have won awards, and each year she is the power behind assembling the Central Oregon Spinners and Weavers exhibit in the Sisters Library.

Part of the challenge in compiling a statewide exhibit is ensuring participation from all around Oregon. In addition to Davis, who has just one piece in the show, other Central Oregon weavers featured are Liz Douville, Linda Gettmann, Kathi Keller, Mary Lefevre, Marlene Lloyd, Catherine Parkinson, Carol Piersee, Stephanie Stanley and Mary Wonser.

Central Oregon Spinners and Weavers Guild serves Deschutes, Crook, and Jefferson counties. It's open to all interested in fiber arts, and offers a family membership, to encourage all ages to join. To accommodate the broad demographic, monthly meetings are held in Redmond and Sisters. The local guild draws on resources from history of fiber and technique to traditional and contemporary design, and traditional and modern tools and materials.

The "Color Gone Wild" show features 66 entries comprised of 70 pieces. All of the entries were juried, and all deemed of superior show quality. The biggest challenge for the jurors was picking the award-winners. Best of Show was awarded to Francisco Bautista of Sandy, Oregon, for "Sentimientos," a Zapotec weaving in the tradition of Oaxaca, Mexico. The entry is similar in style to Navajo weaving.

Other show awards are presented to Patty Beckman, best new weaver; Corienne Geddes, best use of color and design; Cindie Kitchin, complex weavers award; Suzie Liles, Handweavers Guild of America Award; Phoebe McAfee, judge's award; and Cynthia Jack Newman, best technical excellence. At each location, viewers will vote on a people's choice award, which will be tallied and presented at the end of the tour.

The show will be hung in the Barber Library at COCC from January 8 to February 27, with a reception on Sunday, Jan. 14, from 2 to 4 p.m. The show then moves on to Marylhurst University in Lake Oswego, Umpqua Valley Art Association in Roseburg, Crossroads Carnegie Art Center in Baker City, and concludes next September to December at Willamette Heritage Center in Salem. Check the website at for dates, open hours, and reception times for each venue.

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