LINCOLN CITY — A new exhibit called “Quilts and Basket Gourds in Brilliant Color” opens today (Friday) at the Fiber Arts Studio Gallery located inside the Lincoln City Cultural Center.

Jane Wilson and Gloria Richardson are the featured artists for this exhibit, which runs through June 13.

“Gourds offer the opportunity for me to coil, twine, carve and wood burn, as well as use paints, stains, and inks, (often on the same piece) in the creation of my original gourd art,” Wilson explained.

An art walk in downtown Parsons, Kansas, in 2007 introduced her to gourds as an art medium. A gourd artist won best of show, and the use of color and wood burning intrigued Wilson — she realized she could use her woodcarving techniques on gourds.

Coiling, a basket weaving technique, added intense color in the design. She developed a technique of dyeing cord to match the colors used on the gourd. In Wilson’s pieces, coiling with the dyed cord compliments the flow of the cord as part of the design.

The gourd is one of nature’s greatest treasures. Hard-shelled gourds are strong, durable, lightweight and water resistant, Wilson said. “They also require no complex manufacturing process, are nontoxic and in the end, environmentally friendly and biodegradable. Gourd bowls were found in Peruvian archaeological sites dating from 13,000 BC to 11,000 BC and in Thailand sites from 11,000 to 6,000 BC.”

Wilson was raised in southeast Kansas with an enthusiasm for all sorts of art and crafts, starting with sewing projects in 4-H as a child to oil painting as a young adult. Currently living near Portland, she is a member of the Columbia Basin Basket Guild and Portland Handweavers’ Guild and teaches classes and shows her work regionally.

Regarding her fabric art, Richardson said, “Whenever I see something beautiful or cute or quirky, I have an irresistible urge to reproduce it so I can share the experience with everyone else. I see thread work as a major part of the textile art experience and for me one of the most freeing parts of the process. I feel like a child at play with my paint box, imagination, and my threads – always my threads,”

Richardson, always needing to create something with her eyes and hands, has been doing art since she was a small child. She studied oil painting in Europe as a young adult and fine-tuned her technique in college in California as her children grew up. She has expressed her creative spirit through oil paint, acrylics, watercolor and stained glass, but most especially fabric. Richardson believes the desire to show the beauty of the world is inherent in her DNA, and she embraces an ever-growing variety of media and techniques.

After many years of traditional quilting, she found her creative spirit comes alive with raw edge appliqué. Her palette is strong contrasting colors that jump off the fabric: no pastels in her world. Hand dyeing gives the color control, and the addition of ink and paint helps get the complex look envisioned. Once the basic design is appliquéd she is free to thread paint, embellish, and quilt for texture and bling.

Richardson is a member of Gone to Pieces Quilt Guild and High Fiber Diet, owns Morning Glory Quilting and lives in Yamhill County. Quilting as a fiber art is her passion as she continues her exploration of creativity through thread and textural design. “My ongoing theme is always ‘embracing the common thread’ with my work whether it is patchwork quilts or abstract fiber art,” she said.

The Fiber Arts Studio Gallery is located just opposite the main entrance from the Chessman Gallery inside the Lincoln City Cultural Center at 540 NE Highway 101. The cultural center is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday through Sunday. Masks and social distancing required in the building.

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