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CVAA show will feature 12-panel fabric art

Staff reports

A breathtaking array of fabric and color awaits visitors of the Carson Valley Days Art Show this weekend.

Beverly Byington, mother of Town of Minden Office Manager Sheila Byington, designed and produced 12 fabric panels, inspired by a poem called “The Creation: A Negro Sermon,” the television show “Creativity or Crisis” and the conversations she has had with people on “what God looks like.”

The panels will highlight the 1999 art show, held at the CVIC Hall in Minden (see related story on page 3).

The panels will be accompanied by text that will tell the story of each panel and offer the original poem for visitors to read. Exhibit-goers will also have the opportunity to comment on the show and write down their feelings about what God looks like.

Byington, a Reno resident, has taught craft classes for the City of Reno for 10 years, has published two instructional craft books and has designed covers for books, pamphlets and other materials.

She designed patterns for Hazel Pearson Handicrafts of Los Angeles, featuring works in tin and the use of seeds and yarns. She has also designed bags and Christmas stockings for “Woof and Poof” of Chico, Calif., for five years, and drew scenes for animated commercials for Sierra Pacific Power Co. in Reno.

The panels took five years to complete and are comprised not only of finely-stitched quilted fabric but also embroidery and attachments such as sequins.

In an interview last year when the 12 panels were displayed together for the first time, Byington said, “At the beginning, I was going to do four or five pieces, then seven, but as the work progressed, it became evident that it would be larger.”

Byington said the work began as a personal reflection, allowing her to think about creation, about God and about humanity.

“It has been a great mind, spiritual, creative experience and led to people and places I didn’t expect,” she said.

Margaret Biggs of the Carson Valley Art Association, which sponsors the art show each year, said Sheila Byington asked the group if her mother’s panels could be displayed at the 1999 show.

“We thought they were fabulous,” Biggs said. “When she came to us and asked us whether it would be possible, we took a look at them, and we thought this was a really neat thing, and we could do a special exhibit of them.”

Biggs called the fabric work “another art form,” and the panels will be hung from the balustrade of the balcony at the CVIC Hall.

Beverly Byington will be at the artist’s reception planned for Friday, 6 to 8 p.m. Hors d’oeuvres will be served and the public is welcome.