Artists at Work presents its newest member to the Elkins community - textile artist Suzan Morgan.
The store will host a new artist reception from 5 to 7 p.m. Nov. 2. This interactive reception has been created to give the community a chance to meet the artist while enjoying live music and free refreshments. Morgan will display some of her most beautiful pieces.
Her quilted wall hangings are created using her own hand-dyed and printed fabrics and fibers. She uses fiber-reactive dyes and water-based paints to achieve the bold colors featured in her work. Morgan uses many techniques to create her pieces including stamping, silk screening, rolling, shibori, stenciling, low water immersion, full immersion, resist and rusting. She often uses found objects in the mark-making process. She uses both machine and hand stitching to construct and embellish her pieces.
Ever since Morgan was a child, her life has been winding its way toward her current work as an artist. Early on, she began making art out of found objects and supplies. Later she began using commercial kits for embroidery, knitting, ceramics, Spirograph and paper mache. Influenced by the high standards of talented public school teachers, she dreamed of being a "real artist."
For many years, she studied art published in books, tried her hand at batik and tie-dyed T-shirts and began making traditional quilts from clothes found in local thrift stores.
"When I gave up city life and moved to central West Virginia at age 26, I became immersed in the rural influence on quilt-making," she said. "The women I was exposed to worked on grand scales while making the most of techniques and patterns handed down through generations."
After graduating from Davis & Elkins College, Morgan began taking classes in fiber arts at the Oregon College of Art and Craft, where she learned to dye. Today, she is continuing her development on mastering tools, techniques and the design concepts needed to allow her to express herself through art.
The upcoming reception is an opportunity to meet and talk with Morgan and to view the artwork of more than 20 local artists.
This reception also will feature the old-time sound of local band favorite The Elm Street Alleycats. The Elm Street Alleycats group consists of Walter King, 14, on fiddle; Nevada Tribble, 14, on banjo; her brother, Riley Tribble, 12, on mandolin; and Gene Boyer on bass. These four neighbors play a mixture of original tunes written by Nevada Tribble and traditional West Virginia fiddle tunes that go back for generations and have been played in the mountains for years.
Founded more than 20 years ago, Artists at Work features a variety of handcrafted items including baskets, cards, jewelry, quilts, paintings, pottery, photographs, woodworking, textiles and much more.
Artists at Work is located at 329 Davis Ave., in Elkins. More information is available by calling 304-637-6309.