“From Ancient to New: The Art of Contemporary Tapestry” opens in the Coastal Oregon Visual Artists Showcase (COVAS) on second floor of the Visual Arts Center featuring Cheryl Silverblatt, tapestry weaver/fiber artist from Clatsop County.
Silverblatt displays a series of three “jewel” tapestries, two tapestries mounted on paper, one tapestry hanging free from a bamboo pole and the special signal flags PEACE in the Showcase space to introduce contemporary tapestry/fiber art to those who are unfamiliar and revive interest for those who may be familiar with fiber art but not the contemporary fiber art scene.
Tapestry weaving is one of the oldest and most durable forms of hand woven cloth. Tapestries are characterized by weft (the horizontal threads) entirely covering the warp (vertical threads) so that a series of “beads” are created that form images or pictures. While cloth weaving takes the weft yarn from selvedge to selvedge or edge to edge, tapestry weaving utilizes multiple weft yarns so that the thread is discontinuous across the textile.
Using the same ancient techniques as the Coptic Christians used to adorn tunics and Medieval weavers used to create wall hangings, she states, “My small pieces are not paintings in yarn but are about the interlacement of yarn, warp and weft, to create a textile. Exploring contemporary themes and materials while creating a textile is my passion, an ancient art made modern.”
Cheryl’s early professional life was spent as a library administrator in both public and academic libraries. After learning to weave in Port Townsend, WA, she spent a year at the Oregon College of Art and Craft in Portland, OR.
Fascinated by tapestry, Cheryl applied and was accepted for the intensive one-year tapestry weaving program at West Dean College in West Sussex, England where she earned a Post-Graduate Diploma in Tapestry Weaving.
Since returning from England, she has woven contemporary tapestries in her home studio in Astoria, taught at the Astoria Fiber Arts Academy, organized Coastal Fiberarts 2011 and 2013 and shown in local galleries. Active in several fiber arts guilds and a founding member of Astoria Fiber Arts Academy (Astoria Visual Arts), Cheryl currently serves as the Vice President of the Weavers Guilds of Oregon (WGO).