Color Gone Wild

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

The Color Gone Wild show features 66 entries that comprise 70 pieces, representing the work of more than 700 members of WeGO, a nonprofit statewide organization of weaving, spinning and related fiber craft guilds.

WeGO, formed in 1982, sponsors this traveling exhibit every three to five years. The organization puts on a regional conference every ten years, which includes weaving guilds from Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Alaska, British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan.

Oregon is 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 and resources and a love of fiber, color and design. Fibers can come from plants (cotton, flax and hemp), animals (silk worms, sheep, goats and alpacas) and man-made synthetics (polyester and nylon). Local guilds draw on resources from history of fiber and technique to traditional and contemporary design, and traditional and modern tools and materials.

All of the entries were juried, and all deemed of superior show quality. The biggest challenge for the juror 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, Brookings, best new weaver; Corienne Geddes, Roseburg, best use of color and design; Cindie Kitchin, Grants Pass, Complex Weavers award; Suzie Liles, Eugene, Handweavers Guild of America Award; Phoebe McAfee, Portland, judge’s award and Cynthia Jack Newman, Baker City, 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, January 14, from 2-4pm.

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