Insights display showcases fiber art

Photos and Story by Catherine Stachowiak

Artist Sarah Nystrom, had a showing at the Art Center this month, which displayed one of her true passions, fiber crafting. Her art has been displayed on the Insights Wall, which is a bi annual display according to Marina Freeman, Curator of the Kern River Valley Art Association.

Nystrom, runs Central Point, a small event venue, which is available for private party rentals.  She also collaborates with other makers hosting art and creative classes within the community where she resides.

Freeman approached Nystrom to display her work when Freeman saw Nystrom’s show, at the Maturango Museum, with the Desert Artist league in Ridgecrest. “We had a group show over the winter.” Nystrom said.  “Marina approached me regarding my work because it was so different from what other people were doing. It was really wonderful.  I was totally shocked and surprised and of course extremely honored.”

Nystrom also won Second Place for her mushroom themed fiber work, titled “Fairy Tales,” at the March KRVAA art reception.   “Mushrooms are my muse. I love them,” she said.

Nystrom grew up crafting. She has always enjoyed working with fabrics, string, and yarn.

In the last year or two she has become more focused on fiber arts in general.

“I really enjoy weaving. So that’s what a lot of that work on the wall is, woven art.” She said that weaving is definitely making resurgence with artists using materials and techniques to make some amazing things.

“I have been working in Fiber probably my whole life. My grandmother was a quilter and she taught me to sew when I was a kid,” she said. 

Nystrom said that when she heard about circle-weaving, it sounded fascinating, so she picked it up. “It’s really meditative. And it’s a great way to just be quiet within yourself,” she said.

She’s inspired by color and often starts with a particular color scheme or a piece of fabric or a yarn she likes, which usually leads her somewhere. So typically she doesn’t plan or sketch things before she creates a project. “I just let my intuition guide me. And sometimes that works out and sometimes it doesn’t,” she said, although a lot of times it leads to an end she’s really proud of.

Nystrom has been creating since her childhood. She studied art all through school and has continued her pursuit. She’s also done jewelry making, paints, inks, and drawing. She is currently playing around with rust dyed materials. 

Nystrom prefers abstraction over hyperrealism. “The fiber arts are a great way to explore those avenues,” she said.  She definitely is getting more focused, finding her voice more, and has been teaching weaving and crafting classes at the KRVAA