Two fibre artists inspired by the same concept present their unique interpretations of common themes.
Sandra Betts, Saint John based artist and Lois Wilby Hooper, former Saint John resident currently residing in Moore’s Mills, Charlotte County, are both published artists who have exhibited nationally and internationally. Both have pieces in private, commercial and governmental national and international collections.
Sandra Betts’ Biography
Sandra Betts is a Saint John, New Brunswick-based fiber artist and painter. Born and raised in Halifax, NS, Betts attended Nova Scotia College Art & Design (NSCAD) as a young student, enjoyed a career as a registered nurse, then married and relocated to Saint John, where she resides to this day. After retiring in 1998 for medical reasons, Betts’ life-long interest in the possibilities of working with fiber became a full time occupation.
Betts creates one-of-a-kind items from original designs. She specializes in hand-dyed fabrics embellished with embroidery and free motion thread painting.
Her techniques are innovative. She creates stitched fiber art works that are composed of mainly fabric, threads, beads and yarns but include many non-textile media such as wood, wire, stone, wire mesh, metals, paper, tyvek, cellophane , textured papers, found items and cheesecloth. Her fabrics are plain, manipulated, slashed, burned, thread painted and have been surface dyed using paints, dyes, snow, rust, bleach, gesso, pencils as well as digitally manipulated. She does landscapes, abstracts, seascapes, portraits (both pixilated and realistic) which are wall-hangings but can also be dimensional or free standing.
Lois Wilby Hooper’s Biography
Hooper was born and educated in Saint John, New Brunswick. After her marriage she became interested in quilting and fibre arts. Working as a volunteer at the New Brunswick Museum, her background in the history of needlework enabled her to write the descriptions and worksheets for the museum’s extensive collections of quilts and samplers. She collaborated with the curator in cataloguing the costume collections and with King’s Landing costume department. At this time she taught various classes at the City of Saint John Craft Centre. She also lectured on needlework at King’s Landing and for various groups. After retiring from the general contracting business, she and her husband David moved to Moore’s Mills, Charlotte Co. NB. Though self taught, she inherited a tradition of fine needlework on both sides of the family. Starting from her very traditional roots, over time she moved into contemporary and multimedia fibre art. Creating original designs, often with non-traditional techniques, her most recent pieces have featured a love of history and architecture, in both realistic and semi-abstract representations.