OBU Professor Wins Art Award

Julie Blackstone, Oklahoma Baptist University instructor of art, won the Rachel Valliere Award for Best Original Handwoven Work at Oklahoma City's 30th annual fiber art exhibition Fiberworks in June.

The Fiberworks exhibition provides Oklahoma artists with the opportunity to showcase their pieces in weaving, needlework, basketry, art quilting, soft sculpture, knitting, crocheting, felt and paper.

"‘Possumhaw on Snowy Ground' is a loom-woven shawl using a fiber blend with painted warp threads for detail," Blackstone said. "Painting warp is something I've experimented with quite a bit. I often have a piece accepted in Fiberworks utilizing this strange but wonderful approach to mixing weaving and painting."

Along with the award-winning woven piece, Blackstone submitted an embroidered piece, "If Rembrandt had Mattisse's Palette ..."

"‘If Rembrandt had Mattisse's Palette' was quite small, and it was created by the embroidery method of making teeny-tiny French knots, several hundred thousand of them," Blackstone said. "It took me more than 60 hours to stitch that little, bitty piece."

Blackstone's art has been accepted into the Fiberworks exhibit since 1994. She annually shows pieces in the Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition and is a two-time winner of Handweavers' Guild of America Award for Excellence.

Blackstone has served on OBU's staff since 1997 and has continually taught private art lessons. She is a member of the Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition and the Oklahoma Alliance for the Liturgical Arts.

Fiberworks is sponsored by Individual Artists of Oklahoma, Fiber Artists of Oklahoma and the Oklahoma Arts Council.