Local Festivals

Published on January 7th, 2021 | by TLV News


The 11th Annual Oxford Fiber Arts Festival Comes to Oxford January 15–23, Presented by the Yocona International Folk Festival

The 11th Annual Oxford Fiber Arts Festival will be held at various locations in Oxford, Mississippi from January 15–23.

Due to the pandemic, the format will be much different than in years past with no market or classes and alternative programming to create a safer environment for celebrating this year. According to fest coordinator Andi Bedsworth, “We wanted to continue the festival but knew we would need to come up with a plan in which we could celebrate the fiber arts in a different way this year that would involve the community but would allow them to participate in a safe way.”

The new format for this year includes an exhibit by the Chimneyville Weavers and Spinners Guild Cooperative entitled “Fiber Fluency” which will be in the Powerhouse Gallery. Two receptions will be held on both Tuesday, January 19 from 6–8 pm and Saturday, January 23 from 2–6 pm. Appointments to attend the socially distanced reception are free but need to be reserved.

An outdoor exhibit with three locations, “Fiber on the Square” will be held January 15–23. This will include a children’s exhibit held in Faulkner Alley, a fiber exhibit competition in the outdoor covered areas of the Oxford Square North building and the William Faulkner statue will sport a fun fiber related outfit in honor of the festival.

On Saturday, January 16, a Zoom lecture given by Palestinian embroiderer and author, Wafa Ghnaim will be held at 3–5 pm. This free lecture is open to the public, but spaces are limited and reservations must be made in advance.

To round out the offerings there will be a Zoom sewing circle and knitting circle so past participants and even new ones can share what they are working on in a safe way, a children’s fiber art kit give-away by the University Museum on Thursday and Friday, January 21–22 and on Saturday, January 23, stop by The Powerhouse from 9–11 am to pick up a donut and map/instructions and drive to see their Union County Civil War Quilt Trail in New Albany, Mississippi. While you are there, stop by the museum to see their exhibit on textiles, quilts, embroidery, and crochet, “Quiet Work of Women,” and enjoy a reception from noon–3 pm at the Union County Heritage Museum (114 Cleveland St. New Albany, Miss.).  The full schedule and more details about the festival can be found at: http://oxfordarts.com/events/fiberfest

In 2011, the University Museum working with the Yoknapatawpha Arts Council hoped to create coordinated exhibits that would reach beyond the museum walls and into the community. The partnership focused on an upcoming exhibit of Gees Bend Quilts, identifying community partners in the local quilters’ guild and Oxford’s curated fiber shop, Knit1. This coordinated effort launched the Oxford Fiber Arts Festival showcasing exhibits by local fiber artists, a fiber market, workshops, and demonstrations. The festival was an immediate success and a welcome addition, driving out the winter doldrums with an energetic gathering of fiber fans.

In 2016, Patsy Englehart and Lynn Wells of Knit 1 passed the baton to local fiber artist and regular vendor in the fest, Andi Bedsworth, who is now coordinating the festival through the Yoknapatawpha Arts Council. In its nine years the festival strives to bring cutting edge contemporary and traditional fiber arts to the Powerhouse for a multi-day event that includes lectures, demonstrations, classes by experienced teachers, and children’s activities. In its mission to educate, inform, and inspire fiber enthusiasts, practitioners, and visitors, the festival has become a yearly favorite among locals and visitors who come from surrounding states to join in the festivities.

This year’s festival is sponsored by National Endowment for the Arts, Mississippi Arts Commission, Visit Oxford, Yoknapatawpha Arts Council, South Arts, University Museum, Union County Heritage Museum, Cannon Motors, Helen Overstreet, Robert and Jacquelyn Gage, Dick and Mary Beth Marchbanks, and Robert Saarnio.

For information contact Festival Coordinator, Andi Bedsworth at 662-380-1940 or oxfordfiberfest.com.

Schedule of Events

Friday, January 15–Saturday, January 23
“Fiber on the Square” – come check out three fiber exhibits in on the Square at Oxford Square North, Faulkner’s Alley, and the William Faulkner Statue in front of City Hall. 

Saturday, January 16
Time TBD: Celebrity judging of the Fiber on the Square exhibits on Oxford Square North
3–5 pm: The Language of Palestinian Embroidery with Wafa Ghnaim; 2 hour Zoom lecture: free but reservations needed.
Click here to register for the lecture!

Sunday, January 17
1–2:30 pm: Virtual Knitting Circle
3–4:30 pm: Virtual Sewing Circle
Click here to register for the knitting or sewing circle!

Tuesday, January 19
6–8 pm: Fiber Fluency exhibit by Chimneyville Weavers and Spinners Guild Cooperative reception – appointments necessary
Click here to reserve an appointment slot!

Thursday, January 21 + Friday, January 22
8:30 am–4:30 pm each day: Pick up your free Children’s Fiber Art Kit at the ‘contactless pick-up destination’ of the Walton-Young House (corner of 5th St. & University Ave.). 

Saturday, January 23
9–3 pm: Field Trip to see the Union County Civil War Quilt Trail
2–6 pm @ The Powerhouse: Fiber Fluency exhibit by Chimneyville Weavers and Spinners Guild Cooperative reception – appointments necessary
Click here to reserve an appointment slot!

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About the Author

The Local Voice is a bimonthly entertainment guide and newspaper based in Oxford, Mississippi, covering and distributed in North Central Mississippi, including Oxford, Ole Miss, Taylor, Abbeville, Water Valley, Lafayette County, Yalobusha County, and parts of Panola County, Marshall County, and Tupelo . The Local Voice is distributed free to over 255 locations in North Mississippi and also available as a full color PDF download worldwide on the internet.

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