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Fiber Arts Festival Begins Friday

Like so many annual events, the COVID-19 pandemic has changed what the 11th annual Oxford Fiber Arts Festival looks like this year, but it hasn’t changed the enthusiasm of its organizers.

This year’s Fiber Arts Festival, presented by the Yokna International Folk Festival will take place Jan. 15-23 where talented fiber artists will showcase their work.

While there will be no main market or in-person classes this year, there will be several, safe events around town.

“We wanted to continue the festival but knew we would need to come up with a plan in which we could celebrate fiber arts in a different way this year, that would involve the community but would allow them to participate in a safe way,” said festival coordinator Andi Bedsworth.

The new format for this year includes an exhibit by the Chimneyville Weavers and Spinners Guild Cooperative titled “Fiber Fluency,” which will be held in the Powerhouse Gallery.

Two receptions will be held – from 6 to 8 p.m. on Jan. 19 and 2 to 6 p.m. on Jan 23. The socially-distanced receptions are free, but appointments to attend are required.

Fiber on the Square, an outdoor exhibit with three locations, will be held throughout the festival. This will include a children’s exhibit 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.

A zoom lecture by Palestinian embroiderer and author, Wafa Ghanim, will be held from 3-5 p.m. on Jan. 16. 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 where past participants and newcomers can share what they are working on virtually. A children’s fiber art kit give-away by the University Museum will be held on Jan. 21 and 22.

On Jan. 23, stop by the Powerhouse from 9-11 a.m. to pick up a donut and a map with directions to see the Union County Civil War Quilt Trail in New Albany. While you are there, visit the museum to see their exhibit on textiles, quilts, embroidery and crochet, and the “Quiet Work of Women” display. Enjoy a reception from 12-3 p.m. at the Union County Heritage Museum.

The full schedule and more details about the festival can be found at http://oxfordarts.com/events/fiberfest.

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

For information contact Bedsworth at 662-380-1940 or oxfordfiberfest.com.

Staff report

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