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Natural materials made from Nevada backyards become tools of art in Lillegard workshop

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March 20, 2015

Sarah Lillegard works in what she calls second skin— fabrics and dye. The Reno artist presents a workshop “Natural Dye Introduction” from 3:30 to 5 p.m. March 30 at the Nevada Legislative Building, in a SENarts “Work of Artists” event co-sponsored by the Nevada Arts Council and Capital City Arts Initiative. The artist  will demonstrate simple and safe processes she uses to dye fibers with natural materials harvested in Nevada backyards.

Lillegard said she hails from a family of quilters and craftsmen. Her artistic process relies heavily on touch and the physicality of art making, working with a variety of materials such as wool, denim, leather and thread.

“Sarah was recently awarded a Nevada Arts Council 2015 Artist Fellowship Award in visual arts and we are pleased she can share insight into her creative process with the public through this series,” said Susan Boskoff, executive director of the council.

Lillegard is a mixed-media artist whose work draws on the traditions of handcrafts and western icons. She earned a Bachelor of Arts from Walla Walla University in College Place, WA, before coming to Nevada.  Working in the Reno arts community, she co-founded the Go for Broke Zine Collective and published a DIY Guide to Reno. She is the former director of the Holland Project Gallery. In addition to working in fiber arts, Lillegard is also a zine maker, writer, curator and graphic designer. Her work has been exhibited throughout the northwest.

Her latest show is at the NAC Office eXhibition Series Gallery in Carson City, where her works with fabrics explore group identity, belonging and symbols, in garments sometimes called clan jackets. The attire is said to communicate meaning, cultural legacies and myths. The OXS exhibit “Second Skin” is free at the Nevada Arts Council, 716 N. Carson St., in Carson City, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. through April 17.

SENarts is a partnership between the Nevada Senate, Nevada Arts Council, Nevada Division of Museums and History and the Brewery Arts Center. In a small and welcoming environment, the “Work of Artists” program lets each artist offer insight into the work they do, the art they make and the talent it takes to produce their treasures. The next SENarts demonstration will be April 17 with “Tule Duck Decoys” by Mike Williams of Fallon. For more information, contact the council at (775) 687-6680.