Friday, August 16, 2019

Linda Rees: Tapestry Weaver

One of the first people I met when I moved to Bellingham, Washington, was Linda Rees.  She and her family lived several houses down the street from where I first lived in Bellingham.  Not knowing that she was my neighbor, I bought one of her early tapestries.  You can see that tapestry and read the story connected with it here.

Since last spring a small group of her friends in conjunction with the Whatcom Weaver's Guild have been working together so that Linda's tapestries can be featured by the Whatcom Weaver's Guild in the Wool Room at the Northwest Washington Fair and then at the Jansen Art Center, both in Lynden, Washington.  These photos were taken by one of Linda's friends who took her to the fair to see her tapestries exhibited.  In the photograph with Linda is Carol Berry, the current president of the Whatcom Weaver's Guild, who did a great deal of footwork to make it possible for Linda's work to be shown at the fair and the Jansen Art Center.

Linda began weaving tapestries 50 years ago, the year her daughter was born.  For most of those 50 years, she woke up early in order to weave, including the years when she had full-time employment.  In the past few years, she found it more and more difficult to figure out how to warp the loom herself, and friends who weave stepped in to do that for her.  In the past year, it became clear that her cognitive difficulties had increased to the point that she needed to move to an assisted living residence, and this past spring she moved to a memory care residence.  Although she finds most activities of daily living to be challenging, her passion for tapestry weaving and her enjoyment of family and friends is intact.  Her sense of humor is delightful.  She laughs heartily.  She has always been aware of and upset by the troubles in the world and until the past few years always held a volunteer position in whichever community she was living in, wanting to do what she could to make a positive difference in the world.

Her tapestries will be featured at and for sale through the Jansen Art Center, beginning in September, if anyone is interested in purchasing one of her beautiful tapestries. 


Sabine said...

Thank you for introducing this determined artist to me.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing this story. Just reading about her entering a memory care facility made me think of my mom. This is such a sad path to be on, so I am glad she is still engaged with her tapestries.