Beth Edwards is one of the American Fabric Arts Building’s newest residents. She is a print maker and mixed media artist. Beth is currently working on her first art book, “The Bird of Sorrows”, which she has written and is illustrating with linocut prints.
The Journey to Creativity
Beth grew up in an artistic family. “I was the odd one out because I didn’t draw or paint,” she said. Her journey to her own studio was a long one. After a long career in the government and raising her son (whom she home-schooled), Beth made the decision to go to Naugatuck Valley Community College.
“Until that point, I’d had no formal education. I finally experienced what was a common experience.” Participating in a work study program gave her access to the kiln and print making resources, vital to her development as an artist. “That’s been a great experience. I’ve been able to do so much – linocuts, dry point – even a Japanese technique where you print with fish.”
“The Bird of Sorrows” is an accordion-style art book, six inches square, with text in English and Spanish. “I lived in Mexico for 2 years, and some of that experience definitely influenced the text.”
Other books are planned, shares Beth, “I’ve got ideas that have been percolating for decades, and once I realized that I wouldn’t need anyone to illustrate them – that I could do that myself – that was very exciting for me.” Going forward, Beth hopes to work with a publisher to get her stories in front of the widest possible audience while still producing art book versions.
The Experience of Working in the American Fabric Arts Building
“For a novice such as myself, the impact of being in this space is tremendous,” Beth said. “There’s such a mix of artists here. Art just permeates the atmosphere. Those chance encounters where you’re talking with other artists or seeing their work in the hallways – it’s really important.”
“I’d say that AmFab is almost a muse in itself. The mix of the building and all of its occupants really inspires you.”