Bryana Bibbs is a weaver and creates her pieces using a very wide variety of materials. In her youth and as a young adult, Bibbs learned to tell her stories through writing in journals.

“Did you ever find what you were looking for?” 2021. Approximately 64 inches by 42 inches. Handwoven acrylic paint, pipe cleaners, hand-carded hand-spun wool and angelina fiber. (Submitted photo)

Today she tells her stories through weaving. She has a hand loom for smaller pieces that she uses throughout her home but mostly sitting at her couch while watching TV or at her kitchen table. The small frame loom pieces can be up to 8 inches wide by 13 inches long. For larger pieces, she goes to her studio at the Bridgeport Art Center where she has a floor loom. The final works coming off the floor loom might be five feet or even longer.

Bibbs has a stash of fibers: from mass-produced materials to materials both handspun and hand-carded. And her definition of fiber goes far beyond the traditional to include recycled silks, natural materials like flax and hemp, pipe cleaners, and yes, even junk mail! She sometimes also adds paint marks on top of the fibers.

Bibbs typically works on one piece at a time, and you won’t find her ripping out any work to correct a mistake. She finds the pieces autobiographical when there are mistakes since they more accurately reflect the reality of life and life’s distractions. Those “mistakes” are a visual representation of her mindset at the time, and since the work is not functional, she lets the piece have its moment as is. Her work in every way reflects her intuition and personal life through color, color schemes and symbolism. Each piece is often part of a series, such as the 51-piece series, “The Quarantine Series.”

For the past couple of months at the studio and as part of her residency as a 2021/22 Hatch artist, Bibbs has been working on a 42-inch-wide by 58-inch-high piece with handspun materials using a handmade frame loom made of nails and two-by-four’s.

She also conducts domestic violence weaving workshops for her “The We Were Never Alone Project” which she hopes to expand to more locations.

Weaver Bryana Bibbs. (Submitted photo)

Evanston Made helps bring exposure to Bibbs’ work, and she appreciates the amount of care it shows to each artist. This care for the members inspires her to continue to keep going and keep making.

Bibbs will continue to experiment but says she is always inspired to “stay true to my authentic self.” To see more of her work visit Evanston Made or her website.

Jean Cunningham

Jean Cunningham retired from the business world and is now enjoying the next phase, including writing about local artists to increase awareness of Evanston’s amazing art community.