WV Artist on Display: Bicycle Powered Sewing Machine & More by Nevada Tribble

Learn about Nevada Tribble, a West Virginia artist from Elkins.

Using innovative fiber art techniques, Nevada captures stories of the places and people she loves. Her work is about hope, and how it is manifested in the past and present of her surroundings. She tells us, “I like to imagine memory as a residue that sticks to things, giving them a tangible and subjective history. When this history includes a lot of care, empathy, or positive interactions, these sentiments can become attached to an object or place and begin to echo into the present.” In her work, Nevada captures the things that remind her to hope, the things with layered memories of what is good, and the moments that make up those memories.

She is a 2020 recipient of the Tamarack Foundation’s Emerging Artist Fellowship.

Nevada holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Shepherd University, and her work has been exhibited regionally in West Virginia and Maryland, receiving a merit award in the 2019 West Virginia Juried Exhibition. She is a 2020 recipient of the Tamarack Foundation’s Emerging Artist Fellowship, and is represented by the Bloom Gallery in Thomas, WV.

Nevada tells us she uses a sewing machine as a drawing tool

…to move her paper under the needle as she stitches to make marks with the thread. “Sewing has been a part of my life for a long time as a practical skill. I like that it references that practicality as a drawing medium, alluding to the power to mend and alter. I also use handmade paper frequently in my work, both as a drawing surface and sculptural medium. I form wet sheets of freshly made paper around objects, capturing their shape as the paper dries. Once the paper is removed it becomes a hollow copy, a type of memory, of the object it was formed around.”

Nevada has designed a large immersive installation and several smaller site-specific works.

The large installation is titled Ripple and was at the Bloom gallery in Thomas, WV in January 2020. Nevada hung dozens of hollow paper rocks from the ceiling on delicate string in concentric circles. Viewers could walk into the center of the installation and be surrounded by the dangling rocks, accompanied by a reflective chord progression played on fiddle. Nevada says, “This installation was inspired by an examination of blurred lines between the natural and constructed worlds, as well as the idea of a ripple as a metaphor for the expanding potential of simple acts.”

Her greatest accomplishment is her bicycle-powered sewing machine. Nevada tells us, “I built it as a tool to take my sewing process outside without the need for electricity. I use it to draw directly from life, capturing places while I’m really there and moments while they happen. I recently used the bike to make a series of pieces documenting my neighborhood in Elkins, WV. This series, along with the sewing bike, are currently on display at the Phaze 2 gallery in Shepherdstown, WV.”

Nevada says she overcomes obstacles by embracing a creative mindset. “I find I need to declutter both my physical and mental space. I do this by keeping my studio (sort of) organized and making a lot of to-do lists.” She goes onto tell us about finding inspiration in her immediate surroundings and the factors that shape her life, both physical and tangible. “When I am stuck on something or need ideas I often go for walks. The combination of moving and admiring whatever beautiful things are in my path usually shakes an idea or two loose.”

Her advice to other artists is to work on one’s writing skills. “Making good art is only half the battle. Being able to explain your work well can be as important as the work itself, and can lead to many more opportunities.”

Nevada currently has works on display at Taylor Books in Charleston, WV. Her upcoming show Around the Block will be on display at the Phaze 2 gallery in Shepherdstown, WV through January 22. She also has an upcoming show in March 2021 at District Arts in Frederick, MD.

She will be teaching a papermaking workshop in May 2021 at the Helvetia Hoot Festival in Helvetia, WV and is working on scheduling more workshops around the state in the coming months.

You can purchase Nevada’s art at the Bloom Gallery in Thomas, WV or by contacting Nevada directly. She is also planning to open an online store within the next few months, and will post updates her Instagram @nevada.wv as she gets closer to that goal. Check out her website at nevadatribble.com.

– Hashtag Lewisburg City Paper #129. December 2020.

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