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story.lead_photo.caption Photo submitted Susan J. Byrd sits amidst her creative elements of artistry to include her shifu weaving and reclaimed art.

The Bella Vista Arts Council will honor Susan J. Byrd as the August Artist of the Month.

Byrd's work will be on display in August at the Artist Retreat Center, 13467 Lookout Drive in Bella Vista. A public reception will be held from 4 to 6 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 15, at the Artist Retreat Center.

Byrd was born and raised in England until the age of 14 when her family moved to Bella Vista. Her interest in art grew while getting her bachelor's degree in fine arts at Washington University in St. Louis, Mo.

In 1984, she traveled to Japan to study about Japanese paper called washi and, while there, was introduced to a textile that is woven from paper called shifu. The National Endowment of the Arts awarded her a Folk Arts Apprenticeship Fellowship to study shifu with Sadako Sakurai, the esteemed Japanese shifu weaver. In 2013, she completed an award-winning book titled "A Song of Praise for Shifu." Along with her interest in shifu, she enjoys doing reclaimed art and nature photography.

The Bella Vista Arts Council, an advisory board to the Bella Vista City Council, was created by the Council in February 2016 to help promote the arts in Bella Vista. The board established an Artist of the Month program, in which selected artists and their work will be showcased to the public. Three volunteers serve on the selection committee -- Sara Parnell of the Artist Retreat Center, Pearl Williamson, president of Wishing Springs Gallery, and Demara Titzer, curator of several galleries in Bentonville.

The committee will choose each month from qualified artists, who must be residents of Bella Vista and have their work displayed somewhere in the city. Showcased artists will have their work displayed at the Artist Retreat Center and, during the month they are recognized, the work will be on display in a location around the city, such as the Bella Vista Library or Historical Museum.

To submit your name or other nominations for consideration, contact Parnell at the Artist Retreat Center, 479-268-6463, or email

General News on 08/15/2018

Print Headline: Bella Vista Arts Council recognizes area artists

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