Warm and Engaging Art Exhibit at Library

by David K. Rodgers, Community Journalist

GREENSBORO – The Greensboro Free Library is currently displaying “Rustic Musings,” 15 works by Beth Meachem in fabric and paint, and they are well worth a visit. Ten of the smaller weavings are hung in carefully crafted wooden boxes behind plexiglas, while three larger ones are suspended freely. The former group are the visual equivalent of haiku poems: though small in scale, they have individual

thoughts and feelings.

“Mountain Stream,” “À la J.M. Turner,” “Moon Rise,” “Calm,” “Flaming Tree,” Caspian at Dusk,” “Stone’s Throw” and “Horseneck Sunset” are all intimate landscapes with an abstract quality appropriate to the fiber medium. Abstraction here could be defined as “taking only the essentials”, and each piece is well composed, with harmoniously blended colors, and flowing rhythms evocative of

the energies of nature.

“Rising Sun” is more specific in subject, with a human figure, presumably a Native American woman, with raised arms, greeting the dawn with gratitude for a new day, while “Spirit Tree” depicts the sacred quality of a large old tree in just black on a white background.

The bigger weavings, “Evening,” “Rhythm and Ribbon,” again suggest through the repetitive pattern of their horizontal strips, the eternal rhythm of earth and water forms.

Very different from the weavings are two boxes, divided into “pigeon holes” for square inserts, entitled “Confusion” and “Helter Skelter,” the first having 16 openings, the second 25. Each permutation is painted freely in broad brush strokes with a deliberately simple palette of blue, red, yellow, and green, to give an overall coherence. It almost seems as though one could move the pieces around to make innumerable “recompositions”. In the larger box, an unexpected anomaly occurs where, in the lower right hand corner, the insert is pushed back and three small, worn stones are placed in the empty space, just to keep us off guard about predictable visual order.

Beth Meachem is a graduate of Marlboro College and Wesleyan University. She has been practicing and teaching weaving for over 30 years. More recently, having to deal with personal illness necessitated working on smaller pieces that could be dealt with depending on her energy level. Inspired

by the natural landscape, each weaving has evolved organically through improvisation as it was created.

“Rustic Musings” will be shown through November at the Greensboro Free Library on Wilson Street. Winter hours are Sundays, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.; Tuesdays, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Fridays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.