Suzy Vance EP. 91: Bryana Bibbs “Woven Abstractions”

This week I speak with Bryana Bibbs, a Chicago-based artist who works at the intersection of textiles, painting, and community-based practices. Bryana earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts with an emphasis in Fiber and Material Studies at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She initially started in the painting department, but when she felt she couldn’t experiment in the ways she wanted to as an artist, she started perusing other class options.

Intrigued by her grandfather and great-grandmother’s love of quilting, she enrolled in an intro to quilting class. Although she ironically never learned how to quilt in this intro class, she did learn how to knit, crochet, embroider, and most importantly, weave. When she sat down at the loom, she felt a sense of relaxation take over amidst the repetitive process. Bryana has a number of moving collections, including one entitled “The Quarantine Series.” These weavings explore the use of non-traditional and traditional weaving materials and processes.

The series was completed from March 25 – July 10, 2020, during the “Shelter in Place” order for the state of Illinois. This series aims to conduct educational studies on weaving with experimental or found materials.

Her “Journal Series” reflects how she’s feeling on a particular day. More recently, they include pieces that document a time of grief and loss following the passing of her grandfather. These weavings include objects like her grandfather’s hospital blankets, sympathy bouquets, and other mementos like playing cards.

See more of Bryana’s work, both small and large scale here: Flying out of Chicago O’Hare? If you’re a member of the Delta SkyClub, you can see some of her large scale works in Terminal 5:…