Arms museum displays portraits

YOUNGSTOWN — “Threads of the Past: Woven Portraits of Local Citizens” opens Friday at the Arm Family Museum.

The collection is on loan from artist William D. Walker, who learned the art of weaving as a student at Youngstown State University and continued at Kent State University. Using a double-weave process, he is able to create portraits of local citizens. Using a multi-harness floor loom with a double-weave pickup, Walker weaves two layers of cloth while hand-manipulating threads through both layers to produce the woven image. His images are colored using fabric dyes, with variations depicting references to his subjects’ histories.

In his artist statement, Walker writes, ” History is described as the fabric of society, and cloth has a rich tradition of ceremonial use and is highly prized in many societies and cultures … The woven portraits carry on this textile tradition. Instead of paint on canvas, mine are woven into cloth, like the legacy these individuals left behind.

“My desire in this series is to allow people to rediscover Youngstown’s rich past and the people who faced the challenges of life. By utilizing creative vision and rejecting negative influences, they gave freely of their time and talents to benefit all. Look around the beautiful city and you can see and enjoy their handiwork in various forms.”

The work will remain on display through Nov. 9 at the Arms museum, 648 Wick Ave., Youngstown. Hours are noon to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. Admission is $7 for adults, $6 for senior citizens and college students and $5 for children. For more information, call 330-743-2589.