Betty Leacraft has been making art with fibers since she was young and learned how to sew from her maternal grandmother. Respectful of those early teachings and thirsty for learning about her ancestors, Betty has studied the fibers practices of her ancestors and traveled in Africa to Ghana and to South Africa, where her work was featured in an international exhibition. Outside of the art school traditions and acting as what she calls a “cultural custodian,” the artist teaches workshops in fiber art in her West Philadelphia neighborhood and many other places in Philadelphia and has been recognized as a grantee five times by the Leeway Foundation. Betty participated in the Mural Arts Program’s 2015 Neighborhood Time Exchange program and is part of the PMA’s Philadelphia Assembled project that will debut this Spring. (Listen to our podcast with Jeanne van Heeswijk, the lead artist on the PMA’s project). I saw Betty’s work recently at the University City Arts League in the High in Fiber show. She has been invited to show work in the upcoming Art in City Hall Exhibition, Message to Our Daughters, which opens March 6 and runs to May 5. The podcast with Betty was recorded on February 21, 2017, and runs 45 minutes.
Thank you to The Galleries at Moore TGMR radio project for making this podcast possible, and especially to Matt Kalasky for inviting Artblog to participate in the Moore radio project. Listen to the interview with Betty Leacraft at the TGMR site here.