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“Essentially Silk” opens at Millard & Co. Aug. 16

Artist Barbara McCombs Thomas opens her show “Essentially Silk” Friday, Aug. 16 at Millard & Co. in the Tryon Depot. The show will run through Sept. 30, with a reception set for Friday, Aug. 23 from 4-7 p.m.

The show encompasses both recent and older works using dyes and silk paints on silk, cotton and linen.

For more than 25 years, Thomas’ passion has been fabric painting, utilizing all types of fibers, dyes and mixed media.

Seven years of study in Sumi-E with Japanese artist, Ann Kobaya-shi, greatly influenced her work.

“I had always been drawn to the simplicity of oriental brush painting, so when an art instructor encouraged me to experiment with both natural and synthetic fiber dyeing, I began integrating my love of flowing color on fabric with brush painting techniques,” Thomas said. “Immediately, silk painting became my favorite and most challenging medium.”

Thomas’ background includes the Parsons School of Design in NYC, the School of Visual Arts in NYC and NY School of Interior Design. She worked as a graphic artist for several advertising agencies, owned the Dancing Brush in New Jersey and has worked as the assistant manager at the Upstairs Artspace.

Thomas moved to North Carolina 10 years ago. She says the majesty of the mountains has been a strong, inspirational force that feeds her creativity.

She is a member of the Arts Council of Henderson County and the Tryon Painters and Sculptors.