Artist Profile: Sarai Raven Huber / by Helen Grant

This May we have a group show featuring three synergistic artists: Sarai Raven Huber, Margaret Kinkeade, and Ruth Loveland. The show is called “Rock, Paper, Scissors” and opens May 10th during 2nd Friday Art Walk. The event runs from 6 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. at 325 E. Main St. and is open to the public. To give each artist the opportunity to talk about their work and the show, we have decided to break their profiles into three parts.

-Helen Grant

Sarai Raven Huber

Sarai Raven Huber

Artist Statement: “As a child, I was raised by parents who were both artists and some of my earliest memories are of the color, texture, and patterns of quilts hanging on my family’s walls. The calming sensation brought on by focusing on those fabrics has lasted into my adulthood and is still the main reason I create art. Weaving, quilting, knitting, sewing - these all keep me together and tie me more to the moment. In everything that I create, I am motivated by memories of my childhood, American folk art, the need to continue artistic expression within my family, and nature.

Working with textiles is my preferred medium because it offers me control in a way that other mediums do not. I am obsessed with straight lines, and textiles are the perfect medium to express, change, and control lines. Perhaps more importantly, though, is that for me, in weaving and quilting there are no real rules. Mistakes can become intentional and no one need know the difference. I use a wide variety of yarns, including my own hand-spun yarns, vintage yarns, and specialty hand-dyed yarns. Other materials range from wool and cotton fabrics that I have gathered while traveling in North and South America, the Middle East, and Europe, to felt and wire, to wooden cedar, ash, and sycamore sticks gathered in the Southern Plains and the mountains of Appalachia. In the end, everything comes full circle. I am no longer looking at the textiles made by others for comfort, I am making them for myself.”


Q. What is your background?

A. My family moved to Oklahoma when I was young and I grew up in the OKC area. As a teenager and young adult, I spent a lot of time traveling with friends and living in different places - moving is a constant theme in my life. I recently tried counting how many houses I have lived in and lost count at 23. I came to Norman to study anthropology at OU and now I am a librarian by day and weaver by night. I didn’t study art in school, it was something that I developed on my own. My parents are both artists and I grew up with a very creative group of friends so I was lucky in that something artistic was always going on around me.

Q. Where do you draw inspiration from?

A. This changes a lot for me. Right now, my inspiration is coming from bird feathers, graffiti, and irises. I am also consistently inspired by memories of my younger brother’s colorful style. Fabrics in general – particularly mended clothing and quilts –lines and any kind of embroidery stitch. Anni Albers, Paul Klee, and other Bauhaus artists. I also draw a lot of inspiration from people I love. Often when I weave or quilt I try to only think of one person – their favorite colors, what I love about who they are, how they inspire me, their laugh, memories of them. I try to put as much of them into that piece as I can. It makes it hard to let some of them go in the end!

Sarai Raven Huber

Sarai Raven Huber

Q. What are you working on right now that excites you?

A. Lately I am interested in two things, weaving in a very limited color scheme and finding a way to cohesively mix weaving with ceramics. My father is a potter and I would like to work with him to create different shaped looms out of clay on which to weave. I love framed weavings under glass but always want to reach out and touch them. This would be the best of both worlds, a weaving that remains on a frame of some sort while retaining the ability to touch it.

Q. What is your show at Resonator about?

A. I think Margaret answered this beautifully so I will point you to her response.

Q. What are you favorite books, movies, or music you’re into right now?

A. Right now, I am listening to a lot of LCD Soundsystem, Bob Dylan, and WQXR out of New York City.

Sarai Raven Huber

Sarai Raven Huber

Q. Do you have any art events or exhibitions you’re really excited about this year?

A. This one! I love Margaret and Ruth’s work but I never actually looked at all of our work together at the same time with pieces next to each other. It sort of shocked me how wonderfully it all fits together, the lines, curves, and colors from each of our pieces. I am excited to see it all together in one place on a grander scale. When I was in New York City back in March I went to the Frida Kahlo exhibit “Appearances Can Be Deceiving,” at the Brooklyn Museum. It was amazing! The exhibit focused on her personal effects and clothing. The colors and fabrics were so bright and beautiful. You could see stitches, paint stains, and cigarette burns on some of her dresses. Even my two year old was mesmerized by the colors, he kept pointing to different dresses and saying “more, more.”

Sarai Raven Huber

Sarai Raven Huber

Q. Is there anything I haven’t asked that you would like readers to know about?

A. I am a bird fanatic. The kind that travels far distances to find just one bird. For the past six years I've also been skinning and preparing bird specimens for a museum. The opportunity to do this came to me at just the right time and it has become incredibly meaningful. It's such an honor, every bird I hold in my hands – each one is profound and special in its own way.

Follow her on Instagram @sarairaven

Visit her website at: