Brighton artist Beverly Koivunen weaves her own way with fiber art

Beverly Koivunen doesn’t like to stick to the rules in her work. The artist from Green Oak Township prefers to mix media and bring his own touch to current techniques.

“I always surprise people,” Koivunen said.

Her favorite medium lately has been the art of fiber, including knitting, crochet, and needlework similar to cross stitch. She recreates photographs with embroidery floss and most of her pieces require over 60 different colors.

Koivunen has several pieces on display in Brighton. One is a photo of her two dogs sleeping on her sofa, which is on display at Advanced Orthopedics.

Another is a photo of her son buried in the sand at the beach. “Grounded” is part of the Brighton Art Guild’s Art in the Alley exhibit, which features 17 art prints of Guild members on the wall of Brighton Bar and Grill.

Koivunen has dabbled in many different types of art, from painting with beeswax to creating glass mosaics to thread and sewing projects.

Puzzled, one of Beverly Koivunen's silk projects, was created by sewing embroidery thread onto hand-painted silk.

She was never a passionate painter, but loved to paint silks, like scarves. But she said the projects didn’t take enough time and she never knew what to do with them after she was done.

Before having children, Koivunen worked a lot with stained glass and molten glass. But she stopped when she got pregnant because she didn’t want to expose herself to the lead used in making glass art.

“I thought of little feet walking around with shards of glass everywhere,” she said.

The medium she has stayed with the longest is the art of fiber, which she says is not only fun, but calming to create. She also likes the flexibility it offers, as it doesn’t need to dry like paint or cool like glass.

“I was able to put it down quickly and take it back, which was very helpful as a mom,” she said. “

To make his fiber art more personal, Koivunun likes to recreate his own photographs on fabric.

How does she do that? Koivunen said she uses an online program that translates the pixels in a photograph into a cross stitch chart, which uses symbols to signify a specific color for each square.

“When you turn it into a needle piece you end up with something blurry, it’s not as sharp as a photograph, it has soft edges,” Koivunen said. “I like to compare him to (Georges) Seurat, who used little dots to make a big picture.”

The Sweet, one of Beverly Koivunen's fiber art projects, is a piece she is currently working on that shows a spread of chocolate treats and fresh fruit.

Koivunen’s favorite subjects are landscapes and portraits. She has used her pets and children as subjects, and other times she enjoys walking around her neighborhood for inspiration.

She said her neighborhood has changed over the years, so her couture pieces capture moments that have passed since. For example, a house was built on the hayfield in his room, “Further down the road”.

“It’s almost like snapshots,” Koivunen said. “It reminds me that life goes on.”

All Art in the Alley prints are for sale, according to Pamela Day, president of the Brighton Art Guild. She said those interested can visit the guild’s website to purchase a weatherproof print, or they can scan the QR code next to the room they like in the alley by 400 W. Main St.

Contact Sara Kellner at [email protected] Follow her on Twitter @ skellner21.


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