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Riana Bovill attended Elmira College in upstate New York where she received her Bachelor of Arts degree with concentrations in ceramics, painting, and furniture design. Years later she started to experiment with textiles and created her first appliqué portraits. With this body of work she participated in numerous curated and juried exhibitions including Fiberart International 2016, and New Waves 2015 at the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art.

 

In 2020 Riana earned her Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia, where she started experimenting with different processes within the realm of fibers, while also embracing an interdisciplinary approach to making art. Her work transformed and is now centered around storytelling—using costumes, performance, puppetry, artists’ books, sculpture, and immersive environments to present this narrative work. While she still employs traditional quilting, embroidery, and appliqué techniques in her creative practice, she also incorporates hand-papermaking, basketry, bookbinding, printmaking, and shibori dyeing processes.

 

Her artwork engages the senses through an exploration of materials, texture, color, and sound; drawing inspiration from the experience of being fully immersed in nature. She can often be found in the forest foraging natural materials for handmade paper, dyeing, and inkmaking; or processing agricultural byproducts to collect fiber for her latest artists’ book. Riana has been awarded residencies and participated in workshops at Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts and Penland School of Craft, and was recently an artist-in-residence at Elmira College during the 2021-2022 academic year. At Elmira she shared her passion for natural fibers processes and bookmaking through workshops and demonstrations, and helped to create a dynamic and positive learning environment in the art studios.