Heather Forsythe


I have a passion for the creative world around us and in us, as well as a love for sharing and educating others about art and the natural world. I began exploring and being a student of art and photography from the time I was a child and teen and have never stopped. I was in hospitality work and management for 14 years. In the year 2000 this career took our family deep into the mountains of West Virginia. Nature was an incredible inspiration. I began to study with and learn from traditional Appalachian artist Dorothy Thompson and her daughter Sarah Fletcher as well as other talented Appalachian artists at Ben’s Old Loom Barn. Dorothy Thompson was a wonderful person full of passion for what she passed on and a great teacher of traditional Appalachian weaving, overshot in particular. Dorothy was not much for publicity. Although, in the year 2000 she received the prestigious National Heritage Fellowship in Washington, D.C., presented by the National Endowment for the Arts. This is the highest award given to folk and traditional artists in the nation. The recipients are carefully selected for their lifelong contributions to traditional culture. Ben’s Old Loom Barn is located in Canaan Valley, West Virginia.

I am Thankful to the Appalachian artists took me in and taught me how to weave on a traditional weaving loom (my first being a 200 year old barn loom), spin fiber on a spinning wheel and dye fibers. I also began silk painting and experimenting with dimensional fiber art from hand spun, hand dyed, hand woven and recycled fibers. I continued to learn and eventually opened my own home studio. One important focus of my work is creating unique nature art from hand dyed and woven fibers which hang on hand carved wooden rods from fallen down trees carved on my grandfather’s lathe. I continue to explore the natural world and bring inspiration on local flora and fauna back to my home studio. I then attach educational materials to each piece of nature art that is created. I have belonged to Artist Co-ops, Guilds, enjoyed demonstrating, attending shows and teaching children, adolescents and adults the world of fiber art and natural health and wellness.

Along the journey of moving many places, I would keep connected to the creative world hosting art and craft days at my house for children and adults as well as demonstrating in schools. I am a teacher, student and volunteer for our environment. I have taught and continue to teach art, meditation, yoga, and volunteer gardening as well as a facilitator of community through rhythm and drumming events with a diverse group of children, teens and adults in WV, VA and PA. I currently teach at Sweetwater Center for the Arts, periodically at Bottlebrush Gallery and privately. You can find my creations at Bottlebrush Art Gallery in Harmony, Pa. as well as Stray Cat Studios in Beaver Falls, Pa. My studies and experience as well as where I have taught and currently teach natural health and wellness is available upon request.

Our mind, body and heart are the threads of our being to be woven and made whole through allowing nurturing expression of oneself, a true connection with nature, spirit, and the importance of community in our world. May we weave a strong, resilient, compassionate and beautiful Tapestry full of Life.

A GIFT FOR THE ARTS. DONATE TODAY.

When you or a family member is looking to take an art class, view an exhibition, or attend a cultural event, where do you turn? If you're like most in our community, you go to Sweetwater Center for the Arts.

$1,000 provides enough materials to fund a semester-long community outreach program.
$500 allows two senior citizens to take an oil painting class.
$250 provides enough clay for every student in an 8-week ceramics class.
$200 will send a child to summer camp for a week.
$100 provides the food for a culinary workshop.
$50 provides materials for two weeks of painting camps.

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