Kari Roslund is the featured artist at the Ellicottville Memorial Library through January 2020, with an exhibit entitled “Birds/Branches.”

This is a fascinating and wondrous collection of birds, branches and grasses, all created out of natural fibers that Roslund has created by needle felting.

“This small collection of work was inspired by a local hidden discovery,” she said. “Having recently moved to Cattaraugus County, I was delighted to learn about the Buffalo Audubon Society’s Allenburgh Bog, one of the world’s most valuable wetland ecosystems.”

Growing up in Woolrich, Pa., Roslund developed an affinity for woven woolen wares and the story of wool. As an adult, while raising her own flock of sheep, she discovered that the wool makes an appealing artistic medium.

“Our family has always enjoyed the outdoors and conservation and so this discovery helped to welcome us to our new area,” she said. “When working to create this collection, I wanted to capture the encompassing nature of this environment and tried to achieve that ‘wrapped in feeling’ with fibers.”

Roslund takes fibers in their raw state and reworks them into a vibrant palette of lustrous silks and woolen tones. She layers handworked fleeces and roving onto reclaimed textiles. This process creates a type of contemporary tapestry, bringing a three-dimensional element to her impressionistic work.

“The materials include not only wool but a variety of other natural fibers including silk, llama, alpaca and angora, bamboo, linen and yak,” she said.

This collection is part of a larger solo exhibit entitled, Natural Connection: An exploration in Fiber by Kari Roslund, scheduled to be on display at the Springville Center for the Arts on Oct. 14 through Nov. 21, 2020.  

 The Ellicottville Memorial Library is located at 6499 Maples Road in Ellicottville. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily except Sunday. Evening hours are 5-8 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday.