Beth Silvercloud
Beth Silvercloud

Beth Silvercloud-Severance, known professionally as Silvercloud, is not only a weaver, but also an accomplished artist, therapist, teacher, mother and grandmother. She grew up in the Missouri Ozarks. Her Native American ancestry traces back to both the Chickasaw and Cherokee Nations, and her heritage is sometimes unconsciously reflected in her work. She lives in Georgia now, near a river where members of those two tribes might have traveled through rival Creek territory.

In 1973 she lost her leg in a terrible car accident and tried eight times to have a prosthesis built that would work for her, but without success. However, this disability did not deter her. Though Silvercloud had a loom with ten treadles, she realized this method would no longer work for her. Determined to continue her work, she developed an arched loom with which she wove on equi-distant radial warp. Silvercloud’s innovation to weaving is considered by the Textile Museum in Washington, D.C. to be unique in history. The loom, while propped against a wall, allows her to weave from a sitting position on the floor, like weavers in the Navajo tradition.

During the late 70’s, as Silvercloud was beginning to exhibit her work, she also earned a graduate degree in Behavioral Sciences and became licensed as a psychologist and therapist. In the 80’s, she served as an artist-in-residence at schools all over Massachusetts. During her residencies, Silvercloud worked with school-aged children, art teachers and volunteer parents, using various media. Her unique combination of life experiences and talent have heightened her insight into others’ experience, enabling her to reach right into the lives of others with her art.

Silvercloud is an artist with top-level recognition in several media. She has had a dozen one-person museum shows of her fiberwork and her work features in some private and corporate collections. She was a finalist in a national competition for a $10,000 fiberart installation and was awarded a scholarship from The Handweaver’s Guild of America as their national first-place winner. She won a national jewelry design competition sponsored by Kay Jewelry in 1988.  Now, she focuses on creating natural stone jewelry.

As a weaver, in her non-objective work and wearable art, Silvercloud tended to use the tranquil blues of the sea and the pale yellow of reflected sunlight. When she began to exhibit her work, it was on display each month, non-stop, in one gallery or museum after another, for over a year. She has had several favorable reviews of her work in publications that include The Boston Globe, The Patriot Ledger, Art New England, and The Providence Journal. She is also listed in “Who’s Who in American Women.”

“The effect and purpose of Silvercloud’s art is not limited to the compositions themselves, but extends to the essence of art itself: the confirmation of life”.  Boston Globe      View a documentary about Silvercloud