After graduating from Oberlin College in 1976, Betsy spent almost twenty years as a librarian and coordinator of various libraries around Akron, though art has always been a part of her work. In 1993 she joined FAVA when the organization was still housed in the old building behind the Bridge, Mandarin, and Lupita’s. She speaks fondly of the old building, but was happy to have the additional space for larger exhibitions and classrooms when FAVA moved to its current location in 1996.
When asked about the most memorable exhibitions at FAVA, Betsy names the first show she experienced during her role as Executive Director. “It was a kinetic installation with light and sound effects, which doesn’t sound all that radical for today, but at the time it was,” she says. FAVA has maintained its philosophy of showing unique contemporary Ohio artists, even when their materials may be difficult to work with. FAVA has held shows that include fragile glass pieces, large intricate folded paper, and more. Betsy also spoke about the Artist as Quiltmaker exhibition, which is biannual and also the second-longest-running art quilt exhibition in the world. The show brings together quilters and artists from all over the country.
Betsy is looking forward to FAVA’s upcoming exhibition with artists Steven Tomasko and David Sapp, and the Big Parade which is coming up next weekend! The Parade is April 29th from 11am to 4pm and begins at Prospect Elementary School. We hope you will be there to celebrate with us!