LAURA VIADA is a handweaver and fiber artist who creates works of art in natural fibers – primarily, linen and silk. Her guiding philosophy is that humans have an intimate relationship with the objects that surround us – the things we see, touch, wear, and use -- and that the human spirit thrives when these things are beautiful and meaningful. Weaving is an ancient craft whose purpose is to create functional textiles that human civilization requires. Yet, it has always been much more than that. Never content with mere functionality, weavers from all the world’s cultures have imbued their creations with beauty, symbolism, and sensuality.
Laura employs many different weaving techniques, but is most at home with a technique called “transparency.” A close relative of the tapestry, a transparency is characterized by sheer background areas contrasting with opaque pattern areas. The contrast and tension between the positive/pattern and negative/background space is the principal component of transparency design. Color can be used effectively and can add interest, but form is at the heart of a successful transparency. Because the negative space is sheer, the environment in which a transparency is displayed becomes an integral part of the piece.
Laura grew up in Houston, Texas. While taking a pause from demanding career in law, she learned to weave, fell in love with the world of fiber and never looked back. For the past 20-plus years, Laura has been an active member of Texas’s fiber art community. Her work has been exhibited nationally and has won numerous awards, and she spent 9 months in 2008 as an Artist-in-Residence at the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft.
Laura believes in giving back to the fiber art community. She currently serves as Immediate Past President of Contemporary Handweavers of Texas, served as that organization’s President from 2017-2019, and chaired the organization’s biennial conference in 2017. She has held numerous board positions in Contemporary Handweavers of Houston over the past 25 years. Laura also served on the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft’s Artist-in Residence Selection Panel from 2013 to 2015.
Her work can be seen at Archway Gallery in Houston, Texas.