08: Traders Alley Sky Tapestry – Gretchen VanNostrand

Completed Location #08

Traders Alley

“Traders Alley Sky Tapestry” by Gretchen VanNostrand


Like a volunteer flower which has sprung up from the abandoned cracks of a concrete sidewalk, this suspended installation of ribbons is surprising, joyful, delicate, and temporary. It suddenly appeared in the uncelebrated service alley, and is expected to fade with the seasons.

Beyond the bouyant colors, the effect of the suspended tapestry is a reduced scale of the courtyard as it brings the ceil(ing) down to within reach. The verticality of the courtyard has been transformed into a series of horizontal planes, and is now at a human scale.

During the daylight hours, the sky reigns from above as the colorful field of dancing ribbons is now the focus of attention. Simultaneously, ribbon shadows are cast onto the courtyard, populating the public space with what appears to be a mass choreographed ballet.

As the day slowly gives way to night, the ribbons dissolve to black and are silhouetted against the colorful drama on the western horizon.

Once darkness has taken on its nightly reign, a warm light radiates from the adjacent basement windows and highlights the bottom tips of the ribbons as they hang from the emptiness above.



1989 – 1994Virginia Tech – Course of Architecture


2014 – PresentArtistry on Main – Buckhannon, West Virginia
Artists at Work – Elkins, West Virginia
2015Augusta Festival, Juried Craft Fair – Elkins, West Virginia
13th Annual River Arts Show – Charleston, West Virginia
2014 – 2015Festivall Capitol Street Art Fair – Charleston, West Viriginia
Festivall Harvest Gift Boutique – Charleston, West Virginia
2013 – 2014Buxton & Landstreet Gallery & Studios – Thomas, West Virginia
Randolph County Community Arts Center, Artist Market – Elkins, West Virginia


2013Nina Bagley – Wilmington, North Carolina
2012Valerie Goodwin – Charlotte, North Carolina
2010Julie Collings, Ruth Rae, and Stephanie Lee – Park City, Utah
Pam Sussman, Quilt Surface Design Symposium – Columbus, Ohio
2007 – 2013Fiber Art Traders Helpers and Management (FATHAM)
2006Dyeing Workshop – Suzan Morgan – Buckhannon, West Virginia
2006 – 2013Fyber Art Traders (FAT)