With Gratitude to SDA VP of Development Bette Levy As She Steps Down

At the close of June’s SDA Confluence Conference, Bette Levy stepped down as Board Vice-President of Development. Active in the organization since 1997, Levy first came on board as the Kentucky State Representative. She took on the board position of Director of Fundraising from 2003-2009 and then assumed the role of VP of Development in 2009.

Levy’s contributions during this time have included annual and special project fund drives and silent auctions which have raised thousands of much-needed dollars for our organization. The Silent Auction at the 2011 conference alone raised over $9,000 for SDA.

Of all the work she has done on behalf of SDA, she is most proud of formalizing and overseeing the small event and personal development grants given annually.

“I felt strongly it was important to help our members to do what they ordinarily wouldn’t be able to do for lack of financial support,” Levy says. She is particularly proud of the mentoring she provided to applicants that helped them get approval for their proposals. The work she has done will continue to support individual careers and promote visibility of textile arts both nationally and internationally.

In addition to Levy’s skills as an administrator, she is also accomplished at needlework and creates what she calls “fine art embroidery.” Using silk buttonhole twist thread on black silk noil, she has developed a visual language of marks with which she creates works that are abstractions of nature-based photographs.

Although Levy is best known for these abstract embroideries, she has also been known to crochet onto rusted farm implements. “I love the merger of hard metal and soft thread and the interplay of the masculine tool with the feminine handwork,” she observes. This new body of work is a complement to her more tightly controlled needlework pieces and, as Levy sees it, ” a way of freeing myself up, introducing more whimsy into my work and enjoying the pleasure of the larger, more physical movements it takes to create these.”

See Linda Gass website for examples of Levy’s crocheted “merkins” from the popular Intimate Apparel exhibition conceived and curated by Gass.

When asked what she plans to do now – after many years of service to the SDA board – Levy responded, “I’m going to breathe art and pay more attention to my husband!” An active, exhibiting member of PYRO Gallery, an artist collaborative in Louisville, she has a solo exhibition of her work scheduled for August 2012. She has another solo exhibition upcoming in March 2012 at the Carnegie Museum in New Albany, Indiana.

View more of Levy’s work on the PYRO website.

SDA board members, staff and the entire membership would like to take this opportunity to thank Bette Levy for her many years and countless hours of service. Please join us in wishing her many new and wonderful associations, adventures and successes in the future!


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Jeanne Beck, born in Pittsburgh, PA, is a full-time artist who divides her time between her studio in a converted factory building in Rochester and her home on 14 acres in Canandaigua, New York. Beck has a BA in communications from SUNY/Empire State College and an MFA in creative writing from Goddard College; she ran Beck Publications for many years and has written countless magazine articles.
Beck’s letterform-inspired works have been exhibited in solo, juried and invitational exhibitions in the USA, England and Australia as well as published in many magazines and books. Visit her website at www.jeannebeck.com

1 Comment

  • Leisa Rich says

    July 19, 2011 at 8:30 pm

    Congrats Bette, great article and have a blast!!!!!

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