I am essentially a textile artist but one who has increasingly been drawn to non-traditional materials and to the ever increasing incorporation of space into surface, making light and shadow active participants in my work. One of the materials I have been working with over the last decade is played guitar strings. This material has led the way in my exploration of new sculptural forms and spatial relationships. The guitar strings lend themselves to a kind of drawing in the air and are capable of creating shadows that may seem more substantial than the actual material. I also appreciate the metaphoric content of this work because the drawings made with guitar strings feel like frozen music. I like the idea that each string holds notes and that many musicians who never knew each other are now playing silently together.
My work has its inspiration in many sources. The ancient textiles of Turkey and Peru have left impressions of luminosity, openness, and wholeness which greatly influence the work I do today. Artists who have come before me, Lenore Tawney, Ruth Asawa, Eva Hess, and many others have spoken a visual language in which I would like to be fluent.
The most direct source of inspiration though is the beauty of the natural world in which I live. For me, doing the work is a compelling form of reciprocity in response to the beauty around me. Both nature and the textile arts have proclivities for repetition and systemic growth. When I respond to the beauty of nature with my own material processes, what comes out is not a tree or a rock but some expression of being human, some form that sings along with the trees and rocks, the earth and moon.
I have a strong desire to work with space which has led to my more recent installation work. I want to respond to specific spaces where I can create those qualities of openness, luminosity, and wholeness as an experience for the viewer. I am not much interested in filling a space but rather in playing with the emptiness. I anticipate spatial environments full of subtle light. It is my hope to create experiences for viewers that will evoke a sense of wonder and quiet contemplation.
Muse. Played guitar strings and painted screen (192” x 48”). Commissioned by Yavapai College Visual and Performing Arts Division and Clyde and Mercedes Tango
Upcoming exhibition at Yavapai College Art Gallery, date TBD. Prescott, AZ
Lunar Garden. Installation at the Tempe Post Office, May 18-September 13. Tempe, AZ
Slow Waltz in B: An Interactive Installation. Milagro Arts Center. Prescott, AZ
String Theory: Contemporary Art and the Fiber Legacy. Tucson Museum of Art. Tucson, AZ
Chamber Music: A Mostly Silent Installation. Mesa Contemporary Art Museum, North Gallery. Mesa, AZ
Conversations with Beauty: Carol Rawlings, Diane Gilbert, Bonny Stauffer. Prescott College Art Gallery at Sam Hill Warehouse. Prescott, AZ
Biennial Rose Mary Mack Memorial Art Auction. Prescott College Art Gallery at Sam Hill Warehouse. Prescott, AZ
Yavapai College Art Gallery Faculty Exhibition. Prescott, AZ
Where the Earth Meets the Sky: Diane Gilbert, Janet Schultz, Aurore Chabot, Jason Hess. Yavapai College Art Gallery. Prescott, AZ
Sense and Essence II. Four views: Diane Gilbert, Glen Peterson, Carol Rawlings, Bonny Stauffer. Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, AZ
Intermountain Weavers Conference Board and Signature Show. Prescott, AZ. (People’s Choice Award)
Shuttles and Spindles IX. Prescott Fine Arts Gallery, Prescott,AZ. (Handweavers Guild of America Certificate of Excellence and People's Choice Award)
Fiber Directions 2003. The Wichita Center for the Arts, Wichita, KS
Light Form Installations. Suranadi Studio, Prescott, AZ
Fiber Directions 2001. The Wichita Center for the Arts, Wichita, KS (Third Place Award)
Sense and Essence: Four views: Diane Gilbert, Glen Peterson, Carol Rawlings, Bonny Stauffer. Yavapai College Art Gallery, Prescott, AZ
Four Fiber Artists: Jeanne Bartholomeaux, Emily DuBois, Diane Gilbert, Jennifer Sargent. Pima College Art Gallery, Tucson, AZ
Fiber Celebrated ’93. Nevada State Museum and Historical Society, Las Vegas, NV (Schacht Excellence in Weaving Award)
Paper/Fiber XVI. The Arts Center, Iowa City, IA (Handweavers’ Guild of America Merit Award)
Fiber Now 1993. Downey Museum of Art, Downey, CA
It’s Elemental: Wood, Fiber, Clay, Glass & Metal. Coconino Center for the Arts, Flagstaff, AZ (Best of Category & Special Award of Excellence)
Shuttles and Spindles IV. Yavapai College Art Gallery, Prescott, AZ (Best of Show)
Tempe Arts Center and Sculpture Garden, Tempe, AZ
Yavapai College Art Gallery Faculty Exhibition, Prescott, AZ.
Arizona Commission on the Arts Traveling Exhibition
Coconino Center for the Arts, Flagstaff, AZ
Fiber Celebrated ’87. Northern Arizona University Art Gallery, Flagstaff, AZ
Highline Community College Art Gallery, Midway, WA
Seastar Gallery, Bigfork, MT
Edmonds Arts Festival, Edmonds, WA (1st place)
From the Weaver’s Hand. Museum of History and Industry, Seattle, WA
ATEX Corporation. Redmond, WA
David Shaner, Bigfork, MT.
Joel Greene and Jean Mandenberg, Olympia, WA
Michael Jackson and Peggy McLeod, Seattle, WA
Joyce and Michael Johnson, Seattle, WA
Carol and Donn Rawlings, Prescott, AZ
Cathy LeVine and Dave Frechette, Prescott, AZ
Amy and Alen Snyder, Prescott, AZ
Sybil and Shelby Yastrow, Scottsdale, AZ
Barbara and Leonard Salonsky, Prescott, AZ
Naomi Lyons and Jeremy Cox, Prescott, AZ
Jan Marshall and Joseph McShane, Prescott, AZ
Frederik C. Weiland, The Netherlands.
Lee and Mike Cohn, Phoenix, AZ
Jane Ruth and Tim Hansen, Longmont, CO
Linda Saperstein, Scottsdale, AZ
Ann Graham, Mesa, AZ
Margit and Juergen Sattler. Cave Creek, AZ
Phoenix New Times. July 24, 2015. "9 Best Things We've Seen in Metro Phoenix in 2015--So Far" by Lynn Trimble.
Surface Design Arizona regional newsletter. Spring 2015. Featured artist.
Fiberarts Design Book Seven. Spring 2004.
Surface Design Association On-line Gallery. Winter 2004.
Surface Design Journal, Winter 2002. "Review of Fiber Directions 2001" by Michele Fricke.
American Tapestry Alliance: Tapestry Topics, Fall 2002. “A Weaver’s Journey to Color and Light: Conversation with Diane Gilbert" by Mary Dieterich
1977 M.A., University of Denver
1974 B.A., University of New Mexico
1988-2009 Weaving instructor, Yavapai College Art Department, Prescott, AZ
Frost (detail), 2006
Silk, sisal, raffia, plastic - 55" x 20"
Please see my earlier work HERE.