Cutting the ties that bind: An Oklahoma artist known as the ‘scarf lady’ branches out

Great State
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OKLAHOMA CITY, OKLAHOMA -- She walks the silk road from worm to wearable.

To Diane Coady it's a worn path.

From binding her fabric to dyeing it, creating intricate folds and discovering patterns.

Diane explains, "Because they're tactile. I think a woman, when she feels good and has something soft around her neck, she emanates that."

But in all that time, as Coady made her scarves, she got caught in their web, tied up, restrained from telling her own story as an artist.

"I've been known as 'the scarf lady' for 25 or 30 years," she smiles. "But it wasn't telling enough of a story. So this show is about the larger picture."

So she cut through.

Flying Solo is the title of an art show at the IAO Gallery in Oklahoma City.

Diane wanted to tell stories so she wrote poetry.

She painted, and she brought silk along, this time, to suit her own purposes.

Coady says, "I think I learned not to edit myself in the way that says, 'don't do that. that's stupid'. I think, for an artist, that is a big leap."

Most of her silk here isn't wearable.

It's transformed into flowers, fish, even boats.

It hides the watcher.

Silk is the phantom shadow you see from the corner of your eye.

It's the dust bunny that sweeps your dreams up just as dawn breaks.

Artists tend to work in solitary, but the best art isn't just something you hang over the couch or wear around your neck.

The best art tells a story that makes a connection.

Coady insists, "We do have to tell our story somehow."

For more information about "Flying Solo" or the IAO Gallery go to

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