She is fiber artist, quilter, mixed media, installation artist and writer who creates art from vintage fabrics salvaged wood and objects which have no obvious use. In this way, she stays true to her goals of reusing all potential resources in unique and artful ways.
Her work is organic in nature and her processes while planned out allow for improvisation, and for so-called “mistakes” to become artistic “opportunities.” Her students are called on to create within a model, but to totally own and understand how they got to the end product.
While holding a degree in journalism, the visual arts became her main passion 20 odd years ago. Mainly self-taught, she has won local and national competitions such as the Art of Can hosted by Red Bull. Ms. Bethea has also held art residencies since 2006 with such organizations as The Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, Construction Junction and Pittsburgh Gateways. She also received an award from the Pittsburgh Technology Center as the Director of the Geek Art/Green Innovator’s Festival which for the past four years has showcased innovations in art and technology.
Visiting the site in advance and interviewing the teachers from the classrooms in which I will teach, has become a tool for me to retro fit my curriculum into what is currently occurring in the school. The students then feel more comfortable with my art program and will be more engaged. Where there are potential tie-ins, I have the students tell me what they are doing in that subject and then explain how what I am doing fits in. This works well with every subject matter from math, to science. For example in one history course, students were learning about timelines. I had the children create a timeline based on family events and they added this research to their art project.