Wheat weaving, Blue Marsh exhibit at Berks Ag Center in February

Submitted photo Berks Agricultural Resource Network members visited the Blue Marsh: Landscape Lost exhibit when it was on display at the Perkins Center at Penn State Berks in September 2013. A portion of the exhibit is now at the Berks Ag Center for visitors to view.
Submitted photo Wheat weaver Linda Beiler of Honey Brook has incorporated traditional straw hat plaits into her artwork made from real wheat, now on display at the Berks Ag Center until Feb. 28.

Linda Beiler’s wheat weaving creations are back at the Berks County Agricultural Center, according to Sheila Miller, agricultural coordinator for the county. Beiler’s work had been displayed for the first time last summer and was so well received that she agreed to come back following her exhibit at Farm Show in January. This exhibit features artwork that incorporates traditional hat plait patterns from various parts of the world. These patterns were used to create hats for women and Beiler felt they would be both educational and artistic if she included them in her pieces.

Beiler’s artwork is made from stalks of wheat that she transforms into intricate designs through weaving. “Wheat weaving is an ancient folk art which celebrated a successful harvest,” explained Beiler, a juried member of Reading-Berks Guild of Craftsmen, Lancaster Designer Craftsmen and the Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen.

Beiler noted that she was first introduced to wheat weaving in 1994. In 2009, she published a book, Wheat Weaving & Straw Art as part of Stackpole Books’ Heritage Crafts Today Series. She teaches and demonstrates straw art to students of all ages. Beiler and her husband, Joe, live in Honey Brook. Her work will be on display at the Berks County Agricultural Center until Feb, 28 and is for sale during regular office hours.

The Ag Center is open Monday through Friday. Visitors can view the exhibit free of charge between the hours of 8 a.m. and 9 p.m.

Also on display at the Ag Center in February is a portion of the exhibit Blue Marsh: Landscape Lost which tells the story of displaced farm families as a result of the construction of the dam. It is on loan through the cooperation of Marilyn Fox, director of the Freyberger Gallery, Perkins Student Center, Penn State Berks Campus. It will be on display until Feb. 28.