Find Communities in Australia

Join activities, celebrations, study groups, spiritual empowerment and education programs for young people, and more.

Learn about the Baha’i Faith

Baha’i beliefs address essential spiritual themes for humanity’s collective and individual advancement. Learn more about these and more.

DISMISS MENU

Victoria O’Neill Loves People, Loves Sewing & Loves Making Art

October 20, 2022, in Images > Visual Arts, by

Victoria O’Neill’s whimsical art, that comes in a variety of media, is enchanting. Her Instagram account is filled with images of her creations: wearable art, paintings, and collages. We’re delighted she was willing to share with us about herself, what inspires her to create, and how art serves humanity. But first, here’s a small gallery of her work!

Prev Next
Image of

Can you tell us a little about yourself?

Artist Victoria O’Neill

I am part of a fabulous family including husband Patrick, our four children and three grandchildren. We all live within five minutes of each other in a town outside of Philadelphia (USA). I am a professional artist, working in various mediums for decades. I attended Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art for a bit, but was emphatically instructed by my painting teacher to leave before they “ruined your style” so I did.

Could you please tell us a little about your art?

I picked up a pen at the age of 16, started to draw and knew how. Drawing led to acrylic painting. I found an old quilt at a rummage sale and was inspired to make things out of cloth including sewing and selling wild patchwork hats, sculptural cloth dolls, paper and fibre collages, plus various wearable art clothing, purses and bracelets. My 2 foot long accordion colouring book features The Golden Rule from 9 different sources. (A needed reminder for all times, and especially these times.) It comes with coloured pencils and is a lovely activity for ages 5 to 100 and beyond.

What media do you use? 

Paint, paper, fabric, cardboard. I’ve lately been printing pictures and scans of my paintings and collages onto fabric, quilting them and embellishing with decorative stitching, sequins and glass beads.

What inspires you to create?

My imagination is very active and far reaching. I am inspired by being alive, feeling and seeing. I am 68 and have an abundance of creative confidence earned from years of experience. My huge studio is set up for just about any idea that wants to come to fruition. I recently learned how to write with my sewing machine and am currently integrating Baha’i Writings into fibre art pieces. 

What are some words of encouragement you might offer other emerging Baha’i artists? 

Keep learning. Be free, open and not afraid to “fail”, throw things away and start over, or even completely abandon. Keep moving!

How does art serve humanity?

Baha’i prayer in a matchbox

I love to serve humanity by bringing people together through the arts. I traveled around the Greater Philadelphia Area from 2003 to 2019 sharing my original 100% interactive theatrical storytelling events with schools, libraries, community centers, camps, churches, etc. I designed and created hundreds of beautiful costumes, props and puppets, plus percussion instruments for six different stories. Approximately 80,000 children and adults participated in these events over the years. The “audience” was IN the story in one way or another and told it together. The participants experienced unity in diversity and cooperation by being in all the stories. Afterwards they made a puppet to take home. 

I am a creativity volunteer in my town and for the Baha’i community, believing that it is my responsibility to share my God given talents with others. I created one of a kind fibre art pieces for 40 friendship style cloth bracelets made by Baha’i prisoners in Iran by sewing the bracelets into spirals onto nine pointed stars appliquéd on tapestry fabric. Each piece was matted, framed and sold as a fundraiser for Revel House in Philadelphia.   

Some examples of community involvement include the creation of a beautiful banner for a Diversity in Action group using a cloth world map, a painting on the front and back of a bathroom stall door for a community centre/homeless shelter, and gifted Baha’i prayers in little matchboxes to participants at a Black Lives Matter rally. I help out once a week in a mosaic workshop for a non profit organization. My traveling photo booth with the theme Flowers of One Garden was used at our local Baha’i Building Vibrant Communities Conference plus a few other events in my town. I create artistic group activities and implement them at various venues. I love people and I love making things with them!

Thank you, Victoria, for taking the time to share this with us!

You can find out more information about Victoria and her art online.

Posted by

Sonjel Vreeland

In her innermost heart, Sonjel is a stay-at-home parent and a bookworm with a maxed out library card but professionally she is a museologist with a background in English Literature. She currently lives on Prince Edward Island, an isle in the shape of a smile on the eastern Canadian coast. Sonjel is a writer who loves to listen to jazz when she's driving at night.
Sonjel Vreeland

Discussion No Comments

Leave a Reply

YOUR EMAIL WILL NOT BE PUBLISHED
REQUIRED FIELDS ARE MARKED *

"*" indicates required fields

Receive our regular newsletter

Join activities, celebrations, study groups, spiritual empowerment and education programs for young people, and more.

Find Communities in Australia

or Internationally

The arts and media have a critical role in how we share our community experiences. We’ve got resources, projects and more to help you get involved.

Visit our Creator Hub

Baha’i beliefs address essential spiritual themes for humanity’s collective and individual advancement. Learn more about these and more.

What Baha’is Believe

We acknowledge the Traditional Owners of country throughout Australia.

We recognise their continuing connection to land, waters and community. We pay our respects to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and their cultures; and to elders both past and present.

Baha’i Blog is a non-profit independent initiative

The views expressed in our content reflect individual perspectives and do not represent the official views of the Baha’i Faith.