Best Of | Visual Arts

Scout Invie Crafts Stories of Loss and Resilience in Her Textile Work

Scout Invie in her Salt Lake City home. Courtesy the artist.

This has been a big year for Scout Invie, an emerging Salt Lake City artist. Invie studied English and Writing at Westminster College (during which time we’re proud to say she served as an editorial intern for 15 Bytes), where she graduated Magna Cum Laude. Post graduation, she spent a year in Spain teaching courses to elementary students in English, before returning to Salt Lake City, where she has worked at Modern West Fine Art and is currently a marketing specialist at Torrey House Press, a nonprofit press. Along the way, she has developed an intriguing artistic practice that incorporates her interest in textiles.

Primarily focusing on knitting, sewing, and other fiber arts, Invie’s work engages with the evolving narrative of the American West — its shifting climate and the complex tapestry of its environment. Her work and performances have been exhibited at venues like the Jewett Center for the Performing Arts, the 801 Salon, and Material Contemporary in Salt Lake City. In 2022, her talent was recognized with the Tier II Artist Career Empowerment Grant from the Salt Lake City Arts Council, a prelude to an even more promising year in 2023.

Charlotte Stehmeyer is enshrouded by Scout Invie’s textile work in the collaborative project Viriditas. Image credit: Sam Gray.

In March of this year, Invie met with Roxanne Gray, dancer, and director and curator of 801 Salon, and local musician Ben Swisher to discuss a collaborative project that would weave their individual disciplines. Along with dancers Masio Sangster and Charlotte Stehmeyer and musician Bly Wallentine, they came up with Viriditas. This project, funded by the Salt Lake City Arts Council and loveDANCEmore, with special support from John and Martha Veranth, played at several venues in Salt Lake City, including sold-out shows at Vis., followed by performances with loveDANCEmore at the Marmalade Library, at the University of Utah School of Dance’s black box theatre, Material Contemporary, and then at 12 Minutes Max at the Salt Lake City Public Library.

Invie describes Viriditas as a journey for the artists to decelerate and collaboratively explore their crafts, breaking free from the solitary progression often seen in art. “We all directed and worked fluidly and collaboratively through the entire process—there was no hierarchy,” she says. “I went to early dance practices which informed the way I crafted my fiber work from their movements. The dancers mirrored my felting and knitting movements in their choreography. Ben and Bly recorded me felting and incorporated the sounds of water and fiber into the music score for the piece. The dancers made music and sound at points during the live performance. We all performed together. We heard a lot from artists about how they thought Viriditas was beautiful and were inspired by the piece to work more collaboratively in the future.”

Stills from Scout Invie’s “Shrinking Lake” project. Image credits: Chelan Pleus

Invie followed up the success of Viriditas with “Shrinking Lake,” a poignant commentary on Great Salt Lake that garnered the FRIENDS of Great Salt Lake’s annual Alfred Lambourne Visual Arts Prize. For the work, Invie collaborated with videographer Chelan Pleus to capture the essence of her work. She knitted a loose corset that mimics the textures of the inland sea, relating personal loss and heartbreak to the sense of loss and impending trauma she felt upon returning to the Intemountain West. “I wanted to make a dress like Great Salt Lake’s ecosystem,” she has written, “a dress like my own internal solitude, a textile that doubled as a love letter …” In the performance captured by Pleus, Invie interacts with the unique ecosystem. She received the prize during a program curated by Holly Simonsen that featured several works by local artists underscoring themes of resilience in the face of environmental challenges. “All the work was gorgeous and during the program, I felt something I haven’t felt in all the recent years’ desperation about drought and the lake: community and resilience,” Invie says. “I am honored to have been the recipient of this year’s award and I look forward to seeing more work for the special and threatened ecosystems surrounding us in the coming seasons.”

In 2024, she plans on spending more time with Great Salt Lake and creating more fiber works aligned with the lake. “I’m looking forward to more collaborations among fiber and textile artwork, performance, music, and public artworks with incredible artists along the Wasatch Front.”

Still from Scout Invie’s “Shrinking Lake” project. Image credit: Chelan Pleus


You can see more of the artist’s work at and on Instagram.

Categories: Best Of | Visual Arts

Tagged as:

1 reply »

  1. While working at and with a variety of art venues, Scout has been an invaluable resource for those seeking information about, and contact with, other artists. Without her help, some of 15 Bytes informative articles would not have come about as they did. It’s great to see her own innovative art, produced during the same time, flourishing as well. Such inclusive, vertical integration permits the making of a whole layer of artist/professionals here that I doubt has much precedent in more competitive artistic scenes. They knit back together the fabric of a community that has recently seen divisions between official and private realms.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.