Hi, I’m Barb Sayles and I’ve been serving as the treasurer of the NVCAC for many years. I was born in Merritt and was raised in the Nicola Valley on our family ranch along with my four siblings. After high school, I took one year of Commercial Art at Cariboo College (now TRU) but never worked in that field. I eventually moved away and lived in Penticton, Kamloops, Vancouver, Calgary, and Alaska. Merritt called me home when my parents got older and it seemed like a good place to raise my two boys. Most of my working back ground was in adminstration and office management. After a long day in the office, it was nice to come home and do something creative so I dabbled in spinning, weaving, natural dyes, pottery, lace making, needlework, doll making and have always had an interest in home decor.
It’s hard to believe now but when I was a kid there was no television in Merritt until the early 60's when Craigmont Mine opened. As a kid, I spent a lot of time with my grandmother. Grandma was a great believer in keeping little hands busy so I learned to knit, crochet, sew, quilt, and embroider at an early age. My mother was always sewing and painting with oils or water colour and my older sisters encouraged me to draw and paint. We made paper dolls and dressed them (cut outs). We all learned to cook. I've been very fortunate to have very good role models in my life – Mom, my grandmother, sisters, aunties and a very influential teacher, Miss Bauer who taught Home Ec.
Nowadays, I make quilts that are hand piece and hand quilted, make slip covers and small upholstery projects, knit, and draw with water colour pencils. I've enjoyed my involvement with the Nicola Valley Community Arts Council, combining my administration and bookkeeping skills with my artistic abilities. Art has always played a role in my life. There’s a place for everyone in the Arts Council, why don’t you discover your inner artist and join us?