Threads of hope
Local artist and holistic therapist Christa Seybold-Haynes holds her second fashion exhibit for peace
In a time when political unrest continues to grow in America from the threat of war with Iraq, Christa Seybold-Haynes is choosing to focus her energy on creating positivism and tolerance in the Chico community. Known for her “Fashions for Peace” and “Heart to Art” exhibit in September 2001, Seybold-Haynes will be presenting her second fashion design exhibit, “Colors of Chico—Celebrating the Beauty of Chico and Its People of Different Cultures,” in the Humanities Center Art Gallery inside CSUC’s Trinity Hall from Feb. 4 to 27. It is an invitation to the Chico community to celebrate life and diversity as well as to promote global peace and healing.
As a means of introducing her exhibition and showcasing her unique designs, Seybold-Haynes will be presenting a fashion show this Thursday, Feb. 6, from 5-7 p.m. at Trinity Hall. A special highlight of the evening is a live jazz performance by Haynes’ husband, renowned local jazzman Charles Haynes, with his ensemble.
Seybold-Haynes, who was born in Austria, is active not only in the art community, but also in holistic healing. She has a private practice in Chico, called Holistic Healing Arts, where she works as a holistic-health practitioner, reiki master, certified massage therapist, reflexologist, flower essence practitioner and licensed pastoral counselor. She also teaches health-and-wellness workshops through the Continuing Education Program of Butte Community College.
“Colors of Chico” contemplates the integration of various cultures and religions through fabric and fashion design. The exhibit is made up of two linear mobile rows that hang a total of 28 different designs. Each design is portrayed via a hanging profile of a human head and shoulder attached to an 11"x17” photograph of the outfit taken by Renee Suzanne Muir. Around each neck is a sample of the material used and an explanation about the spirit of the accompanying outfit. The walls of Trinity Hall feature more photographic works by Muir, information about the artists, and a guided, step-by-step process to “make your own dress in two hours.”
Seybold-Haynes’ creative fashion designs combine Oriental patterns with Native American and Buddhist symbols and Christian images as a means of advancing universal peace, awareness and compassion. One of her featured outfits, “Seven Generations,” embodies the Native American belief that every decision a society makes should be beneficial for the next seven generations.
Seybold-Haynes has been making her own clothes since the age of 14. She views her work not only as a creative outlook, but also as a tool for self-sufficiency. Like the bread she bakes every day, her handmade clothes bring healing empowerment to her life, she suggests.
“I want to encourage women. I want to empower them to find their own way of creativity. Not everybody is skilled or interested in making clothes. But one can be creative in different ways. Turn off TV, turn on creativity,” she says.
Seybold-Haynes does not sell her clothes, nor does she make clothes for other people. She views her work as a means for modeling her own creativity but insists she does not want other people to imitate her because “everybody should be himself or herself.
“In times like this, I want to make people think. Think about peace, think about healing, think about respect, interpersonal respect, interpersonal diversity. We’re all Americans. We live here. How can we have peace in the world if people in this country do not get along with each other?”
One of her outfits is particularly dedicated to the Chico Farmers’ Market. "For me, the Farmers’ Market is true patriotism, true democracy," she explains. "It’s freedom. All colors—black and white, brown and yellow and red—all the colors are together. This is Chico, and this is how America is or can be. And you do not need a lot of money. This is the message Chico has for all of America."