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Iona Zhang artwork at ArtWalk

Article Published: Oct. 29, 2009 | Modified: Sep. 7, 2011
Iona Zhang artwork at ArtWalk

ArtWalk is featuring new works from Iona Zhang, whose art celebrates the rich culture and traditions of her native country, China.

Her luscious, handmade jewelry and silk pieces include earrings, bracelets, necklaces, purses, fans, scarves or other hand crafted silk wares.

Iona Zhang was born in Suzhou, China, a historical city famous for its classical gardens and "Su" embroidery; the origins of this art form stretch back more than 2,000 years. Zhang developed her great interest in art and design from her grandmother, a famous engraving artist in China and acquired the skill of embroidery from her mother. In 1999, she became a student of Jinzhen Gu, a master of Su embroidery from whom she learned both ancient and modern styles of stitching. Zhang has long desired to display Chinese traditional culture and art to the world. Her artwork ranges from handmade portrait embroidery, landscapes and flowers; these exist as forms of their own, or as decorations to purses, jewelry bags, pillows and many other interior decorations.

Suzhou's wealth acquired from the silk trade since the 14th century attracted dignitaries, scholars and artists, who transformed the city into a flourishing cultural center in China. Elegant mansions and gardens were built, while top artisans weaved and embroidered for Chinese rulers and royal families across Europe. As a result, Suzhou was the economic center and largest city in China until the mid 1800s.

The lineage of Suzhou's past is reflected in Zhang's silk works, which include decorative pieces for the home. Her embroidery works are hailed as vivid, exquisite and creative. In 2001, her company, Erya Embroidery & Textile, was created to execute her desire to build a beautiful silk dreamland. Zhang immigrated to the U.S. in March 2009 with her unique skill and profound knowledge about Chinese culture and handicraft.

Iona Zhang's work is located on ArtWalk's main level. With three and a half floors and more than 300 local, regional and national artists, ArtWalk is located at 611 W. King St. (across from Mast General Store) Boone, N.C. 28607. Though ArtWalk is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 12 to 5 p.m, customers may shop all the time at the gallery's online store. ArtWalk continually welcomes new artists of all media and ages to inquire about individual gallery booths for rent. For more information, call (828) 264-9998, email ( or visit

Gallery Times
Gallery Times is a weekly news feature of the Focus section of The Mountain Times, featuring short news items submitted by local galleries.

For more information, contact entertainment editor Frank Ruggiero at ( or (828) 264-6397.

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