Desert Fiber Arts will be working with artist Ophir El-Boher on Section #8 of the The Exquisite Gorge Project II: Fiber Arts. Ophir is a fashion designer who works with upcycled materials.

Section #8 of the project encompasses the area of the Columbia River that extends from the John Day River to Roosevelt, Washington. Western Washington sends its garbage to the Roosevelt landfills area by train, while western Oregon sends its garbage to the Arlington landfills by 18 wheelers. Ophir intends to create a sculpture from all recycled/upcycled/stash-cycled fibers from area fiber artists and members of Desert Fiber Arts.

In June, Ophir met with members of Desert Fiber Arts in The Dalles to visit river Section #8. The next day Ophir met with members at the group’s Guild House to examine resources available and to explore the beautiful products created by the fiber artists of Desert Fiber Arts, exemplifying championship in reclaiming textile waste! In August Ophir will present her concept during the group’s general meeting.

Workshops will be held with Desert Fiber Arts September 8-10 to fine tune logistics and experiment with fiber and techniques. The project will continue with production of fiber-based parts through May 2022. The assembly of the parts into the final sculpture will take place in June 2022 with local exhibitions planned for July 2022. The piece will be installed with the 11 other sculptures at Maryhill Museum of Art on August 6, 2022.


Ophir El-Boher is a designer, artist, scholar, and educator focused on the environmental-social impacts of fashion and fiber arts. She creates innovative models for sustainable studio practice, extending the concept of upcycling. Inspired by natural and cultural systems, Ophir uses fiber arts as her medium to address contemporary issues.

Diverse cultural experiences and disciplines inform her questioning and retelling of cultural narratives. Her research investigates wearable objects’ values and ethics, as well as fiber arts storytelling. Applying systems-thinking and participatory-design, her work critiques and responds to fashion and fiber arts costs on humans and landscapes.

Through writing, public speaking, and teaching, Ophir promotes paradigm shifts for fashion’s role by providing creative alternatives to satisfy materialistic needs and desires; skill-learning, fashion-hacking, and DIY as active resistance to consumerism. She works through collaboration and communication hoping to lead a sea change and excite positive change.

Ophir holds a B.Ed in Interdisciplinary-Design and Secondary-Education from Kibbutzim College and an MFA in Collaborative Design from PNCA. Her lectures have won several contests and her work has been showcased in fashion shows, art galleries, and publications worldwide. She is excited about this avenue of collaboration, design, and pushing fiber arts.

Image above, from left to right: Ophir El-Boher, Pam Root, Karyn Watson, Cheryl Reed & Mary Fraizer. Photo courtesy of Desert Fiber Arts.