Ylvia Asal was born in the Black Sea area of Turkey. She believes she was actually born an artist. With this in her heart, she focused her entire education and life experience on honing that aspect of her life. Her formative education, at the Girls' Technical and Vocational High School, was followed by an intensive arts program in Istanbul, focusing on technique and design, along with accounting [she believes math is a form of art as well].
As a multi-media artist, Ylvia works with a wide array of mediums: sculpture with clay, wax and fabric (soft sculpture), painting, and textile art such as working with fabric and yarn. Ylvia also gives new insights to nature, people and shapes in her photography. Her studio is always filled with music she loves, and you will discover that she is a singer, dancer and musician as well. Her greatest passion is ‘making lace’, which is a centuries old technique of creating hand-made lace. The skills required to master this art have been handed down from generation to generation.
A decade ago she began creating one-of-a-kind pieces of wearable art in this age old tradition. She has modernized the look, but stayed true to the techniques she perfected on her own. The result is a beautiful collection celebrating this unique fusion.
Her life in the United States took her to Business Accounting school in Philadelphia. In 2012, she opened her art business, Anatolia Art and Crafts Studio, in Ventnor City, NJ., subsequently relocating to The Noyes Arts Garage of Stockton University in Atlantic City, NJ. In 2014 she exhibited for ArtPride NJ at the NJ State League of Municipalities Conference in Atlantic City, NJ, gifting the organization with an embroidered NJ State Municipalities 100 Years Anniversary flag. She designed storefront windows in Atlantic City, NJ as part of the Atlantic City Main Street Program and embellished the Noyes Arts Garage by yarn bombing. She taught lace classes for one year at the Stockton Center on Successful Aging (SCOSA), as well as knitting and crochet classes at The Noyes Arts Garage of Stockton University and crochet and belly dance at the Ventnor City Cultural Arts Center.
In 2015, Ylvia received the New Beginnings Awards from the State of New Jersey as well as an award for Outstanding Achievement honoring her for her art business. The following year, Ylvia participated in two entrepreneurship conferences in Turkey, where she gave a series of presentations on her own journeys through the art world, and the business of art. She enjoys sharing her experiences in creativity with audiences in order to inspire other artists and entrepreneurs.
In 2018, Ylvia has been involved in many exciting new projects. She was honored to be chosen as a NJ Council for the Arts Fellow and as one of 20 South Jersey artists to participate in the Creative Capital program. She was invited to participate in the Tastefully South Jersey exhibit at the Perkins Center for the Arts in Collingswood, NJ where she demonstrated different aspect of Turkish culture as part of this multicultural program. She has been a Teaching Artist in Belly Dancing, Lace Making, Embroidery and the Art of Turkish Food at the Perkins Center for the Arts in Moorestown, NJ, as well as local art centers such as the Voorhees Arts Council and the Lyceum Hall Center for the Arts in Burlington, NJ.
In November 2018, Ylvia relocated her art business to Downtown Haddonfield NJ. This large space serves as a marketplace for her handmade products as well as a workshop space in which she offers classes in Knitting, Crochet, Lacemaking and Embroidery. In addition, visitors to her shop can see museum-like displays of antique embroidery and lace, as well as have the opportunity to purchase the artwork of local artists.
In April 2019, Ylvia was honored to participate as Artist in Residence at Rutgers University, presenting and demonstrating the art of Anatolian Lace "Oya".
She was also a Heritage Exhibitor for the 45th Annual New Jersey Folk Festival in New Brunswick.
Ylvia is always looking for new opportunities to share her ideas and her love of the arts by exhibiting, teaching, participating in and partnering with other artists, communities and cultural organizations.