Educated at Dalhousie University, in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Elizabeth Neily received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Anthropology in 1974 before studying design at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design.
After moving to Florida in 1980, she made it her mission to learn about Florida’s natural and cultural history. She eventually became an artist-in-residence at the Science Center of Pinellas County, traveling to Pinellas County Schools to talk about 16th-century Spanish encounters with the Tocobaga Indians.
She designed reproductions of 16th-century clothing for the DeSoto National Memorial in Bradenton. She was awarded a Pinellas County Individual Artist’s grant to purchase a new sewing machine for her work.
For the Viva Florida 500 celebration, she created Fabrics of Change: 16th Century Clothing 1500-1600, that included lectures, fashion shows, and workshops, funded by a Florida Humanities Mini Grant.
In 2013, she and a friend opened a yarn shop in Gulfport, where she spun, wove, dyed yarns, and offered classes until it closed in the Spring of 2020. Elizabeth teaches classes at art centers and for private groups. She exhibits at galleries and museums around Florida and works on special projects for Florida CraftArt.
I watch the news then make pretty things. I live in Gulfport where I spin, weave, dye, and sew to create decorative and wearable art. Thread-painting provides me with the opportunity to explore my thoughts and feelings about the world in which I live. It’s my way of staying in the moment, to not ruminate about the state-of-affairs that we are bombarded with daily by the media.