Tuesday, July 13, 2010

American Tapestry Biennial 8 Catalog

I received my complimentary ATB8 catalog recently; that’s because I am one of the lucky ones whose work was accepted for this, the Cadillac of tapestry exhibits. I know, it’s a weird analogy, but my father worked for GM his whole life, so humor me.

I don’t want to spoil the surprise for those who will see this exhibit or buy the catalog, so here is a TINY image of my tapestry. ATB8catalogTINY It’s Chaotic Fragments: Part 3, 14x14”

In the past, the American Tapestry Alliance’s prestigious, international juried ATB shows have opened during the big biennial summer weaving conference, Convergence, but this time a gallery could not be found at the conference venue, Albuquerque, NM. So the exhibit will open September 20-November 15, 2010, at the Elder Gallery, in Lincoln, NE, in conjunction with the Textile Society of America conference.

It will also travel to the American Textile History Museum in Lowell, MA, January 22-May 1, 2011.

It’s really too bad it won’t be showing during Convergence, since so many weavers will be in Albuquerque, and I remember gallery sitting at past ATBs, where many conference attendees told me it’s always their favorite exhibit. They will miss it this year.

Meanwhile, the catalogs have already been printed; they will be available at Convergence, and can also be purchased online or by mail through the American Tapestry Alliance website.

ATB8_tn It’s an excellent catalog. Technically it’s perfect: no typos, no errors, layout and print quality are perfect. 53 pages of tapestries in full color, YUM!

The front cover is a slightly cropped version of “Riverroad” by John Nicholson. The back cover is a detail from “Peggy” by Joanne Sanburg, and I have to confess, it’s one of the funniest tapestries I’ve ever seen, while irresistably sumptuous in color and texture. Tempted to buy the catalog?

The juror, Rebecca A.T. Stevens, is a renowned scholar with a deep knowledge of tapestry, and Consulting Curator of Contemporary Textiles for the Textile Museum in Washington D.C. Her essay is thought provoking. A second essay is by Paula Owen, president and CEO of Southwest School of Art and Craft. She writes about her 10 favorite tapestries from this exhibit.

I was very nervous that maybe the photo of my tapestry might be out of focus or something. In the past I have seen catalogs where one or two of the photos were not clear, but I was quite relieved to see how nicely my photo printed up.

I have entered this show many times before, but this is the first time I’ve been accepted. Submitting all the catalog information caused me a few moments of anxiety, because after all, once it’s in print, it’s permanent! IMG_2128

So I agonized over writing the artist statement and the brief bio, and which photo of myself to submit.

Here’s the original photo that I cropped to show just my face.

It’s me and my old 9th grade best friend, Dagge, when we reunited in northern Sweden last September. 

Old Friends ReunitedIt makes me happy to know that she was standing next to me when the photo was taken, even though you can’t see her in the catalog.


It’s as if she’s there holding my hand and keeping me company.

I chose the other one for the catalog because it’s more flattering, but I love this one with us laughing together, just like old times!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

No More Homework, No More Books

No More Teachers’ Dirty Looks!

Tanya samplerMy last tapestry class finished up a few weeks ago, so I guess it’s really summer vacation!

I’ve had a total of 14 students since January. The classes were 2 hours a week for 4 weeks, and were planned that way because people have a hard time committing to more than 4 weeks at a time. Elisabethfront

After the initial 4 weeks, most students opted to do another 4, because there is so much to learn.

It sounds like a cliché, but it’s really true: I did learn as much as the students.

ElisabethbackFor example, because it’s so difficult to weave a circle (and on these looms they only have 24 warps to do it on) I discovered it makes more sense to try a half circle first!

I’m looking forward to next fall when I can plan some more classes. IMG_5451



The hardest part is scheduling. Everyone has so many other demands on their time.

Here are some photos of tapestries by the students in my last class.

Tanya DolphinAll are samplers, in which students practiced weaving the basic shapes, rectangles, triangles and curves, plus stripes, pick and pick, and hatching.

The detail on the left includes an ancient Coptic dolphin.

Can you see it?  

Hint: it’s swimming in blue water!