Thursday, October 14, 2010

Victoria BC, Fremont CA and ATB8 in Nebraska

Just back from a long trip. I was away for 13 days and it sure feels good to be home.Seattle-wake

The first leg was a flight to Seattle, WA, where my friend and fellow tapestry weaver Ellen Ramsey picked me up at the airport and treated me to a delicious dinner at Wild Ginger. I stayed at a downtown hotel so I could make the 8AM passenger ferry to Victoria BC. The weather was OK, but the views would have been better on a clear day.

reflectreedskywebIn Victoria I stayed with my Dad’s cousin, Kathy, who lives in a lovely little wooden house on a lake. I’ve heard about her my whole life, and we’ve been pen pals for a few years, so it was great to meet her in person. We had so much to talk about, since we have a lot of relatives in common: her mother and my grandmother were 2 of the youngest from a family of 14 kids. I spent hours sitting on the dock trying to get a photo of the huge turquoise dragonflies, but they would NOT sit still or even slow down. So instead I got lots of photos of the reeds and the reflections.Victoria-Royal-BC-Museum-To

I spent a few hours exploring the city of Victoria, which is really lovely. It’s the provincial capitol and has some gorgeous architecture. I was inspired by the First Peoples exhibition in the Royal British Columbia Museum. There is also a collection of totem poles outside the museum in Thunderbird Park; you can see an online exhibit here.Fremont-Cats-Ewok-and-Maya

Next stop: Fremont, California, to visit my daughter Zoe on her birthday. The weather was gorgeous, and it was great to see Zoe, her husband Jason, and the grandkitties.

I took the BART to San Francisco and the ferry to Sausalito one day, and met my cousin Posey.Golden-Gate-Bridge

We drove up to the Marin Headlands by the Golden Gate Bridge. The views are amazing from there.

Then I visited tapestry weaver and old friend Alex Friedman in her spacious studio.

Alex-3D Alex has been experimenting with 3 dimensional tapestry the past few years, this one is “Big Soft Flips,” 9x9”.

She was preparing to hang an exhibit, “A Show of Hands,” which is at the Gail Van Dyke Atrium Gallery, Marin Cancer Institute, Green Brae, CA until January 7, 2011.

Here’s the tapestry that is featured on the exhibit postcard. It is titled “Flow: Unfathomed.Alex-TapestryLast Wednesday I flew to Omaha, Nebraska and rented a car to drive to Lincoln. My purpose was to attend the opening reception of the American Tapestry Biennial 8 on Thursday evening. Zapotec-rug

I met friends Sue Pretty, Lany Eila and Elizabeth Quick, all fellow tapestry weavers and exhibit participants. The exhibit opening was planned to coincide with the Textile Society of America annual meeting.

We were not registered for the meeting, so instead of listening to lectures (some of which did sound very interesting), we visited some of the 32 exhibits in the area.

Our first stop was the TSA Marketplace in the hotel. It was hard to tear ourselves away, but luckily many of the vendors did not take credit cards, so we were able to get out before we bankrupted ourselves on delicious textiles.

 e_jan_lany I bought a lovely small indigo-dyed rug from Veggie Zapotec Arts. (It’s much more blue, but I took the photo at night….)

Then I bought a silk scarf from India, black with very thin white stripes. I always like to match my tapestry at the opening reception!

Next we drove to the Elder Gallery on the Nebraska Wesleyan campus, and had a nice, leisurely visit with ATB8.

ATB8-Wall-11 Since we were the only visitors I got a lot of photos without people in the way. This is an impressive exhibit, with a lot of variety. It’s never easy to hang such a show, but the 3 room gallery is very nice, and they did a great job.

My only complaint is that there were a few areas that were not quite adequately lighted, like the very top of this group, which is Archie Brennan’s tapestry. Below left is Janet Clark, then me on the right, then Pat Williams below.

Don’t forget you can click on the image to see it full sized.

ATB-8-Wall-12Top, left to right: Rebecca Mezoff, Lynn Cornelius, Joanna Foslien, Mary Zicafoose and Dorothea Van de Winkel. Below,  left to right: John Nicholson (above), Sarah Swett, Marie-Thumette Brichard, Marianne Haller (above) and Christine Pradel-Lien.

ATB8-Wall-4ATB8-WallTop, left to right: Anne Jackson, Ulrikka Mokdad, Lany Eila, Barbara Heller, Susan Hart Henegar.  Below, left to right: Susan Martin Maffei, Urban Jupena (above), Linda Rees, Kathy Spoering, Maximo Laura, Susan Iverson (above), Manuella Cocchis, Agneta Henerud

ATB8-Wall-8ATB8-Wall-5Top, left to right: Michael Rohde, Sarah Swett, Anne Brodersen, Ann Naustdal.  Below, left to right: Joanne Sanburg (above), Don Burns, Suzanne Pretty (FIRST PRIZE!), Inge Norgaard, Jennie Lee Henderson.

ATB8-Wall-9This is an interesting grouping, with a very large, 3 dimensional tapestry by Mary Kester and two tiny tapestries by Kathe Todd-Hooker. I think it works, but it looks a little shocking in the photo because you can’t see the space around them.ATB8-Wall-6

ATB8-Wall2Top, left to right: Jennifer Sargent, Elaine Duncan (above), Kristin Saeterdal, Jane Freear-Wyld, Becky Stevens (above), Christine Pradel-Lien, Jane Freear-Wyld. To see all the tapestries just buy the catalog, it’s a bargain at $20.

quiltdoll I didn’t mean to photograph the entire exhibit, but as our group moved around I shot photos of whatever was unobstructed. Later I realized I’d photographed almost the entire show, so I apologize to those few whose tapestries were left out.

Next stop: International Quilt Study Center and Museum. quiltdetail

This  modern museum on the University of Nebraska campus opened in 2008, and was on my must-see list. 

It was founded in 1997 when Ardis and Robert James donated their large quilt collection.

quiltembroideredWe saw an exhibit of ralli, kantha,  bullock covers and snake bags (really!) from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, and another exhibit of doll quilts.

Very inspiring.


quiltstitchOne of the South Asian quilts (above left) featured an unusual embroidery stitch, which I was wondering about, until I saw that it was illustrated on a poster. 

It’s the Hoormutch Interlacing Stitch. It almost looks like darning.

QuiltOur last stop for the afternoon was the Nebraska State Museum, to visit “A Turning Point: Navajo Weaving in the 20th Century”

This show displays some of the very finest Navajo weavings, curated by Ann Hedlund. Sadly, photographs were not allowed, but there are some on the museum’s website. MelissaCodyTapestryonloom

An extra attraction was the demonstration by Navajo weavers Melissa  and Lola Cody and Martha Schultz. I met Melissa at the Southwest Indian Arts Fair a few years ago, and was impressed back then by the large and very intricate rug she was just beginning. 

It was fun to catch up and see photos of the finished piece. I don’t think she has a website, but here’s a photo of her demo loom with a piece in progress.

ChaoticFragmentsPart3 Finally it was time for the ATB8 opening reception. There was quite a crowd, and a lot of the artists were present. Exhibit chairs Michael Rohde and Susan Iverson said a few words, then the artists were introduced, and the juror, Rebecca A.T. Stevens asked if perhaps we would each stand next to our tapestry so people could ask us about our work. I had a good time meeting new people. Luckily for me, my tapestry was right above Pat Williams’, so we had each other to chat with between visitors. Even the food was excellent. Who knew Petit Fours could be so moist? I had to try one of each flavor of course.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Tapestry Enchantment

In 2006 I attended the ATA Tapestry Workshop/Retreat after Convergence in Grand Rapids. I was in Jane Kidd’s class; she is a fantastic artist and teacher and was a big inspiration. After 27 years of weaving tapestries, I am not looking for a lot of technical help, but can always use wisdom and guidance. It was also a blast to hang out on a college campus with a bunch of other tapestry weavers.StJohnspondareaSo when ATA announced the 2010 program, there was no hesitation. I have never visited New Mexico before, and as you can tell from my previous posts, I was not disappointed one bit. In fact, I have promised to go back again, hopefully many times.

At the end of Convergence we hurried to St John’s College in Santa Fe to register and unload our luggage. The reason for the rush was  the opening reception for “Enchanted Pathways,” the biennial non-juried small format tapestry exhibit, that evening.

SF-CanyonGalleryThis exhibit was at the William and Joseph Gallery on prestigious Canyon Rd. What a road! Gallery after gallery after gallery!

As befits a small tapestry exhibit, the room it was in was also quite small, and full of visitors during the opening reception. We had to (or GOT to!) walk through the other rooms of the gallery and admire some amazing artworks. This exhibit continues to grow; there were 179 tapestries by artists in 12 countries, and 28 US states. The maximum size is 10 x 10 inches. 

There is a catalog for Enchanted Pathways, which can be purchased from ATA (American Tapestry Alliance), the sponsoring organization. As with all ATA projects, the work was done by dedicated volunteers. Letty Roller and her team did a fabulous job photographing the pieces and hanging the show.

SF-Jane-SauerI had enough time to make a quick visit to the Jane Sauer Gallery just up the road. WOW! I have never seen a gallery that included so many interesting artists in so many different media. Glass (I adore glass), paintings, sculpture, fiber, mixed media. I wish I’d had more time. The website says “At the forefront of innovation and excellence in a variety of media.” Yeah, definitely.

Back to St Johns, I loved my room. It was very plain, but very functional. White walls and floor, sturdy wooden furniture. Large desk and book case, adequate closet, bureau and bed. My window looked out onto trees and a distant view of the mountains.  StJohnsroom

We had perfect weather, at least if you’re like me and appreciate a good monsoon, which arrived at lunch time one day, and knocked out the power for a few hours. OK, weaving with no lights was a little challenging.

I have always been fascinated with St John’s College, with one campus in Annapolis, MD and the other one in Santa Fe. According to their website StJohnmonsoon3

“The all-required course of study is based on the reading, study, and discussion of the most important books of the Western tradition. There are no majors and no departments; all students follow the same program.

Students study from the classics of literature, philosophy, theology, psychology, political science, economics, history, mathematics, laboratory sciences, and music. No textbooks are used. The books are read in roughly chronological order, beginning with ancient Greece and continuing to modern times.”StJohnscampus

So nice to know there are still students interested in getting this kind of education, but of course, we were there for something else entirely.   

I took James Koehler’s workshop “Layers of Meaning.”  The other workshop was Lynne Curran’s “Hand and Heart.”  I wrote an article about James’s workshop for the ATA newsletter, Tapestry Topics. It should be coming out soon so you’ll have to read about it there. Koehlerloomcranbrook

I can tell you that I came home with a folder full of notes and handouts, and a head full of inspiration and ideas.

Although I was not in Lynne’s class, I enjoyed her slide lecture, and many nice chats with her, and with my fellow students . Koehlerstudio

A high point of the retreat was a field trip to James’s studio. 

We carpooled over there and admired his looms, yarns, workspace, tapestries, art collection and garden.

Koehleryarns2The only thing I regret was not having time for more explorations of Santa Fe, but that was my own fault! I’ll be back!