Friday, August 6, 2010

Convergence 2010: Day 4, 5, 6

Day 4: July 23 Friday.

Another Breakfast presentation by Jill Heppenheimer, owner of the Santa Fe Weaving Gallery. Her shop carries one of a kind handwoven garments. What an excellent speaker. I wish we could get her to come talk to fibre artists here. Her talk was about how to get into a gallery, the pros and cons of being in a gallery; of accepting that its never a perfect arrangement but that one should choose stores/galleries that have the kind of work that is compatible with yours, and people who feel a connection to you and respect your work. Your retail price range must also match the stores/galleries price range. She stresses EVOLVING, to not disengage with your work, to feel passionate about it, to feel good about it and what you are expressing.

Tablet Weaving workshop at 9a.m. and Inge Dam, a fellow Canadian is the instructor. Inge demonstrates each step very well. My single biggest complaint about the workshops are that there are just too many registered for each one. Often there are 50 or more and I believe we definitely had that many. I find tablet weaving fascinating, and will be happy to impart what I have learned to others, however, it definitely is not my calling! I felt awkward working with the cards. I'm glad that I understand how it works and for anyone interested, it is amazing what one can create with this technique though you are limited in width.

In the evening I attended the opening for, Dialogues, a group tapestry exhibition at the South Broadway Cultural Centre. A great venue and the tapestries were flatteringly presented with suitable lighting and hanging devices. The work was thoroughly enjoyable by the artists Linda Wallace, Elizabeth Buckley, Lany Eila, Katherine Perkins, Elaine Duncan and Dorothy Clews. Linda and Dorothy had the decomposed/deconstructed tapestry pieces that were featured in FiberArts magazine recently, as well as other tapestry work. I am sorry not to have pictures to present on the exhibition but I stronly encourage people to look up these artists to see their work. Earlier in the week, I went to the New Directions in Fiber Art on Central Avenue in Albuquerque featuring the work of Jennifer Moore, among others.

Day 5: July 24 Saturday and July 25 Sunday
A two day workshop in Natural Dyeing with Liesal Orend of Earth Arts. Sooooooooooooooo much too learn and its helpful if one is chemistry oriented. It was fascinating to see what all the dye plants could do and how colours could be shifted with various mordants. Definitely easier for those of you who are scientifically minded (not I) however I don’t think I will let that stop me from wanting to continue practicing it and sharing it with others. It's amazing what we can do all in the name of weaving that is not directly related to it! Liesel did say that the natural dye plant extracts work quite well and are much less time consuming.

By Saturday I had somehow managed to have laryngitis so I was very disappointed I wasn’t able to take more time to get to know and befriend other tapestry artists at their Enchanted Evening gathering of tapestry weavers, which overall was one of my primary reasons for wanting to go to Albuquerque. There were also a couple of other matters that added to my disappointment in regards to the tapestry situation at Convergence this year. Usually the American Tapestry Alliance exhibit is held at the same time and location as Convergence but this year, the one year I could be there, and in addition a year in which one of my tapestry was selected to be in this year's ATA exhibit, the ATA exhibit will open in Lincoln Nebraska in September! It would have been so wonderful to see the exhibit of all the tapestries selected at this time. I hope that is a situation that will change and some kind of resolution can occur between both parties. It also troubled me to see that there were no workshops on tapestry weaving, techniques that can be employed or even on designing and tapestry.
From left to right: Tori Kleinhart, Kathe Todd Hooker, Diane Kennedy

I had a chance to pop into the William and Joseph Gallery in Santa Fe where the Small Expressions tapestries were on display. One had to go to the very back of the gallery in a small room one does not see from the front door......hmmmm.....I think they deserved more prominence in my humble opinion! They were exquisite and mostly whimsical little gems.

The Ontario Arts Council is an agency of the Government of Ontario