art, fiber art, Slow cloth, tapestry, weaving, Wonderfulness

A Trip to See the American Tapestry Biennial 11 in South Bend, Indiana


Dorota Wronska, “Dance”; Laurie O’Neill, “98% Water”; Sharon Crary, “It Seems to Be”

As many of you know, my tapestry “98% Water” was accepted into the American Tapestry Biennial 11 and the exhibition is traveling to three venues: the South Bend Museum of Art in Indiana, Mulvane Art Museum in Kansas, and the San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles in California. Indiana is closest to me, so I traveled to South Bend via Chicago for the artists’ reception last Friday.

Above: Mary Kester, Laurie O’Neill, Becky Stevens

The gallery area was spacious and it allowed lots of room for viewing the individual tapestries. Two other galleries there were part of the reception so we had a good crowd, excellent food, and great music. Connecting with fellow tapestry artists Mary Kester and Becky Stevens helped calm my jitters and I left feeling rejuvenated, ready to get back to weaving despite any obstacles, and best of all, I finally felt that my work belonged in the show. A huge weight was lifted from my soul. I did not realize how fearful I have been for months about this reception and how my work might be perceived. Mary Kester especially motivated me when she told me that she wove most of her multi-layered tapestry with her non-dominant hand!

Above: Ruth Manning’s “Social Graces,” Becky Stevens with “Read All About It,” and Mary Kester

Above: Mary Kester and her tapestry “Gavrinis Keep”

Here are some photos from the exhibition. I mostly took photos of details of the other tapestries, since I have a catalog of the show and I’m interested in studying the techniques of others. Now I realize that may not have been the best choice for blogging this experience for others, but it is a good thing that I am no longer thinking about what I will blog instead of being in the moment.


Above three photos: Barbara Heller,”Detritus” and details.

Above: detail from Cecilia Blomberg, “Point Defiance Steps”

Above: detail from Linda Wallace’s “The Journey Back”

Above: detail from Alta Turner, “Concession (Grudging) to Alzheimer’s”

Above: detail from Suzanne Paquette, “Cordes Sensibles”

Above: detail from Janette Meetze’s tapestry diary “Red Dirt Days, Journey through 2014”

Above: detail from Mary Kester, “Gavrinis Keep”

Above: detail from Gabriela Cristu, “Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun”

Above: detail from Becky Stevens, “Read All About It”, one of a series about climate change

Above: detail from Urban Jupena’s “Mt. Abu.” I think it’s obvious why I was fascinated with this one.

It was a great experience and honestly, it was worth the trip even if I hadn’t been in the show.

I started weaving on “Cathedral” again the morning after I got back. Will update soon.