On Sunday, March 6, TASA and the Southeast Fiber Arts Alliance (SEFAA) sponsored a joint program by Lori Gann-Smith on textile conservation. Lori is the chair of the department of art and design,the fashion design program director curator and historic clothing collection director curator of Brenau University. Lori shared her knowledge of techniques to care for heirloom clothing and textiles. She discussed the basic ways to stabilize and store textiles. Several attendees brought fragile and or damaged vintage and antique textiles for Lori to examine and suggest ways to preserve or stabilize.
Submitted by Gail Goodwin
Currently on exhibit at the Hammonds House Museum in Atlanta, Cultural Diagnostics: The Imprint of African Textiles and Objects, featuring works from TASA Member, Michael Mack’s extensive textile collection. The exhibition closes on May 3, 2015.
From the Hammonds House website:
The art and artifacts of Africa reflect strong traditional cultures, an affinity for decorative utilitarian materials, and an evidence of deeply rooted generational aesthetics. Historically in Africa, art was seldom used for decorative purposes, but rather to give life to the values, emotions and daily customs of the various ethnic groups throughout the continent. Different materials used to make and define various pieces of African art were determined by location. However religion was the common thread that made African art and culture the perfect team. Masks, sculptures, textiles, weapons, ceramics and many other items were created with the purpose of providing insight into the unpredictable unseen world.
Culture is the history, practices and beliefs that make up a society and it is evident that African art and culture are one and the same. This exhibit provides a path to increased understanding and appreciation for African art through a historical cultural lens. The exquisite pieces painstaking and strategically acquired by avid collector Michael Mack require the viewer to step beyond aesthetics to focus on cultural awareness.
Submitted by Gail Goodwin & Michael Mack
On April 26 and 27, 2014, Decatur’s Mingei World Arts Gallery owners, Ann VanSlyke and Ellen McFee, and TASA members Barbara Sherman and Junco Sato Pollack hosted a weaving demonstration by the Burmese Karen women. The refugee women set up their backstrap weaving looms, yarns, and market bags for sale in Mingei’s outdoor courtyard.
Junco, who also answered questions about the future of this project, has worked with the women to create various marketable fabrics and products. The collaboration begins with Junco producing a design sketch with assigned colorways. Artisan Weaver Pa Taw produces one design from it and moves on to improvising and interpreting in the Karen style. She then creates individual warps and sends these to others to weave on their own looms. Junco accompanies Barbara Sherman on her weekly visits, to discuss colors, tools and techniques. The vision is ultimately to leave the designs and yarn selections up to the Karen weavers themselves as soon as they gain experience in the marketplace.
The Karen Weavers Workshop (KWW) was established in 2013 by two women who are members of the Textile Appreciation Society of Atlanta (TASA), an organization promoting an appreciation of the textile cultures of the world. There are many thousands of refugees within the Atlanta metro area and Clarkston, Georgia, in particular. One very fine group of weavers, originally from Myanmar, is the Karen. The Karen women’s traditional weaving techniques and designs have been passed down for generations. KWW’s goal is to encourage support and preserve this wonderful cultural heritage. The Workshop also hopes to be able to provide a sustainable income for the weavers by marketing their products through the Women’s Cooperative at the Clarkston Community Center which believes that collaborating and marketing as a community will translate into success for all artisans.
Submitted by Gail Goodwin & Junco Sato Pollack