The show is called Warp and Weft and to qualify to enter, you simply had to have had a class with me in person or online. The show looks beautiful. I'll have a full report after I visit in person for the opening in August. If you do go and see it, please share your thoughts!
Exhibition dates: July 16 - August 24, 2018
Opening reception: Tuesday, August 14th, 6 pm
Address: 483 East Lockwood, Suite #108
Webster Groves, MO 63119
I’ve been a teacher in some form for most of my professional life, but I’ve only been teaching tapestry for eight years. The growth that has happened in my own knowledge of tapestry practice and in my abilities as a teacher has grown exponentially in that time. I’ve gone from an apprentice to someone who appreciates other artist’s practices, but has confidence in her own and can teach others to follow their own paths.
Fiber artists are creative and every day I see something unique and inspiring from one of my students. Sometimes it is a fully-formed tapestry. But often it is the small seed of an idea that someone is trying out in a sampler. My job is simply to offer a little oxygen and water to that seed and encourage the idea to grow and perhaps become something marvelous. One idea leads to another, and a little chain of successes can lead to a whole body of work which enriches the maker and the world.
I’ll also always be a student myself. One of the greatest things about teaching is learning from my students. They certainly teach me how to be a better instructor. But they also teach me to delight in discoveries, to experiment with unexpected ideas, and to continue to make work myself. The results of their commitment to the practice are on the walls of this gallery.
When Webster Arts proposed this show, I jumped at the chance to showcase some of those unique and inspiring works. As a new maker of art, it is really difficult to find the courage to put your work out there for everyone to see. Many of the artists here have never shown their work anywhere before. I applaud their courage in applying and congratulate them for their marvelous success. Every piece in this show is full of the seeds of future tapestries.
Because a lot of my teaching is online, I often find that I teach someone a few techniques and then I don’t hear from them for a while. A few weeks or months later, there will be a photo in one of the courses of a tapestry. They’ve taken those techniques and made something that is completely their own. This is how art changes the world. One idea and person at a time.
I am filled with gratitude to Webster Arts for hosting the show, to all of my teachers for starting me on the path, and to my students for bringing so much joy to my life. I couldn’t be more thrilled to see work from 20 states and 3 continents in one place. Bravo!
Keep weaving! Love, Rebecca
I was interested in the concept of this show partly because I wanted to encourage tapestry weavers to enter shows. Some of the artists in this show have been weaving tapestry for a very long time and are no strangers to showing their work. But when you're newer to the art scene, as some of the participants are, putting your work out there can be very intimidating.
So I applaud the courage it took for some of these people to enter this show. And I applaud the work. These tapestries are all adventures in learning and I hope they are seeds for future work.
I am also thrilled at how the work showcases the expanding abilities of tapestry weavers: from people who have only been weaving tapestry for a few months to those that have been at it for decades. I hope it encourages these artists to continue working and helps others consider entering their work in a show somewhere.
Most communities have venues where art is shown. Reach out and see if they want to show your work. Or watch for shows that resonate with your style and purpose and enter. Not only will it help tapestry reach a wider audience, but it will improve the quality (and likely quantity!) of your own work.
I'm looking forward to my trip to St. Louis to see the show in person. I hope to see you at the opening on August 14th, but if you can't make it then, please visit another time!
And if you'd like to join this fabulous crew of tapestry weavers, consider THIS!