This is my statement from the show Interwoven Traditions: New Mexico and Bauhaus in Albuquerque (minus the Germany translation which you'll have to ask Cornelia for if you want it) at Open Space Gallery. A few people have asked me to post it so they could see it again.


i can't tell you who I was yesterday
everything i made this morning changed who yesterday was
today i made a tapestry while wondering about change and seeing
tomorrow's explorations may have different endings... or beginnings

a learning about collaboration
a movement through fear
a gleeful laugh of discovery
lifting a marvelous new color out of the dye pot
holding my breath as i pull a tapestry off the cloth beam at it's cutting off ceremony

i like putting individual threads together to make a crafted object that is also art
But mostly I revel in the journey.

The Bauhaus Project has been part of a creative three years for me. I have worked closely with other artists and learned about finding new paths together and apart. From the Bauhaus study I have learned about the importance of making things, of starting at the beginning, and of getting your hands dirty in the craft of the thing.

The Bauhaus was a school that challenged the way art was conceived and created. It was a place of people like Walter Gropius, Johannes Itten, Paul Klee, Gunta Stolzl, Josef Albers, Wassily Kandinsky, and Anni Albers. They were giants, and they were just people. They are still challenging me today.

Another Bauhaus Project Update

I have written a fair bit about the Bauhaus Tapestry Project that I am working on in conjunction with James Koehler and Cornelia Theimer Gardella. The project is in full swing and has several different facets. It is a mentoring project between James and Conni and I including study of Bauhaus principles and how those principles have impacted our current work as contemporary tapestry weavers. It also includes two shows in 2010. The first is in Albuquerque during Convergence and the second is in Erfurt, Germany. The project started as an idea of Cornelia's as 2009 was the 90th anniversary of the Bauhaus and includes drawing parallels between the Germany Bauhaus ideals and our current practice as artists in northern NM (as well as Cornelia's work in Germany). Please see our website for the project description and other details if you're interested HERE.

We are still looking for funding for this project. If anyone has any ideas of where to get about $10,000, please let me know! I'm not a grant writer and we seem to be running out of ideas. We have a fiscal sponsor but money for the arts is slim right now. Most of the money is for a catalog which will include photos and descriptions of our process and connections to the Bauhaus, for the travel to Germany, and for shipping work there and back. Info on our fiscal sponsor is on the Bauhaus Tapestry Project website.

Lastly, if you are a tapestry weaver and you haven't seen Silvia Heyden's article On the 90th anniversary of the Bauhaus movement: How the Bauhaus tradition has continued to inspire me for over 50 years of tapestry weaving, take a look at it. It is in the Winter 2009 issue of Tapestry Topics (newsletter of the American Tapestry Alliance) and can be seen online here. Unfortunately they were not able to put the entire text of the article online, so the combination of photos on the internet and the printed version of the magazine is needed.

Thanks also to Lyn Hart for her great review of the workshop Silvia presented in Mendocino in July. Reading these two articles made me wish I had been able to take this workshop with Silvia!

This photo is just to prove that I have been weaving. I need to get this piece and two more done before the show opens in July--and they have to be done early enough to get a catalog printed before Convergence! I have some work to do.

And lastly and completely unrelatedly--I was looking through one of my kitchen cupboards this morning and found some excellent potato specimens in a gorgeous state of growth. I didn't know potatoes could put out this kind of color! I was quite pleased... well, not pleased that I have to compost 6 big potatoes AGAIN, but very pleased by the purple shoots.

Bauhaus website launched...

The Bauhaus project, Interwoven Traditions: New Mexico and Bauhaus, has a new website (huge thanks to Kurt Gardella, Conni's webmaster husband!).
The link is :

This project is a group effort between Cornelia Theimer Gardella, James Koehler, and Rebecca Mezoff (that's me!), all tapestry artists living and working in New Mexico (and Conni also in Erfurt, Germany).

I am so excited about the progress on our project in recent months. Conni has worked very hard to get the shows firmed up and find us potential teaching spots in Germany. She is also responsible for the current project description (see PDF on website) and its German translation. Please take a look at the project description as I couldn't state what we are about better than Conni did there.

We are working on publicity and still looking for financial support for the project, especially for the printing of a catalog of the works for the two shows and the opening and potential classes in Germany. Espanola Valley Fiber Arts Center is our fiscal sponsor and any monetary donations can go to them (further info about donation will be on the website soon under "supporters").

The first show is in Albuquerque at Open Space Gallery (The 2010 gallery schedule isn't up on their website yet, but our show will be running July to August) in conjunction with Convergence 2010. The second show is in Erfurt, Germany, Conni's home town, at Michaeliskirche (St. Michael's Church). The opening there is the first weekend in September, 2010.

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend (in the USA--and a wonderful weekend in general elsewhere!). This picture was taken on the rim road west of the Rio Grande gorge driving north toward Colorado to have Thanksgiving with my family in the South San Juans.
Wheeler Peak and Taos, November 25, 2009.

Finally back on the loom...

I hate to admit it, but although my grandfather's loom came to me last January, and it has been in my studio put together for months, I have not yet woven anything on it.  I did a small piece on the Macomber (also from my grandfather) --that seemed familiar and safe-- but the Harrisville seemed like a large countermarche beast that needed taming before I could weave on it.  Turns out she is a gentle giant and so far I love her!

I could site endless excuses why my actual weaving in my own studio hasn't so much, well, happened in the last 8 months, but the truth is that life got in the way.  A shift in perspective is called for--weaving is necessary to my soul.  Making art and spending quiet time in my studio is of utmost importance.  Resistance is a creeping, insidious presence that will use any excuse to draw me away from the loom (oh, you're hungry?  Why not drive 10 miles to town to get a Sonic shake?  you have a hang nail on your pinky toe?  that might take several hours to remedy... etc.)

Back to the Harrisville Rug Loom:  For those of you who aren't familiar with this loom, it has a warp tensioning rod on the back that lowers as you weave so the back beam doesn't have to turn at all as long as your piece is less than about 8 feet long.  This feature I love.  It should make the warp tension fabulous... and so far it is!  My only complaint is the lack of locking treadles.  I know this loom was not designed for weaving tapestry, but locking treadles would sure make tapestry easier!  It is a high loom and I could probably rig it to stand and weave if it had locking treadles.

Anyway, I've started a couple quicker pieces for Weaving Southwest while thinking about a more complicated project for my shows next year.

Upcoming shows:
Speaking of which, I have two group shows scheduled in 2010.  The project is called Interwoven Traditions: New Mexico and Bauhaus.  I am working with James Koehler and Cornelia Theimer Gardella in a study of Bauhaus art theory and how we have used this theory in our work as tapestry artists both in Germany (Cornelia is a German citizen) and here in New Mexico.

The first show is in conjunction with Convergence 2010 which is in Albuquerque, NM in July. It will be at the Open Spaces Gallery in July and August 2010.
In September and October 2010 it will be at St. Michael's Church in Erfurt, Germany.  More details to come!
There is nothing so comforting as an old yellow lab sleeping in the sun next to your loom...

Bauhaus Project Update

I'm sure you've all been waiting with baited breath (or is that bated breath?  I inherited my father's spelling difficulties--and it is worse when I think about it!) for the update on the big Bauhaus project!  

But first, a tangent of course!  My website is sadly very very behind.  You can see it here.  The project description posted there has not been updated.  I am hoping very much to switch my website to a different host as the one I've been using frankly sucks rocks for Macintosh users.  And I certainly am not switching to a PC for the sake of a website!  I don't know why they can't make a sitebuilder work with Safari or Firefox, but they can't seem to do it.  So while I wait for the stretch of time and inspiration needed (and getting those two things to coincide is tough!) to rebuild the site on some kind of artist-friendly host, you won't find my website very up to date.

BUT that doesn't mean I haven't been working my toolies off!  My Bauhaus team
 of Cornelia Theimer Gardella and James Koehler have been meeting religiously (or at least regularly) to discuss all manner of interesting studies and work on pulling together 2 shows and workshops.

Our project has been extended a year and will culminate in 2010, not this year... something I think we are all happy about as 2009 is well into it's 3rd month already.  We have secured a venue for the show in Erfurt, Germany in September and October, 2010 and will be doing a show of our work there.  It is likely that there will be other weaverly events connected with this venue and/or city, so stay tuned!  (I know, it would help if my website was functional--sorry).  We are also looking at some options for the same show in New Mexico in the summer of 2010--so if you can't travel to Germany for shows and workshops, perhaps you can come 
and see us in Albuquerque or Santa Fe.

And lastly, I don't have any great pictures of Erfurt, Germany to lure you there (yet), so here is a cool photo of a petroglyph taken somewhere near my house.  I'm sure I couldn't find it again on purpose, but I know it is out there somewhere.  

And as a post script, can I just say that geez!  I wish "they" could decide to extend deadlines for weaving shows before I spend two long evenings swearing at photoshop and my crazy camera.  I just found out Fiber Celebrated (the reason I was trying to get Inscription photographed) isn't due until April 25th.  Heck, I could weave another whole piece by then!  Ah the joy of possibility and the pain of the late nights fussing with the camera.


In lieu of some bathroom humor involving some really excellent borscht, I have opted to post a photo of my newest piece.  You all can thank me at any time.  

I did the first panel of this piece last fall.  I was unhappy with the result and decided to do a second panel to "fix" some of the design problems I had with the piece.  Here is the result.  It is 66 inches wide by 47 inches high.  I'm not sure the black background is the best--and certainly the photographer needs some assistance.  Actually, a new camera would be a great asset.  I took this with my Pentax point and shoot and the zoom distorts the weaving--so every weaving I photograph looks like it is bowed.  I adjusted the horizontal panel in this photo pretty well, but the vertical panel remains skewed.  Hopefully a new camera will be coming my way soon so I can stop banging my head against my tripod in frustration late at night (a common photographing scene in my house as I take the photos after dark to try to control the light better).  In fact as I look at the photo downloaded here, it is extremely blurry around the edges.  I think I'll have to fix that before I send this file to a juried show.  I'll post a better photo when one materializes.

The title of the piece is "Inscription."  The piece was inspired by Anni Alber's thoughts about thread as text.  "Through her continuous investigation of thread as a carrier of meaning, not simply as a utilitarian product, she was able to create art that functions as a visual language..." (Anni Albers (by Nicholas Fox Weber and Pandora Tabatabai Asbaghi): Thread as Text: The Woven Work of Anni Albers, Virginia Gardner Troy, pg 28).  I have been reading about Anni and her work for the last couple years as part of the Bauhaus project I'm involved with--which I will update you all about soon!  As a big reader and a worshiper of the written word (as well as a person with a large book tumor growing in her home), I loved the idea of creating a weaving that the viewer scanned for meaning somewhat like one would read text.  This piece was the result.

Bauhaus Talks

I had a great trip to NM the end of May to continue working on the Bauhaus project with Cornelia Theimer Gardella and James Koehler. Conni finished the description of our project--she got the lions share of the work here as she was translating German to English and back again. Fortunately she is exceptionally good at this! Here is the link to the project description should you be interested:

Bauhaus project description

We are working on finding grant money to help us fund the project and also trying to firm up some show locations for the summer of 2009. We are hoping to get into a community gallery in Erfurt, Germany as our first stop. We'd like to find a gallery in New Mexico to hang the show in late summer or fall of 2009.