Tuesday, May 13, 2014

American Tapestry Biennial 10, San Diego

I spent the weekend in San Diego attending the first opening of the American Tapestry Alliance's premier tapestry show, American Tapestry Biennial 10. I was one of the co-chairs for this show so it was quite gratifying to see it hanging after all the hard work to get it there.

The reception was a great deal of fun. There were three New Mexico artists who were accepted to the show this year and all three were at the opening. Way to show up New Mexico! (myself, Cornelia Theimer Gardella, and Linda Giesen) Also, Canada made a good showing with both represented artists coming to the opening. Thanks to Christine Rivers and Suzanne Paquette for making the long trip south. Michael Rohde of California was able to represent California and a few other artists had visited the show the weekend before.

Note: These are snapshots I took at the opening. The lighting was low and I was not always able to get a square shot. Please purchase a catalog of the show to see the artist-approved images of their work. You can do so from the American Tapestry Alliance HERE.
Below is a video walk-through of the show. There is a long section of stills near the end of the video that give you some shots of the gallery and opening reception.
I was able to take some photographs when the gallery opened and enjoyed hearing visitor's reactions to various pieces. One of the greatest a-ha moments I overheard was about Michael Rohde's piece, Contemplation. I heard a group of fiber enthusiasts talking about the beautiful naturally dyed colors and the interesting way the squares were put together.
Then perhaps a half an hour later as the group was leaving the gallery, a few of them turned around and saw Contemplation from 20 feet away and there were large exclamations about the image in the piece. The thrill of discovery.

Cecilia Blomberg, Birch Rolls, detail
Joanne Sanburg, Home Sweet Home, detail
One of my favorite pieces in the show (though there are many many favorites) is Anna Kocherovsky's Wishing Well.
Anna Kocherovsky, Wishing Well, 24 x 47 inches, wool, metallic, cotton
Wishing Well, detail
Elke Otte Hulse's Tempos Heterogeneos 2 was such a fascinating piece in person. Of course I had seen the images of the piece often because this piece won the Second Place Teitelbaum award, but I didn't understand the weave structure until I saw it in person. She used a doubled warp and the faces are much more detailed than the rest of the piece. She also makes interesting use of fuzzier textures with what must be the fabric strips she lists in the materials.
Elke Otte Hulse, Tempos Heterogeneos 2, 26 x 31 inches, cotton, fabric strips, linen
Tempos Hetergeneos 2, detail
Another piece with some wonderful texture and structure changes was Jennifer Sargent's Shadow Warrior. I was fascinated by the double warp sett and the sections of plain weave. The textile was airy and completely gorgeous.
Jennifer Sargent, Shadow Warrior, 36 x 32 inches, linen, cotton, silk
Shadow Warrior, detail
Another favorite work in the show which I did not manage to get a good full shot of is Cornelia Theimer Gardella's Untitled #2 (Red, Blue). I really love her amazing use of color and you have to see this piece in person to completely appreciate its simple beauty.
Cornelia Theimer Gardella, Untitled #2 (Red, Blue), 26.5 x 40 inches, on left. (Other tapestries are by Elke Otte Hulse, Mary Lane, and Dorthe Herup)
Suzanne Paquette had come down from Quebec for the opening and it was wonderful to be able to to talk to her about her piece, Maisons. The color blending in this piece was lovely and the sett was large to accommodate many colors in the weft bundle. She talked about this piece being about her "second home" in Morocco and her home in Quebec.
Suzanne Paquette, Maisons, 54 x 20 inches, wool and synthetic fibers on cotton warp
Maisons, detail
Clare Coyle and Tommye Scanlin both had fascinating pieces and these photos don't do them justice at all.
Top: Clare Coyle, The Land Gives Us..., 4.25 x 22.25 inches, cotton, silk, linen, wool; Bottom: Tommye Scanlin, In Spirit, 26 x 23 inches, wool, linen
The Land Gives Us..., detail
In Spirit, detail
Here are some more works from the show. I would love to show you all of them as they are all marvelous in different ways. Go see the show or buy a catalog!
Connie Lippert, Wakulla (red line series), 32 x 24 inches, linen, wool, natural dyes
Lialia Kuchma, BluRose, 64 x 71 inches, wool weft, cotton warp
BluRose, detail
Joan Griffin, Forest Edge, 24 x 48 inches, wool, cotton
Christine Rivers, North Coast Reflections, 14 3/8 x 46 inches, wool and rayon weft, cotton warp
Margo Macdonald, Little Deschutes, 38 x 35 inches, wool over cotton
Kathy Spoering, October, 18 x 18 inches, wool weft, cotton warp
Annelise Kofoed-Hansen,  The Flying Umiaq 2, 39.4 x 45.3 inches, wool and flax
Inge Norgaard, Net Triptych, 10 x 49 inches, wool on cotton
This piece by Anna Olsson won the First Place Teitelbaum award. I love the simplicity of this piece and the social questions it asks.
Anna Olsson, Where have you been living since we last met? --Here and there, 31.5 x 39.4 inches, linen
Mary Lane, Untitled #140, 15 x 18 inches, wool, cotton, linen
The entrance piece for this show was Ulrikka Mokdad's Floating in Blissful Ignorance.
Ulrikka Mokdad, Floating in Blissful Ignorance, 50 x 33 inches, wool weft, linen warp
Floating in Blissful Ignorance, detail
And I felt very fortunate that my own piece was accepted to the show.
Rebecca Mezoff, Emergence VII, 44 x 44 inches, hand-dyed wool weft, cotton warp

And then I went and walked on the beach.
Christine Rivers, North Coast Reflections, detail

ATB10 will be traveling for the next year. If you can't make it to San Diego before the show ends July 20, it will be at Kent State University Museum in Kent, Ohio September 25, 2014 to January 4, 2015 and at Kaneko in Omaha, Nebraska February 6 to April 24, 2015. There is more information on the American Tapestry Alliance's website: http://americantapestryalliance.org/exhibitions/atbiennials/american-tapestry-biennial-10-2/


  1. Thank you so much for sharing! Many pieces speaking to me....

  2. This is a great treat for those of us who won't get to see the exhibit. Thank you, Rebecca! Very inspiring!

  3. Beautiful works! Thanks for sharing

  4. The show is amazing. Thank you so much for sharing it. Wish it would travel to Chicago!--Karen Maddi

    1. Chicago would be a great place for this show! How far is Kent, Ohio? :)

  5. Thanks for sharing this with us Rebecca. It looks like a stellar show!

  6. The photos are great Rebecca. What an amazing body of work! It's all very inspiring, but at the same time, I can see I have a long journey ahead of me. I'm planning on having fun every inch of the way.

  7. Oh how I wish this show was coming to British Columbia! Thank you for giving us a taste. Rebecca, I am so thankful to have stumbled on your site right when I did. Your own aesthetic is so inspiring, and you are a wonderful teacher. And like all wonderful teachers you expose us to the great potential out there. I feel so blessed to be able to learn the technical foundations that make these results possible - from you. Now I'm gonna go google the Canucks! (Canadians if that's not obvious.)

  8. Wish this show would travel to Boulder...some wonderful work. Thanks for the photos.

  9. What a strong show! I wish I could see it in person!

  10. Trish at Tangled ThreadsMay 19, 2014 at 8:42 AM

    The work is wonderful and inspiring - as others have said as well. I would like to add that I thank you for your volunteer work for ATA and for this exhibition. Without volunteers organizations such as ATA would not survive. It's not the only one, of course and volunteers contribute to many great causes. But your willingness to put in time as co-chair has helped this exhibit get onto the walls. That lets the artists showcase their work and get tapestry known to a wider audience. Thanks.

    1. Thanks Trish. ATA does run on volunteers and we need plenty of them! This project was a very big one, but it was rewarding also.


This blog has been moved to www.rebeccamezoff.com/blog. Please visit there to comment.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.