Tuesday, January 22, 2013

ATB9 goes New Mexico

I have a few more thoughts about the work I saw at ATB9 last week at the Fort Wayne Museum of Art. I thought I'd start with the two artists from my home state of New Mexico: Mary Cost of Santa Fe and Donna Loraine Contractor of Albuquerque.
Left to right: Fractured Square Series: Reds, Blacks & Golds, Square by Donna Loraine Contractor; When Fortune Flowers by Lindsey Marshall; Etude 3 by Joyce Hayes; Semblance of the Ancient Ones by Tori S. Kleinert; Skyscape by Mary Cost
Mary Cost and I worked with James Koehler in Santa Fe. I have enjoyed watching Mary's work blossom over the last few years and I really love her architectural pieces like this one.

Skyscape; 53.5 x 38.5 inches, hand-dyed wool, cotton
I love Mary's hand-dyed yarn. The subtle variation of color in the yarn makes the surface look alive and is perfect for her depiction of traditional adobe stucco walls. I also like the way she highlights the top of certain forms with a brighter color.
Skyscape detail
Donna Loraine uses a finishing technique that is possibly derived from the traditional Hispanic weaving from New Mexico. She braids the warp and leaves this fringe visible. I love the subtle stripes that she uses throughout the piece. I believe she uses tapestry yarn that is hand-dyed by Weaving Southwest.
Fractured Square Series: Reds, Blacks & Golds, Square; Donna Loraine Contractor, 37.5 x 39 inches, wool, cotton
Reds, Blacks & Golds, Square detail
Donna Loraine uses dovetails for her joins. Mary Cost uses the James Koehler interlock join that I detailed in this blog post earlier in December 2012. I found the joins in both of these pieces to be important to the overall look of the piece.


  1. Rebecca,
    Thanks for that wonderful post and sharing those tapestries. I will not be able to see ATB9, so it is lovely to see these pieces.

  2. Thank you, Rebecca, for sharing these posts. Great to see the overall show as in your video of the other day and now the up-close insightful comments and photos on these wonderful weavers. Great for those of us who will not be able to see the show in person.

  3. as always with photographed tapestries happens they are way more interesting in person. they both are 'seamless', perfectly smooth, quite thin, but coarse texture of very thin wool yarn makes them feel richer adding visual depth. and illusion of it is very strong.
    as always, I love your post, Rebecca, thanks!


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