Q.- Which are the main difficulties for a weaver nowadays?
The world has embraced the fast-easy-cheap product, which frequently lacks beauty or life.
Perhaps economics is most difficult for weavers nowadays, but I think in the U.S. time is also a difficult issue with something like weaving that is so time-consuming. There are philosophical issues I see in the U.S. that make weaving difficult too, such as the belief in the need for a higher standard of living than is necessary. When people believe such things, it is difficult for them to understand what real *need* is. Many weavers in the U.S., like myself, have learned to understand that having less can make life better. In my case, it has allowed my husband and I to pursue creative lives.
Q.- And the advantages?
Oh, my, there are so many advantages to the life of an artist. I work with beautiful materials in a quiet sunlit room. Interesting people come to study with me from through the US and Canada (one person from Panama). I can plan my time and my husband is with me most of the time. My studio is in the largest room of my home. I contribute to a healthier environment by only occasionally using a car. My work is integrated into my daily life as I weave and prepare meals alternately. Primarily, though, I am able to spend most of my time with my soul. This, I think, is the most valuable advantage of being a professional artist.
Q.-Your favourite myth or legend?
I’m very fond of creation myths from throughout the world. The Native American creation myth held by the Lakota Nation was so much of interest to me that I wove a tapestry titled, “Lakota Creation Myth.” Several things interest me in this myth because they give a glimpse into the nature of the Creator:
A. The Creator sings to destroy the old world.
B. The Creator’s compassion for Kangi the Crow. Crows behave in ways that offend my sense of justice. Still, the Creator honors Kangi’s request to make a new world, albeit with conditions.
C. The Creator’s insistence on re-creating the world using existing materials, the mud of the chaos from the destruction of the previous world.
The Creator does not create a *new* world, but uses the past, that is history, as his basis for the new creation.
D. The Creator cries to create rivers and lakes when he finds that the new creation is lonely.
Vallejo, CA 94590 USA (northeast tip of San Francisco Bay)
707-554-4128, FAX 501-643-5964
SELECTED INVITATIONAL EXHIBITIONS
2008 TREND MEETS TRADITION: ETHNIC HERITAGE IN CONTEMPORARY ART, Cahoon Museum of American Art, 4676 Falmouth Road, Cotuit, MA 02635, Cindy Nickerson, Curator.
2007 THE ANNUNCIATION IN CONTEMPORARY ART, College of Saint Elizabeth, Morristown, NJ. Curator: Virginia Fabbri Butera PhD, Director, Therese A. Maloney Art Gallery.
2007 NATIONAL EXHIBITION OF FOLK-ART IN THE NORWEGIAN TRADITION, Vesterheim Museum, Decorah, IA. Curator: Laurann Gilbertson, Textile Director.
1997-1998 NURTURED BY TRADITION, sponsored by Vesterheim Museum, Decorah, IA, curated by Laurann Gilbertson, Vesterheim Curator of Textiles, and Carol Colburn, University of Northern Iowa
1995-1997 NORWEGIAN FOLK ART: THE MIGRATION OF A TRADITION, co-sponsored by The Museum of American Folk Art, New York, NY, and the Norwegian Folk Art Museum, Oslo, NORWAY – Dr. Marion Nelson, Curator, Professor Emeritus, previous Director, Vesterheim Museum
$500 JUROR’S CHOICE AWARD – Materials: Hard & Soft, Greater Denton Arts Council, Denton, TX 1993
$350 GRANT – Golden Gate Weavers, Berkeley, CA, to develop curriculum for Norwegian tapestry methods 1998
$200 AWARD – Muse of the Millennium, a National Juried Exhibition, Seattle, WA – Lloyd Herman, Judge 1998
American Tapestry Biennial I, Biennial III & Biennial 6 Catalogs, 1997, 2000 & 2006, respectively
Fiberart International 1999 and 2004 Catalogs
Fiberarts Design Book Six and Seven, Lark Publications 1999 & 2004
Perspectiv Magazine (Norwegian & English editions) No. 1, 1997
Norwegian Folk Art: The Migration of a Tradition, by Dr. Marion Nelson, Abbeville Press 1995