Join the Textile Society of America for this online colloquium showcasing (re)claimed stories/narratives and histories of textile creation, practice, and study. In these presentations and panel discussions, innovative artists and scholars will discuss textile histories and practices of American communities traditionally underrepresented in the political and cultural landscape. Offering insights that often challenge mainstream academic discourse and longstanding frameworks of knowledge, these speakers will underscore the plurality of textile histories, producers, and purposes while advocating for more inclusive approaches in the textile field. The series is conceived of as an ongoing conversation with the presentations building on one another, and it is suggested that TSA members engage with the entire series as they would approach a day-long conference. This series is generously supported by the Lenore Tawney Foundation as part of their ongoing commitment to ensure access to critical voices of the textile community.
There are four one-hour sessions in this series, the first in April followed by sessions in May, September, and November. The registration fee is $10 for TSA members and $15 for non-members.
Session 3: Cripping Disability: Transforming Meanings and Practices Through Textiles
Tuesday, September 27, 2022 / 7:00 pm EDT/ 4:00 pm PDT
Disability art is a burgeoning arts sector throughout North America that takes the experience of disability as a creative entry point. Through creative practice, disabled, mad, and Deaf artists challenge normative ways of understanding disability by representing their embodiment in agentive, intersectional, nuanced ways that are driven by, and authentic to, their lived experiences. Engaging these themes, this panel– facilitated by disability arts curator Eliza Chandler— will feature three disability artists: Vanessa Dion Fletcher (Potawatomi and Lenape), Birdie, and Jessica Watkin. In conversation, these artists will introduce their textile practices in relation to disability arts and “crip cultural practices” — accessibility practices born out of disability culture that center disabled people — and discuss how these practices can productively reshape how we create and exhibit textile works. They will also discuss how their practices crip and decolonize meanings of disability, offering an understanding of disability and neurodivergence as an identity and creative force rather than pathology.
Session 4: (re)claiming our past, present and future by writing, telling and living our own stories
Tuesday, November 1, 2022 / 7:00 pm EDT/ 4:00 pm PDT
November is American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month and offers an opportune time to educate the public about tribes, to raise general awareness about the unique challenges Native people have faced, both historically and in the present, and the ways in which tribal citizens have worked to conquer these challenges. It is also a time to celebrate diverse cultures, traditions, languages, arts, stories, and histories and to acknowledge the important contributions of Native American, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian, and Island communities and ensure their rich histories and contributions continue to thrive with each passing generation.
As we collectively welcome American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month, fifth-generation Diné (Navajo) master weavers Barbara Teller Ornelas and Lynda Teller Pete will share (re)claiming our past, present and future by writing, telling and living our own stories. Born into the Tábąąhá (Water Edge Clan) and born for the Tó’aheedlíinii (Two Waters Flow Together Clan) the sisters grew up at the fabled Two Grey Hills trading post. For over seven generations, their family has produced award-winning rugs in the traditional Two Grey Hills regional style. Upholding the family legacy, Teller Ornelas and Teller Pete are considered among the very most skillful and artistic of Diné weavers practicing today. For this presentation Barbara and Lynda will share the experience and legacy of their weaving family. As described by Teller Pete, “weaving represents our connection to the universe. It is our stories, our prayers, and our songs that are told, chanted, sung, and preserved in the weaving motions. Every weaver has stories to tell about his or her weaving, and every weaving has stories to tell about the weaver: the sights, the sounds, the smells, and the signature styles. And each weaver is unique. Unlike our elder Navajo weavers, people will know our names; they will see our faces, know our stories, and they will hear our songs and our prayers on each tapestry that we create.”
Registration for Session 3 Cripping Disability: Transforming Meanings and Practices Through Textiles, will be available soon!