The Textile Society of America is pleased to announce that Tyrrell Tapaha is the recipient of the 2022 Brandford/Elliott Award for Excellence in Fiber Arts.
Tyrrell Tapaha is a Diné weaver and fiber artist that encompasses the intergenerational pastoral living handed down through Tapaha’s grandfather, great-grandmother, and other relatives.
Tapaha produces woven textiles and felted objects for both aesthetic and utilitarian uses. These textiles are made with raw natural fibers predominantly grown on the Navajo Nation and hand-dyed with local flora from the Four Corners Region. Tapaha’s weavings are tied to a life lived and intimately interwoven with feelings, memories, and experiences.
Tapaha has worked as an apprentice with Master Weaver Roy Kady. In addition to their fiber and textile work, Tapaha also works as a sheep herder in the Four Corners region of the Navajo Nation. Their weavings were recently featured at the Museum of Contemporary Arts Flagstaff (MOCAF) and in the film “Weaving the Future” by Shaun Price. Tapaha has done archival and curatorial work at the Fowler Museum (Los Angeles), where they also lectured, and at the MET Museum (New York).
The Brandford/Elliott Awardfor Excellence in Fiber was established to honor the lives and work of the late and beloved fiber artists Joanne Segal Brandford and Lillian Elliott. Extraordinary textile artists and scholars who were long-time friends, they died within a few days of one another in April 1994. The award, formerly known as the Lillian Elliott Award, became a well-known honor in a very short time, perhaps because there are no other awards specifically designated for emerging artists working with fiber, and because the need is so great.
For more information on Tapaha and previous Brandford/Elliott Awardees, please see: https://textilesocietyofamerica.org/programs/brandford-elliott-award
If you would like to support the Brandford/Elliott Award and future emerging fiber artists, please donate to the award fund linked below.