Los Angeles, Here We Come!

Last week I took a trip down to Los Angeles to meet two of our board members—President Elena Phipps and Director of Internal Relations Ann Svenson—to join in symposium planning. Elena, Ann and others have been working hard for the last year to lay the groundwork for what I am sure is going to be one of the most exciting Biennial Symposia TSA has hosted!

Los Angeles has so much to offer no matter what your textile interest: A strong ethnographic textile collection at the Fowler Museum and some of the most forward-looking contemporary textile art and craft at the Hammer Museum and Craft and Folk Art Museum (CAFAM). It is a city called home by top textile historians, anthropologists, curators, conservators, and artists, a few of whom I had the pleasure of meeting on this trip.

Panel with crowned figures bearing staffs, Chancay or Rimac culture, Peru, 1150-1450 CE, Fowler Museum at UCLA. X65.8730. Image from Fowler Museum Website


Detail from LA-based artist Lisa Anne Auerbach’s public engagement project, United We Stand (2011-12), at the Hammer. Image from Hammer Museum website.


A few highlights from the trip:

Meeting Sharon Takeda, Senior Curator and Department Head at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) and her team to discuss the full day of TSA programing at LACMA during the Symposium. In addition to a day of sessions, the department is coordinating an exhibition that will place textiles throughout the entire museum while we are in LA!

Rodarte, Cantaloupe Pleated Silk, Draped Silk Georgette, and Taffeta Gown with Gold Ray Belt. Image from LACMA blog


Breakfast with artists Ruth Souza and Sophie Winisky and Carol Sauvion of Craft in America for some productive brainstorming on involving emerging artists and contemporary crafts people in the Symposium through workshops, studio tours, and organized panels. And yes, that is the same Craft in America as the PBS series we love. Their study center and gallery is in LA.


Tanya Aguiñiga, Felt Chairs, David San Miguel photograph (right) and Soft Boulder (left). Images from Craft in America website via This LA-based artist’s work was featured in the most recent episode of Craft in America.


Seeking out exhibition sites with LA artist Karen Hampton


Karen Hampton, The Gaze (2011). Vintage digital print on Silk Organza over color field print on linen hand-stitched with silk thread. Image from artist’s website


Seeing Sonya Clark’s solo show at CAFAM and meeting with the museum director to discuss some exciting plans in the works. More details to come!

The Craft and Folk Art Museum in LA currently covered with granny squares as the culmination of a public art project. Image from CAFAM website.


Thanks to everyone mentioned above and the many more whose time and effort is going to result in a fantastic program!

Of course, for the symposium to be as great as I think it will, we need your submissions of papers and organized sessions. You, our members, are the heart and head of TSA. It is your knowledge, your experiences, and your enthusiasm that make each symposium better and better. The deadline for submission is October First! I can’t wait to see you in LA in 2014!

Tali Weinberg, Executive Director