Vice President/President Elect
Vita Plume is an artist and educator who has exhibited her work through- out Canada, U.S.A., Japan, Poland, Latvia, and Finland. She holds an MFA (Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, Halifax, Nova Scotia). She recently retired from a long teaching career, holding teaching positions at the College of Design, NCSU (Raleigh, USA), the New Brunswick College of Craft and Design (Fredericton, NB, Canada) and the Fibres Program, Faculty of Fine Arts at Concordia University (Montreal, Canada). She currently resides in rural New Brunswick, Canada. Her woven art works use image and pattern to commemorate the transformation and instability of mem- ory, identity, and culture. Her most recent body of work commemo- rates Doris Ulmann’s photographs of Appalachian women and was produced in collaboration with Berea College, Kentucky.
Statement: “Serving as TSA Member at Large from 2004 – 2009, my focus was to help develop the scholarship and award programs, which led to the inauguration of the Student/Young Professional Awards. I was also honored to be Board representative on the amaz- ing Study Tour to Japan (2007) lead by Yoshiko Wada. Through this experience I recognized the importance of sharing historical and con- temporary textile expertise nationally and internationally. I thorough- ly enjoyed my time on the TSA Board. It was a memorable learning experience that brought many new colleagues and friendships. As I put my name forward to run for VP, I realize that much has changed, and the organization has evolved. As VP I will strive to listen to the Board and membership regarding current directions and future needs. This cross-disciplinary character of the membership is what makes TSA such an interesting organization, bringing together schol- ars, historians, artists, curators, students, and critics. This diversity of scholarship, commitment, and exploration in the field of textiles is its strength. My aim is to foster and encourage these conversations.”
External Relations Director
Wendy Weiss is a practicing artist with specific interest in complex weave structures, ikat and natural dye. She earned her Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Kansas in 1983 and her B.A. from Colorado College, Colorado Springs. A Fulbright Nehru Senior Scholar Research Award in 2009 allowed her to document double ikat weav- ing from an artist’s perspective in Gujarat, India. A second Fulbright award will allow her to return in 2014-15 to continue this research and to begin training with natural dye and digital design for ikat weaving. Taking early retirement in 2014, she will be a professor emeritus of Textile Design at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln where she has also been director of the Robert Hillestad Textiles Gallery. She will continue working in the field as an independent artist, teacher and scholar.
Statement: “The passion and integrity of the members and the lead- ers of the Textile Society of America is central to its vitality and depth. As co-chair of the 2010 symposium in Lincoln, Nebraska, I developed a rich understanding of how the board functions in relation to the membership and programs. Communicating the work of the group to constituents outside the membership enables us to continue drawing in members of all ages, backgrounds and nationalities that share the vision of TSA. As director of an academic textile gallery, I bring my experience promoting and disseminating information about our exhibitions to the local and global public through web publication, print media and programming. I hope to contribute to a group that has inspired me and provided numerous opportunities in the field that I love. I wish to help make similar opportunities avail- able to others through the job of external relations director.”
Internal Relations Director
Catharine Ellis has been a weaver and a dyer for over 40 years. After three decades of teaching the Fiber Program at Haywood Community College in NC she is now dedicated to studio work, focusing on natural dye processes. She also does spe- cialized, selected teaching, in the U.S. and internationally. Catharine is the originator of the woven shibori pro- cess and author of the instructional book, Woven Shibori (Interweave Press, 2005). Her textile work is shown extensively in exhibitions and shows. She is currently working collaboratively with the Oriole Mill in NC to produce specialty Jacquard fabrics. Catharine is actively involved in the Surface Design Association, the World Shibori Network, and is a founding member of the Southeastern Fiber Educators Association. She has served on the boards of Penland School of Crafts and the Center for Craft, Creativity, and Design. She established and chairs the Western North Carolina Textile Study Group.
Statement: “I am a textile artist: a weaver and a dyer. My approach to creating is to learn from the textiles and processes of history, balancing what has been done before with what I know from my own studio practice. I have great respect for The Textile Society of America as an organization that brings together a varied group of participants such as historians, researchers, curators and creative thinkers. As an artist, I have been influenced and benefited from the work of scholars. I have also helped researchers to grasp an understanding of process that only comes from the experience of making, collaborating in projects such as a reproduction of Pre- Columbian multi-selvedge weavings and re-creating the color palette of Mary Hambidge. My relationship to TSA exposes me to opportu- nities to make such connections. In return, I have the ability to link researchers to a community of makers.“
Directors At Large
Ruth Barnes received a D.Phil. from the University of Oxford, based on her research in eastern Indonesia. Her doctoral dissertation was published as The Ikat Textiles of Lamalera: A Study of an Eastern Indonesian Weaving Tradition (Leiden, E.J. Brill 1989). She has written extensively on Indonesian weaving and related art forms. From 1990 to the end of 2009 she was textile curator at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, where she focused on early Indian Ocean trade ￼￼networks. She published Indian Block-Printed Textiles in Egypt: The Newberry Collection in the Ashmolean Museum (Oxford: Clarendon Press 1997) and co-authored (with Rosemary Crill and Steven Cohen) Trade, Temple and Court. Indian Textiles from the Tapi Collection (2002). Most recently she co-edited with Mary Kahlenberg Five Hundred Years of Indonesian Textiles. In January 2010 she left the Ashmolean and moved to Yale, where she now is Senior Curator of the Yale University Art Gallery’s newly endowed Department of Indo- Pacific Art.
Statement: “The Textile Society of America is the most important organization worldwide to promote the study of textiles, as it is the only one that gives room to both historical and contemporary approaches and interests. An organization of such scope needs to be guided by a board that is well focused and sets rigorous standards. I can bring many years of academic experience, but also extensive field research which has taught me the importance of understanding textile techniques. My contacts with colleagues reach across disciplines and geographical boundaries, and I want to see textile studies as part of the wider world of scholars. It would be an honor for me to contribute to the Society’s goals.”
Rowland Ricketts utilizes natural dyes and historical processes to create contemporary textiles that span art and design. Trained in indigo farming and dyeing in Japan, Rowland received his MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art in 2005 and is currently an Assistant Professor in Textiles at Indiana University’s Henry Radford Hope School of Fine Art. His work has been exhibited at the Textile Museum (Washington, DC), Cavin-Morris Gallery (New York), and Douglas Dawson Gallery (Chicago) and has been published in Textiles Now, FiberArts, Selvedge, Surface Design Journal, and Hand/Eye Magazine. Rowland is a recipient of a 2012 United States Artists Fellowship.
Statement: “I strongly believe in TSA’s mission of providing an international forum for the exchange and dissemination of information about textiles worldwide, from artistic, cultural, economic, historic, political, social, and technical perspectives. As an artist, my experiences with TSA have greatly broadened my understanding of textiles and in turn my own studio practice. TSA’s members’ passion for and dedication to the greater field of textiles is clearly one of the organization’s greatest assets. As a board member I would work to maintain and strengthen the quality and depth of TSA’s perspective on the field of Textiles by engaging an even greater diversity of voices in contemporary art. I also see the opportunity to serve on the board as a means of giving back to an organization that has greatly impacted my work while also working to ensure the organizations future success so that others may be equally and positively impacted going forward.“
Lauren Whitley is curator in the David and Roberta Logie Department of Textile and Fashion Arts at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, where her responsibilities include helping to oversee a collection of more than 45,000 textiles, costumes, accessories, and fashion illustrations. She holds
a M.A. degree in Museum Studies: Fashion and Textiles Studies from FIT in New York, and received her B.A. in Art History from Trinity College in Hartford, CT. Ms. Whitley has curated a number of exhibitions including Ed Rossbach Fiber Art, Threads on the Edge: Fiber Art from the Daphne Farago Collection, The Quilts of Gee’s Bend, and most recently Hippie Chic. Ms. Whitley’s recent publications include Hippie Chic, Massachusetts Quilts: Our Common Wealth (2009), Gee’s Bend: the Architecture of the Quilt (2006), MFA Highlights: Textile and Fashion Arts (2006), and Fashion Show: Paris Style (2006).
Statement: “I am interested in joining the TSA Board for several reasons. First, TSA performs a vital role as the premier national organization for the promotion and support of textile scholarship. It does this in a way that honors multiple perspectives, making places for enthusiasts and scholars, as well as textile makers. I would very much like to support TSA in its important efforts. Secondly, I have worked with an encyclopedic collection of textiles for more than twenty years, and am eager to give back to an organization that has enriched my career as a curator. I have both knowledge of and enthusiasm for textiles that, I believe, will serve the organization well. I want to see TSA thrive in the future with continued excellence, and hope to be a part of making that happen.“