Letter from the President

Dear Members and Friends,

Spring has come at last to Toronto, where we recently held our Board meeting at the Textile Museum of Canada, and I am pleased to update you on some exciting new plans for TSA. Board members and staff have been working to develop and put in place new initiatives, and improve some of our current programs and practices.

But first, I would like to thank all of you who gave generously to our first direct-mail fundraising effort last fall. Every dollar we received from your donations goes directly to our programs, scholarships, and awards. Your support helps TSA build a strong financial base to foster our goals and ensure that TSA continues on its path of growth and further development of our mission. Treasurer Maleyne Syracuse, Executive Director Tali Weinberg, and the Fundraising and Development committee intend to build on these results, and are developing plans for the next campaign and other new fundraising initiatives.

New! Fellows Program

Many of us have been inspired and influenced by leaders in our field, and now through a new TSA initiative, there is an opportunity for TSA members to pay tribute to our esteemed colleagues. I am pleased to announce a new program, the establishment of the Fellows of the Textile Society of America, to recognize and honor individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the field of textiles. Nominations will open on May 1 and TSA will announce its first Fellows in the fall of 2015.  I thank Fellows Committee members Elena Phipps, Ruth Barnes, and Susan Bean, for their endeavors to establish this seminal new program for TSA.

Brandford/ Elliott Award(B/EA) merged with TSA

Founded in 1995 the Brandford/Elliott Award (formerly the Lillian Elliott Award), has been awarded biennially to an emerging artist working with fiber. Since then, twelve awardees have received a cash award, which has been presented at the Symposium Awards banquet since 2002. At our March 2013 Board meeting B/EA Board member Pat Hickman presented a proposal initiated by the B/EA Board, that the B/EA Award become a TSA award. I am pleased to announce that the TSA Board has approved the merger agreement and the B/EA Award will be formally turned over to TSA in 2016 following the 2016 Symposium.


In order to improve the search function of the on-line Membership Directory and make it more useful to members, Susan Bean and Catharine Ellis of the Membership committee have updated the member profile fields. The categories of directory fields have been revised and refined in order to be more relevant, and fields for biographies, publications and exhibitions have been added, all of which will provide a more accurate and complete individual profile. Guidelines are available on the website: You will be asked to update your information by September 1, 2015.


Susan Brown, Rowland Ricketts, and Lauren Whitely of the Program committee are developing new TCU programs for the fall. Registration closes May 1 for our upcoming program, Textiles Close Up: Textiles at the International Folk Art Market, Santa Fe, which takes place July 9, 2015–July 13, 2015. Led by Carrie Hertz from the Santa Fe Museum of International Folk Art, Mary Littrell, Sandy Peinado, and Elena Phipps, this program offers a unique opportunity to experience the market from beginning to end, meet some of the textile artists, and take an exclusive tour of the new exhibit The Red that Colored the World at the Museum of International Folk Art. Spaces are limited and registration closes May 1 so sign up soon!


External Relations Director and Newsletter editor Wendy Weiss and the Publications Committee (Eulanda Sanders, Ruth Barnes, and Laura Camerlengo), are working with Tali to review how our communications tools can be most effectively used to communicate with members and the broader community. Currently Board and staff are producing the Newsletter, and from now on it will be published twice a year in the Spring and the Fall, at the same time we will be increasing content on the blog and in eNews, which also connect people to TSA’s website. We plan to revisit the editorial vision of the Newsletter, and enhance the content and focus developing a more substantial publication.

Symposium 2016 – Call for Papers posted!

The Call for Papers has just been posted for TSA’s 15th Biennial Symposium in 2016: Crosscurrents: Land, Labor and the Port. It’s not too soon to be thinking about submitting a paper, poster or exhibition proposal, organizing a panel or roundtable, or presenting a film or other digital media. Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) co-chairs Jessica Smith and Susan Falls are putting together an exciting program of speakers, workshops and tours, and other events.

Scholarships & Awards

Jill D’Alessandro and Vita Plume of the Awards committee are developing our Scholarship and Awards programs for 2016. In 2014, we supported more speakers, students, new professionals, artists, and general members with registration fee waivers and workshop scholarships than ever before. We hope to support 2016 Symposium participants at this level or higher, and I ask you to consider contributing to a TSA scholarship or award, or provide a gift of TSA membership to a student. Since November, two scholarships have been awarded for TCU programs. Recipients were Alejandra Gomez for Textiles Close Up: Treasures of Islamic Textiles & Art in Toronto in November, and Margaret Olugbemisola for the upcoming Textiles Close up at the International Folk Art Market, Santa Fe.

International Textile News

As an organization, TSA is engaged in the expanding international textile community, and there are many textile-related events taking place around the world. In this Newsletter Dominique Cardon, International Advisor to the TSA Board, introduces a new column featuring news and opportunities of interest to members about organizations involved with textiles outside North America (page 20).

National Office

Executive Director Tali Weinberg will reach her two-year anniversary with the Textile Society of America in June, and I want to thank her for dedicated work in the National Office along with Membership Associate Lauren Hartman. Since becoming President, I have enjoyed working with Tali and have seen how valuable her position is to TSA, not only in managing organizational operations, but in contributing to advancing TSA`s mission and the growth of the field.

2014 Symposium

The Proceedings of the 14th Biennial Symposium are now posted on the University of Nebraska Digital Commons: Thank you to all who submitted papers and special thanks to Proceedings Editor Ann Svenson and Paul Royster of UNL Libraries.

I wish you all a joyous spring!

Thank you,

Roxane Shaughnessy

President, 2014-16