Secretary: Lesli Robertson
Personal Statement: The Textile Society of America has been an anchor in my personal development as an artist, researcher and teacher. I first had the opportunity to present at the 2008 Symposium, which opened my eyes to the ability for an organization to serve as a gathering place for the exchange of ideas, the dissemination of knowledge, and the generating of new things to come. I came away from that first experience feeling that I had found a place where the importance of textiles was known and felt by everyone attending. What I gained was the challenge to think deeper into my own practice and how I would create work that explored the relevance of textiles and their perceived value. In the years since, what I have learned to appreciate most about the TSA is its openness to engage diverse practitioners of textiles, whether artists like myself, scholarly researchers, or textile enthusiasts. Bringing these groups together has the ability to engage in new approaches to strengthening the value of textiles not only in our society but throughout the world.
Bio: Lesli currently holds the position of Principal Lecturer, Fibers, College of Visual Arts and Design, University of North Texas. She teaches 3 courses per semester that focus on relevant topics and techniques in fibers, including weaving, crochet, fiber-based installation, natural dyes, felt, soft sculpture, stitching, etc. focused on project development, collaborative practice, and mixed media approaches while providing a foundation that includes textile history, cultural relevance and contemporary practice. Studio responsibilities include keeping 42 floor looms running, including 2 AVLs, as well as 3 knitting machines and a host of other fibers related equipment. She is also a faculty mentor for the UNT Natural Dye Garden, an experimental community garden that is mostly run by students. From 2015-2016, she was a Fulbright Specialist at Al Sadu House, Kuwait City, Kuwait and is currently developing community based project there. In 2010-2011, she curated the exhibition “Material Evolution: Ugandan Bark Cloth” at the University of North Texas Art Gallery. Her website is: www.leslirobertson.com