Through the generosity of Elena Phipps and Alan Finkel, TSA is able to offer a new grant to enable individual TSA members to travel to conduct textile research. The award is intended to enable travel – local, regional, and international – for research of any type that is specifically for the study of actual textiles. The grant may be used to travel to conduct research in a museum, to meet with weavers or artists in their studio and/or local home environments, to see a special textile exhibition, etc. The grant is not intended for travel to TSA symposia. Individuals may apply for any amount up to $1,000; projects should be completed by July 1 2020. Because of the tax laws in the United States, international members intending to use the grant towards research outside of the United States should consult with TSA before submitting their application. Successful applicants will be expected to submit a brief final project report in the form of article in the TSA Newsletter or a TSA blog post.
This award will be made every other year, between the TSA symposia. We hope that others may be inspired to contribute to this new fund to enable it to grow and provide additional support for research to TSA members. Please join us in thanking Elena and Alan for their foresight and generosity!
2018 Research Travel Grant Recipients
Elaine K. Ng is an artist whose work explores the physical and psychological structures of site. Through the use of material and pattern, her sculptural objects and installations examine the visual language, perception, and collective knowledge of place. She holds a BA from the University of California, Davis, an MBA/MA from Southern Methodist University, and an MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art. She exhibits and lectures internationally and has been a Visiting Professor at Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (NSCAD) University and a Visiting Artist at Tainan National University of the Arts (TNNUA). She was a resident artist at Haystack’s Open Studio Residency in 2017 and has been selected for the Djerassi Resident Artist Program in 2019. In 2017-18 she was awarded a U.S. Fulbright Fellowship for research in Taiwan.
“A TSA travel grant will assist in my travel to Japan to research the history and learn the techniques of kasuri, the form of ikat resist dyeing and weaving unique to Japan. The first segment of my project will involve attending workshops at the Kawashima Textile School in Kyoto for a month. After developing this foundation, I plan to conduct additional research on the regional variations of kasuri in Nara, Karume, Fukuoka, and Okinawa by visiting textile museums, artists’ studios, and small-scale weaving facilities. In learning about kasuri (the techniques, its history, and the regional variations) I hope to develop a more intimate understanding to the point where I can utilize the method directly and indirectly in my own artwork. […]As someone of East Asian descent, I often notice a lack of resources about East Asian weaving in western academia. Much of the information seems to be perfunctory, exoticized, or only pictorial. This is especially true with kasuri, as it is so regionally specific and knowledge of the technique is waning. I hope the month of workshops at Kawashima will provide me with an opportunity to immerse deeply into learning about kasuri in the culture of its origin, and open the door for me to do additional research more easily on the history and variations of kasuri in other areas of Japan.”
Elizabeth Kalbfleisch is an art historian based in Toronto, Canada. She holds a Ph.D. in Visual and Cultural Studies from the University of Rochester. She researches and publishes in the field of modern and contemporary Canadian Indigenous art and textiles, and textiles by Canadian women artists more broadly. Forthcoming publications this year include, “Celebration or Craftsploitation? Cultural Diplomacy, Marketing and Coast Salish Knitting,” in the Journal of Canadian Art History, and with Janet Berlo, “Indigenous Textiles of North America: A Century of Exhibitions,” in the Blackwell Companion to Textile Culture.
“My new research focuses on the influence of government and corporate commissions in the flourishing of textile art by Canadian women artists (settler and Indigenous) in the 1960s and 1970s and the role of these textiles in public spaces. This project takes the form of several case studies, each focusing on a different artist or group of artists and the commission of a major work of public art. I am seeking a TSA Research Travel Grant to conduct research for one of these case studies. The focus of this research is Mariette Vermette-Rousseau (1926-2006), the highly esteemed weaver from Québec, who made the stage curtain for the Eisenhower Theatre at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. This woven curtain, Mortaises rouge dans le noir (1966-1971), was presented as a gift from the government of Canada to the United States to mark the inauguration of the Kennedy Center in 1971. I believe it to be an excellent case study through which to broach the relationship between textiles and cultural diplomacy, a topic explored in my previous research on Northwest Coast Indigenous knitting from this era. […] Ultimately, my research on Vermette-Rousseau would form a chapter for a book of multiple case studies.”