SO, yeah, it’s been a while since I’ve posted a blog on my page…To say I’ve been busy is quite the understatement. During the time I restarted creating my textiles, posting a website etc.etc.etc, I got involved with a wonderful group of people that started a textile organization called Textiles West.http://www.textileswest.org In an effort to get that endeavor established and going, my art work has taken the passenger seat, rather than the driver’s seat. That’s fine. Textiles West has become literally a dream come true.
Years ago, in my yute (My Cousin Vinny, anyone?), I dreamt of starting an institution here in Colorado, similar to the inspirational institution I attended while living in Portland, aptly named the Oregon College of Art and Craft. I loved the immersion and 24/7 exposure to art; art conversations, artists, art problems, art solutions, art art art… I loved that community. But being a student, it’s a temporary community, unless you are employed by the school. I always dreamt of living in Colorado, (check that off the bucket list). I realized late one evening when pondering, “what do I want to do with myself?!” why not start an institution similar to the one I love, here in Colorado? Why not?
I held that dream in my heart, for years. Looking here, looking there, asking this person, that person to help, ideas…The problem wasn’t the ambition, it was I didn’t know where or how to start. What I didn’t realize until now, it takes the right people at the right time to pull together to create a behemoth idea like the one I had. Enter the neighbor, literally. 2-3 years ago, we got a new neighbor in the neighborhood, the Haldeman’s. Susan, her husband Dave, mother in law Marilyn and dog Josee, moved next door to us. I didn’t know what to expect, and couldn’t have hoped for anything better. She is a fiber artist. A fiber artist who has similar aesthetics as myself. A fiber artist as ambitious about learning and teaching as I do. A fiber artist I could relate to.
She rented a studio downtown and met other fiber artists- Liz Kettle and Ruth Chandlar. I met these other fiber artists. I gelled with these fiber artists. These fiber artists worked with the executive director of Cottonwood Art Center and started Textiles West. We had meetings with other fiber artists, like Mary Madison and Laurie Longberry, and collectively we started Textiles West. We had a million ideas of all the things we wanted Textiles West to accomplish. Every week we came up with some new project we wanted Textiles West to start. We opened up not one location but two locations, one at Cottonwood Art Center and the other with the Manitou Art Center. Everything was happening so fast. We got overwhelmed and undermanned with all the ideas we had and still have. We ran into challenges and criticisms because of it.
But we’ve never given up. We’ve merely streamlined, organized and reorganized systems, procedures and policies. We obtained our 501c3 so we can go for funding. We secured our first major donation from Oracle. We give classes, lectures and special events all to celebrate textiles. Our mission is sustainability-both in maintaining and passing on textile knowledge as well as promoting green mentality with upcycle, recycle and diy. And that, along with my art and family and chickens, is what I’ve been doing with myself for the last couple of years. And that is what I am doing for the next how ever many years in the future, along with my art, my family and…well, we’ll see about the chickens.