International textiles symposium opens Oct. 6

Detail of Laurie Addis' piece "Extrack."
Detail of Laurie Addis' piece "Extrack."

More than 250 textile professionals from around the world will be in Lincoln and visit UNL during the Textile Society of America's 12th biennial symposium, Oct. 6-9. The symposium, "Textiles and Settlement: From Plains Space to Cyber Space," was organized by a local committee led by Textiles, Clothing and Design faculty Wendy Weiss and Diane Vigna.

"The symposium is a meeting for members of a professional organization, targeted toward people who work in different disciplines related to textiles," said Weiss. "We also have organized programs and exhibitions that will be of interest and are open to the public."

Galleries in both Lincoln and Omaha are featuring textile exhibitions that relate to the symposium. For a complete list of exhibitions, go to

"Creating a community-wide series of exhibitions was a very exciting opportunity for us," said Weiss. "It was a fairly easy process. All we had to do was ask and everyone came through for us.

"The combination of the symposium and the exhibit schedule is a tremendous vehicle to introduce textiles as an art form."

The exhibition slate includes 13 shows in seven UNL galleries - Cooper Gallery, Eisentrager-Howard Gallery, International Quilt Study Center and Museum, Lentz Gallery, Robert Hillestad Textiles Gallery, Rotunda Gallery and Sheldon Museum of Art.

The exhibits include a view of ikat designs (studied by Weiss as a visiting Fulbright scholar in India) in the Lentz Gallery; the work of 32 Navajo weavers in the Cooper Gallery; south Asian quilts at the International Quilt Study Center and Museum; and a joint show by French artist ORLAN and Spanish fashion designer davidelfin at the Sheldon.

In addition to the gallery shows, organizers are offering pre- and post-symposium workshops and tours to both textiles professionals and the public.

Workshop and tour topics include: Ralli Quilts; Feltmaking; Conserving Textiles on the Plains; Nebraska's Colorful History; Incomparable Art/Exceptional Spaces; and Native Americans of the Winnebago and Omaha Tribes.

Registration is required to attend the workshops and tours. Costs range from $145 to $175 per event. For more information or to register, go to

Weiss said the TSA symposium is a great way to showcase Lincoln and UNL's textile-related programs.

The keynote speaker for the symposium is Sheila Kennedy, an architect, whose Portable Light project creates new ways to provide renewable power in solar textiles that can be adapted to meet the needs of people around the globe. Symposium presentations will be held in the Cornhusker Hotel, 333 S. 13th St.

UNL faculty and staff who are part of the TSA's 12th biennial symposium organizing committee are: Weiss, co-chair; Vigna, co-chair; Mary Cassner, Patricia Crews; Susan Curtis; Jennifer Graham; Mona Jenkins; Tina Koeppe; Anchalee Panigabutra-Roberts; Janet Price; and Barbara Trout. Other members of the committee are Nancy Eberle, Lynne Grasz, Kathy Moore, Jay Rich, Helen Sellentin, April Stevenson, Shelley Thornton, Kit Voorhees, Erica White and Mary Zicafoose.

The Textile Society of America provides an international forum for the exchange and dissemination of information about textiles worldwide, from artistic, cultural, economic, historic, political, social, and technical perspectives. Established in 1987, TSA is governed by a Board of Directors from museums and universities in North America. Its 700 members worldwide include museum curators, teachers, historians, artists, students, dealers, and collectors.

TSA Symposium Exhibitions at UNL

-- Cooper Gallery (University of Nebraska State Museum)--, (4020 472-2642
"A Turning Point: Navajo Weaving in the Late 20th Century"
Open through Nov. 30
Textiles from 32 contemporary Navajo weavers selected from the Santa Fe Collection. Curated by Ann Hedlund.

-- Eisentrager-Howard Gallery (Richards Hall) --, (402) 472-5025
"Binary Fiction: Digital Weaving 2010
Oct. 4-29
Artist in this exhibition use weaving combined with computers to transform virtual designs into material form.

-- International Quilt Study Center and Museum --, (402) 472-6549
"South Asian Seams: Quilts from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh"
Open through Nov. 7
Vibrant examples of ralli and kantha quilts and large-scale photographs depict the makers and people who use them. Constructed from layers of old cotton wrapped garments, the quilted textiles on display provide a way for women to give new life to old cloth. Information provided on the rich textile traditions and handwork of the women across the Indian subcontinent.

"Childhood Treasures: Doll Quilts from the Ghormley Collection"
Open through Dec. 12
This exhibition showcases the charm of doll quilts and their role in individual lives and across cultures. Donated by Mary Ghormley, the collection contains more than 300 quilts made between 1800 and 1950. Ghormley collected the quilts over a 40-year period.

"Quilts from the Beggar's Camp"
Oct. 5-9
Vibrant quilts made collaboratively between a traveling contemporary textile artist, Nika Feldman, and members of an Indian beggar's community in Katmandu, Nepal, with original works from women of the camp.

"The Quilted Conscience"
Open through Oct. 17
A story quilt by 20 Sudanese-American girls with Peggy Hartwell, a founding member of the Women of Color Quilters Network.

-- Lentz Gallery (Hewit Place) --
(402) 472-5841
"Color and Pattern: Tribal and Contemporary Ikats of India and Laos"
Open through Oct. 15
Exhibition of contemporary and traditional Lao tribal apparel, drawing upon centuries-old motifs. Includes a presentation on single and double ikat by Wendy Weiss and Anjali Karolia, and a weft binding demonstration by Vaghelu Vithalbhai.

-- Robert Hillestad Textiles Gallery --, (402) 472-2911
"Component Parts: Textiles, Clothing and Design Faculty Exhibition
Open through Oct. 8
Exhibition featuring the work of UNL's Michael Burton, Janine Copple, Jennifer Graham, Robert Hillestad, Martha Horvay, Judith James, Michael James, Mary Pattavina, Barbara Trout and Wendy Weiss. Curated by Trout.

"Native American Beadwork by Harriet Sleeper"
Oct. 4-15
Embellished regalia and everyday artifacts using rosette, lazy and peyote stitches and loom work.

"Nebraska Bead Society"
Oct. 4-15
Bead embroidery techniques from cultures around the world.

-- Rotunda Gallery (Nebraska Union) --, (402) 472-2454
"Fiber, Textiles and Clothing: UNL Graduate Students in Textiles, Clothing and Design"
Oct. 4-8
A combination of textile art and wearable fashions, highlighting the individual strength and skills of the emerging artists.

-- Sheldon Museum of Art --, (402) 472-2461
"Orlan: The Harlequin Coat"
Open through Jan. 30
A collaboration between French artist ORLAN and Spanish fashion designer davidelfin. "The Harlequin Coat" is designed to raise questions about multiculturalism, collaboration, recycling and social hybridity.

"New Material World: Rethreading Technology"
Oct. 8 to Jan. 2
Work by artists who couple new tools and digital processes with traditional methods and old techniques.

- Troy Fedderson, University Communications

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