American Tapestry Alliance: Join and Get A Discount on a Mirrix Loom
From a plethora of resources on their website to hosting exibitions and giving out awards, American Tapestry Alliance is an organization that anyone interested in weaving tapestry should know about. We interviewed Mary Lane, Executive Director of ATA, about the organization, how it began, how it has changed over the years, the resources is provides and more!
Check it out below!
Everyone who joins ATA automatically gets a 10% discount on a Mirrix Loom.
Nikki Bair, “Ladybug,” 2013, 10” x 4”, hand-dyed silk. Photo: Nicki BairTell us a little bit about ATA (history, how it started):
The American Tapestry Alliance (ATA) grew out of a friendship between Hal Painter and Jim Brown, who had a common interest in promoting contemporary, handwoven tapestry. In 1976 they traveled across the United States giving over 30 workshops in tapestry weaving as their contribution to the Bicentennial celebration. As a result of the enthusiasm they met along their way, they established the American Tapestry Alliance, whose goal was to form a network of weavers in order to promote an awareness and appreciation of contemporary tapestry.
What types of tapestry resources do you have on the ATA website?
ATA’s website has a wide variety of resources including:
- TEx@ATA, an online gallery featuring curated exhibitions – http://americantapestryalliance.org/exhibitions/tex_ata/
- Artist Pages, featuring members’ work – http://americantapestryalliance.org/artist-pages/
- Educational Articles – http://americantapestryalliance.org/education/educational-articles/
- Awards listings – http://americantapestryalliance.org/awards/
- Catalogs – http://americantapestryalliance.org/catalogs/
- Suppliers’ list – http://americantapestryalliance.org/resources/tapestry-weaving-suppliers/
- Mentoring Program – http://americantapestryalliance.org/education/tapestry-instruction-mentoring-program/
- Instructors’ listing – http://americantapestryalliance.org/education/tapestry-instructors-2/
- Links page – http://americantapestryalliance.org/resources/links/
Sonja Miremont, “Floating Feathers,” 2013, 9” x 7” x 2”, co?on warp/ wool & mohair weft.
? Photo: Sonja Miremont
What are some of the benefits of becoming an ATA member?
Membership in ATA connects you to a community of weavers around the world. Members receive:
- Subscription to Tapestry Topics, ATA’s quarterly newsletter
- Subscription to monthly ATA eNews
- Listings in monthly ATA eKudos
- Members only email discussion list
- Members only content on a password protected page of the website
- Reduced entry fees for ATA sponsored exhibitions
- Reduced registration fees for ATA educational retreats, workshops and symposia
- Members-only discounts on exhibition catalogs
- Member’s discount on advertising
ATA also has higher level memberships with additional benefits. You can read more about ATA membership, and join here: http://americantapestryalliance.org/membership/
How large is the ATA community?
Ulrikka Mokdad, “Little Mirror on the Wall,” 33” x 33”, wool, silk and linen on linen.
Photo: Frantz Henriksen
What types of exhibits or events does ATA sponsor?
ATA sponsors three physical exhibitions:
- American Tapestry Biennial (in even years)
- Small Tapestry International (in odd years)
- Unjuried Small Format show (in even years)
In addition, ATA sponsors curated, online exhibitions in the TEx@ATA Gallery: (http://americantapestryalliance.org/exhibitions/tex_ata/.
We sponsor a workshop every year and a Speakers Session in conjunction with HGA’s Convergence. Additional programming is held in conjunction with our shows.
What other networks like ATA exist in other countries? Does ATA work with these other networks?
These are just a few of the tapestry focused groups in other countries:
ATA has not had any formal collaborations with these groups but we are in communication with them and our international membership is growing, which means our membership overlaps to a certain extent.
Monique Lehman, “Inspiration,” 108” x 38” x 12”, wool on cotton warp. Photo: Monique Lehman
Mirrix’s President and founder Claudia Chase has been involved with ATA since the early 90s. How has ATA changed since then?
It certainly has, most notably in: the size of our membership; the number of members from outside the United States; and the extent of our programming. Since the 1990s ATA has initiated a juried, small format exhibition, Small Tapestry International. We have taken over the biennial Unjuried Small Format show, which has grown to include almost 250 tapestries from around the world. We launched an online exhibition program, TEx@ATA. We initiated an Awards program that now has five different awards. Our website has expanded with a vast array of resources. We initiated a Mentoring Program and yearly workshops. In addition, we have sponsored programming in conjunction with HGA’s Convergence, the Textile Society of America’s biennial symposium, Museo Texil de Oaxacaand SOFA Chicago, a long standing art fair on the Navy Pier.
ATA’s main job is to find and connect tapestry weavers. How has the ability to do that changed since the internet and social media have become mainstream? Do you find most of your members are online?
Social media has been a great asset for small businesses and nonprofits. It is a quick, affordable way to for ATA to share news and to increase the number of people with whom we are connected.
What programs and events are going on now that ATA is involved in?
Currently entries are being accepted for Small Tapestry International 5: Crossroads. Read more about the show and enter here: http://americantapestryalliance.org/exhibitions/small-tapesty-international/small-tapestry-international-5-crossroads/
Weavers of all levels of experience will benefit from taking our upcoming workshop, Tapestry Weaving: Techniques for your Toolkit, taking place in San Jose, California from January 26 – 28, 2017 and taught by Tricia Goldberg. Read more about this workshop here: http://americantapestryalliance.org/education/workshops/tapestry-weaving-techniques-for-your-toolkit/
In conjunction with the opening of American Tapestry Biennial 11 at the San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles, ATA is sponsoring a series of speakers on January 29, 2017. The event is called Contemplating the Sublime: 21st Century Tapestry. Read about this event here: http://americantapestryalliance.org/education/contemplating-the-sublime-21st-century-tapestry/