President’s Column February 2022

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season and is back to weaving tapestries for upcoming TWS exhibits. The first one coming up is in June 2022 in conjunction with the Annual TWS Retreat in Elkin, NC at the Yadkin Valley Fiber Center. After that, there is an exhibit in the planning stages to be at the Folk Art Center in Asheville and then moved to Elkin, NC that year. Members’ work has sold in both places. It will be wonderful to see the gorgeous work TWS members create for these exhibits. Betty Hilton-Nash, Leslie Fesperman, and April Price are working on exhibits and the retreat now. Be watching for information in upcoming weeks.

We just had our first 2022 board meeting; we do need help and only members can do these things. Please post works in progress on Facebook on the TWS page. Hélène Crié-Wiesner, who takes care of social media for TWS, can then post your pictures and comments to Instagram. Hélène has an article about social media in the newsletter. Please be sure to read it. Hélène reports that we now have 627 followers on Instagram.

Janet Hart, Historian for TWS, needs pictures, brochures, or any other material documenting our activities. She would like to have lists of participants in the exhibits as well.

We also need volunteers for the Board. Please contact us if you can share some of your time with TWS. TWS is all volunteer and it’s good to have new volunteers and rotate some of the other members off the board to help keep things fresh.

Newsletter Editor, Allie Dudley, needs your articles for the newsletters. TWS members are the source of newsletter content and the best part of the newsletter. Please share classes you take or teach, exhibits you have work in, tapestry tips, and/or any news and tips related to tapestry weaving. If you send pictures, please list who the people in the picture are. We are all spread out and don’t know everyone by face.

If you have questions, comments, ideas, or anything tapestry related, please let us know! Even if the pandemic news isn’t what we want it to be yet, we are making plans for activities. It will be wonderful to get back to “normal” if that comes. In the meantime, weave on.

Best wishes,
Terri Bryson

President’s Column, September 2021

What are you weaving? What is your favorite tapestry hint? Have you tried a new yarn, and what did you think of it? What are your favorite tapestry books? Do you have your work in a tapestry or other exhibit? What are the details of the exhibit? What else would you like to share about your work? Do you have a loom you want to sell? The TWS newsletter is about you, the members. The members’ news is the most interesting part. Please think about the newsletter between issues and share in the newsletter, Facebook, and Instagram.

TWS has an optimistic, energetic board. The board is looking forward to the next retreat and exhibits. We recently held our first meeting via Zoom. Currently, plans for the next exhibits and retreats are in progress. What a treat it is to see everyone even if on a computer screen! The next retreat in Elkin, NC will be the first weekend in June 2022. April is working on the retreat plans, and Leslie is planning tapestry classes to occur around the time of the retreat. Our annual exhibit will also be held in addition to our classes. The Elkin community is very supportive of the arts and the Fiber Center which makes it a pleasure to have events there.

Looking ahead, in 2023, TWS is invited to have an exhibit at the Folk Art Center in Asheville, NC. Betty Hilton-Nash volunteered to chair this exhibit. This is another wonderful place to exhibit since a lot of traffic passes through there. It’s also a beautiful venue. Be watching your newsletters for details.

Next year you may notice that your newsletters are arriving at a slightly different time. The board suggested moving the dates of publication back a month. This spreads out the time between the June and September newsletters so that everyone can get their articles written in a more timely manner between the summer and fall newsletters.

With all the opportunities for exhibiting your tapestry work, I hope everyone is working on weaving. This year’s exhibit is beautiful. Each exhibit seems to be more beautiful than the next.

Don’t forget that Laurie O’Neill is working on putting gallery pages on the website. There is no cost to you for adding your page and information. Laurie put some suggested guidelines in the Summer TWS newsletter that you can refer to as you think about what you would like for your page to look like. Be sure to let us know all about your upcoming exhibits in other places, classes you take, tips you may have, or anything tapestry related. Please also share your work on the Tapestry Weavers South Facebook and Instagram page.

Happy Warping and Weaving,

Terri Bryson

Tapestry Weavers South Retreat 2021

The Tapestry Weavers South retreat was held June 5-6 in Elkin, North Carolina, a sweet little town in the Appalachian foothills, at the Yadkin Valley Fiber Center. This also was a celebration of Tapestry Weavers South’s 25th anniversary.

The Yadkin Valley Fiber Center relocated along with the Foothills Art Center to the old Chatham Mill building at 321 East Main St. It is a lovely historic space that is a work in progress. Leslie Fesperman’s fiber arts center is a light-filled, spacious room on the second floor, full of looms and sewing machines and resources for all kinds of fiber arts. She hosts workshops by leading artist/teachers in this welcoming space all year long.

After establishing that everyone present was vaccinated and unanimously felt comfortable without masks, we joyously shucked them and were treated to each other’s smiling faces. There was plenty of room to spread out in the YVFC.

On both Saturday and Sunday, we had an open studio and show and tell. Members bought books, equipment, and yarn to sell and donate, and worked on small projects. The opening for our “New Works by Tapestry Weavers South” exhibit was at 4 p.m. on Saturday in the gift shop on the first floor, and several tapestries were sold. After the opening, Tommye Scanlin signed copies of and talked about her recently published book The Nature of Things: Essays of a Tapestry Weaver and her upcoming Tapestry Design Basics and Beyond: Planning and Weaving with Confidence.

On Sunday, we had a delicious brunch that was included in the retreat, and an informal members’ meeting in which we discussed our goals and challenges in moving forward as a guild.

Two classes were scheduled before and after the retreat: “Tapestry for Beginners” taught by Betty Hilton-Nash, and “Designing with Tapestry in Mind” taught by Tommye Scanlin. The guild plans to continue having an annual exhibit and classes for both beginning weavers and more advanced weavers in the future.

After our scheduled activities, members and their partners enjoyed meals and libations at several restaurants and brewpubs within walking distance of the center. It was good to see our creative friends in person again!

Photos courtesy of Ken Bryson. Thanks, Ken!

TWS Retreat, Exhibition Opening, and Workshop

Tapestry Weavers South is having their retreat and “Tapestry Weavers South – New Works 2021” exhibition opening June 5-6 in Elkin, NC at the The Yadkin Valley Fiber Center, and a tapestry design workshop with Tommye Scanlin is scheduled on Monday-Tuesday, June 7-8. There are a few seats left in the workshop if anyone is interested. Registration is being opened to non-members on May 16 if it doesn’t fill with members by then. If you want to learn beginning tapestry, Betty Hilton-Nash is teaching a tapestry class there June 3-4. Elkin is also hosting NC Trail Days June 3-6. Elkin, North Carolina is a lovely little town near Stone Mountain State Park. Check out about the Trail Days and for lots of fiber events and classes, including master weaving classes.

The tapestry exhibit will take place in the newly opened gallery space from 4 – 6 pm; 321 East Main Street Elkin, North Carolina 28621. Tommye Scanlin will be onsite for a book signing if you have one of her books. Please stop by, say hello, see the beautiful tapestries, and meet some artists whose work we will have on display through August.

President’s Column, March 2021

Happy Spring everyone!

Here we are in 2021 and we’re still in the middle of the pandemic. The vaccine is out. Businesses are open following the CDC and local guidelines for safety. It’s difficult to know how long this will continue. In the meantime, we’re working on finding ways to promote tapestry art.

First, many thanks to each member who submits articles and photos for the newsletter. Allie Dudley does a wonderful job getting the individual articles together for the newsletter. Sarah Thomsen, Membership Chair, keeps us up to date with reminders to get the articles to Allie. Their efforts are appreciated very much.

Leslie Fesperman and April Price are planning a TWS exhibit and retreat in Elkin, NC. There is hope and some members have already committed to entering work in the exhibit. If you haven’t contacted Leslie already to enter your work and wish to enter, please contact Leslie. Be sure and read her article in the newsletter for more information.

Leslie sees a partnership with TWS and the Yadkin Valley Fiber center as sharing their enthusiasm for tapestry weaving by having the annual “New Works by TWS” exhibit each summer. The YVFC plans to offer beginning to advanced tapestry workshops each year growing the offerings over time for tapestry weavers. This year they are planning a beginning tapestry class and a workshop with Tommye Scanlin following the exhibit opening.

What about the uncertainty of what will be happening in June? Many places have already opened exhibits with safety measures in place. The TWS exhibit will work the same way. CDC and the state of North Carolina guidelines for safety will be observed whatever they are at the time. Since no one knows what the guidelines will be in June please check back close to time for the exhibit and retreat.

TWS does need more help on the board. We need a Vice President, a Treasurer, and a Web Manager (Updated, March 27). All the work is done on a volunteer basis with no paid employees. If you have some time to help, please contact me at Volunteering is a good way to get to know other
members of the group as well as to promote tapestry art.

While the pandemic continues, may every member of TWS continue to pursue creating their art. Stay safe
and well.

Terri Bryson

President’s Column, December 2020

(From the Winter 2020 edition of our members’ newsletter, which is emailed to members and can be accessed by password on the Members Only page.)

At long last we’re seeing the last days of a year that won’t be remembered for tons of good things that happened. Like the rest of the world, I’m glad to see the last days of a year that has seemed short, long, distressing, and disorienting.

That’s not to say that everything that happened was bad. There have been some wonderful things to happen.

Now we can all look forward to 2021 with hope since we have predictions of vaccines soon, better treatments, and possibly cures for the Covid-19 virus. TWS is looking forward with some optimism. Leslie Fesperman and April Price are planning an exhibit and retreat for June that we may be able to see in person.

Thank you to each member who submits articles for the newsletter!! Your articles make the newsletter wonderful! It’s fun and enlightening to see your projects, hear about ex-hibits your work is in, and just get to know you a bit better. Your articles in the newsletter connect us to each other. Be sure and read their articles for a preview.

This year the holiday season will be different. Celebrations may be smaller and quieter. People may travel less. Maybe everyone will weave more during the holidays. There will be a different story for everyone. However you spend the holidays, may they be happy and healthy. Wishing all of you a wonderful weaving holiday season!!

Best Wishes,
Terri Bryson

President’s Column, September 2020

What a year this has been! There have been so many cancellations, isolations, disruptions, and unexpected events personally and professionally for so many people. Even nature seems to have gone berserk with fires and other potential disasters. It’s an understatement to say we’ll be glad when the pandemic is under control.

The TWS Board is looking ahead optimistically. Laurie O’Neill has been working to update the website. Five hundred dollars was voted to donate to the Archie Brennan retrospective in Scotland and has been sent. April Price is working on planning a retreat for June 2021. Leslie Fesperman is working on planning a TWS workshop and member’s exhibit to go along with the retreat. Even though we don’t know what the status of the pandemic will be by then we do hope that we can go forward and have a real, in- person retreat and exhibit.

Our Facebook page is getting a lot of new “likes.” I’ve posted some things there and TWS does have an Instagram page. It would be so wonderful to see more members’ work there. We have such talent in the group! Your postings on both of these social media pages would be an asset. Please utilize these pages to promote your work and tapestry in general. Input from members is needed and welcome. What would
make TWS more valuable to you? Can you take a job on the board? Remember, this is all volunteer and members make the organization.

Sadly, the reports I’ve been hearing from Membership Chair, Sarah Thomsen, is that membership is down. If you have friends who are former members, please encourage them to re-join. We need the strength of everyone’s talent and membership.

As we go forward, we’ll be looking forward to seeing everyone in person as soon as it’s safe. In the meantime, please share your work and inspiration on TWS Facebook and Instagram.

Stay safe and creative as you weave on!
Terri Bryson

The President’s Column – May 2020

So far, 2020 has been an unpredictable, stressful year. The Covid-19 pandemic has created havoc for everyone. Activities that we look forward to, and some that are routine, have been cancelled. Exhibits have gone virtual instead of being the physical exhibits that let us see in more detail how artists accomplish their tapestries, paintings, or work in many mediums. People have been asked to shelter in place and social distance. With all that, artists are still artists and doing a lot.

Weave-alongs, stitch-alongs, zoom meetings, and a variety of generous activities are being shared. Artists are donating their time and resources to help everyone. Artists are sewing masks and creating protective gear for those in need. It is wonderful to have such a generous and giving community. Some of us are becoming more adept at using computers, since computers have become our link to other people and activities. Computer visits, classes, or activities are not the same as being together in person, but much better than never seeing friends and family. We have a new normal.

Looking ahead is tricky. We seem to have no definite answers to when the pandemic will end or how to safely get back to normal. We must look ahead anyway. Eventually, the pandemic will be history and the future will arrive. In the meantime, if you have any ideas or suggestions about how TWS can better connect with and serve members, please let us know.

It was disappointing that TWS had to cancel the planned exhibit and retreat in Elkin this year. There are still plans to have a retreat and exhibit when conditions permit. Maybe you have some ideas about activities for the next retreat. We can keep weaving and planning for better days. Please share your ideas for a retreat and exhibit.

Even though ATA activities in Knoxville, TN have been cancelled, we can look forward to another ATA exhibit and retreat along with Convergence in 2022. It would be great for TWS to have a group entry in the next small format unjuried exhibit that ATA has. Exhibit rules require the tapestries to be small. Ten inches by ten inches is the maximum size for any tapestry entered in the exhibit. When we know where the 2022 events will take place, we can start to plan. If you have any ideas for a TWS group entry to the small format unjuried show in 2022, please let your board members know.

We all may be having ups and downs related to the pandemic. Some days creativity may flow and other days creativity is napping waiting for better times. Keep looking ahead for the times we can get together again. It will be wonderful to see exhibits again and meet up in person for tapestry and other events. For now, keep weaving and/or creating; stay well and strong.

Terri Bryson
President. Tapestry Weavers South