Fiber Rocks!

Page 1




TABLE OF CONTENTS Introduction. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4 Mesa Prieta Petroglyph. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Española Valley Fiber Arts Center. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Río Grande National Heritage Area. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 ARTISTS: Page 30

Nadina Barnes. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8 Evelyn Campbell. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Anne Vickrey Evans. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Donna Foley. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 Neil Goss. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Dana Helms. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Sandra Hopper. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Heather Lynn Howard. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15

Page 10

April Jouse. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Jiwan Shakti Kaur. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 Jenny Knavel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 Kathy Konecki . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 Perla Kopeloff. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 Gabriel Maestas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 Dennis Markley. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22

Page 21

Carol Martin-Davis. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 Andrea Ortiz . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 Joanne Osburn. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 Cheri Reckers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 Trish Spillman. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27 Felicia Trujillo. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 Terri Wildermuth. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29 Geraldine Woodhouse. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30

Page 29

Judge’s Notes. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31

INTRODUCTION Ancient petroglyphs, images etched on rock, are a part of human heritage worldwide. A common misconception is that petroglyphs in Northern New Mexico are idle graffiti, a fallacy that trivializes the cultural values of others and can result in idle vandalism and theft. Far from trivial graffiti, some petroglyphs date back at least 7,500 years and are of great ancestral importance to many groups. Conservation of these images in their original cultural landscape requires education to develop public sensitivity and appreciation. Art can play a critical role in raising awareness and developing sensitivity as to how to celebrate cultural legacies shared with others. Fiber Rocks! was conceptualized as an art project by the Española Valley Fiber Arts Center (EVFAC), a nonprofit regional hub in Northern New Mexico for all types of fiber arts activity. Initially the Call-for-Artists challenged fiber artists to learn about the long and complex history of the Northern Río Grande Valley. Twenty-three fiber artists responded from six states, including seventeen participants from New Mexico. The project embraced a number of EVFAC's guiding principles, including supporting the creativity of artists who work with fiber, fostering and building upon fiber arts traditions practiced in New Mexico, and building EVFAC's community through collaborative efforts that respect heritage and foster economic sustainability. Participating artists visited in person some of the many thousands of Archaic, Ancestral Puebloan, Pueblo, Colonial Spanish, and Modern petroglyph images on the cultural landscape encompassed by the Mesa Prieta Petroglyph Preserve. Inspired by their research, the artists created distinctive works of art spanning a wide range of fiber mediums. Over the course of five months, the Fiber Rocks! artwork was on display in Española at the Misión y Convento Gallery, in Santa Fe at El Museo Cultural, and in Taos at the Hacienda de los Martínez. These exhibitions engaged diverse audiences and wrapped minds around the important cultural heritage that petroglyphs represent and the living tradition of the fiber arts. The publication you hold in your hands is an effort to keep this conversation going as well as sharing it with ever wider audiences.

This project is made possible in part by New Mexico Arts, a division of the Department of Cultural Affairs, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Page 23


MESA PRIETA PETROGLYPHS The oldest images at the Mesa Prieta were created by Archaic Period hunters and gatherers thousands of years ago. Around A.D. 1300, the Puebloan people came into the area and over the next 300 years, they created tens of thousands of images of humans, animals, geometric objects, flute players, weapons, and abstract motifs among others, many for ceremonial use. The Spanish arrived in 1598, and made their capitol at Ohkay Owingeh at the south end of Mesa Prieta. Soon after, images representing European culture began to appear on the black basalt boulders—Christian crosses, horses, churches, and, uniquely, Heraldic Lions representing the King of Spain. My partner and I purchased what is now known as the Wells Petroglyph Preserve in 1992 knowing that there were “some” petroglyphs. Hiking around my new domain, I was continually astonished at the number of images I found, how beautifully made most of them were, and how diverse. I soon realized that I had stumbled into the ownership of a major cultural resource and that I had a responsibility to protect it. In 1999, I founded the Mesa Prieta Petroglyph Project. We are working to record all of the petroglyphs on the Mesa, to educate local children and others about them, and to preserve and protect this important cultural resource. In 2007, I gave all but a few acres of the property to The Archaeological Conservancy, a preservation organization headquartered in Albuquerque. Since I work with petroglyphs in the framework of archaeology, you can imagine my puzzlement when the idea of Fiber Rocks! first came up. What’s a fiber rock, I wondered? Artists came on tours and went back to their studios to create who-knew-what? I suffered a little consternation because those who made the petroglyphs were not creating “art” as Western culture perceives it, they were creating “culture.” Then I thought about it, many fiber artists, I knew, help preserve cultural traditions in this area. Imagine my delight when I walked into the opening exhibit! There were images in two dimensions, three dimensions, on the floor, hanging from the ceiling, and on the walls in myriad fabrics and fibers. Seeing petroglyphs that were created on hard boulders reimagined on delicate silk or as motifs on a life-sized, three-dimensional grandmotherly figure was testimony to the endless creativity of the human mind. Every artist produced something unique and entirely different from all the others. Some incorporated local weaving traditions while others were decidedly avant garde. The artists were old and young. Some were clearly experienced and others just beginning to find their way. How great I thought, as I studied the work, that they all have an opportunity to be part of collaborative work. This, I realized, may be the first exhibition anywhere of petroglyphs interpreted strictly in fiber arts media. The project is a good example of how community organizations like EVFAC can help their constituents preserve local traditions and foster new ones. How they can spotlight the historic resources in their areas and give them a whole new showcase. Individually and collectively, we can weave strands from the past into a bright tapestry for the future. —Katherine Wells


ESPAÑOLA VALLEY FIBER ARTS CENTER Nestled in the heart of the fiber-rich Española Valley in Northern New Mexico, the Española Valley Fiber Arts Center (EVFAC) was established in 1995 by a small group of local artists/weavers, who had a passion for creating fiber-based textiles. Throughout the Valley, these artists noticed unused looms sitting outside homes in the valley and came to realize that the art of weaving, primarily passed on to next generations through the elder family weavers, was no longer being taught. They formed a 501(c)(3) nonprofit Member-focused organization called the Española Valley Fiber Arts Center and became a teaching center with an emphasis on nurturing the rich fiber heritage of Northern New Mexico. Since then, the Center has grown in size and benefits offered to its Membership, in the number of programs and classes it offers, in physical teaching and studio space, in the size of its retail operations, and in its staff. Today, EVFAC occupies a 7,000-square-foot building (purchased in 2007 and later restored) and houses retail and gallery space, classrooms, and rental space where fiber artists can work and create. Clockwise from top: Anasazi Remembered, Trish Spillman; Mesa Prieta Wallet, Gabriel Maestas; Shields of Blue, Joanne Osburn.

What started out primarily as a weaving center, has expanded to become a resource and gathering place for all fiber artists, including those who practice the traditional or contemporary fiber arts such as spinning, natural dyeing, quilting, knitting, sewing, felting, and many others. Today EVFAC activities focus on three main areas—Education, Community Engagement, and Sustainability. Education builds expertise in the fiber arts by offering a variety of subjects for a wide range of ages and abilities. Community Engagement increases the number and participation of Members and volunteers, and creates awareness about the organization and the fiber arts. Sustainability is achieved through building organizational capacity that creates economic opportunities for EVFAC Members and the fiber arts community. Clearly, the development of shows and exhibitions is important for EVFAC and for fiber artists. They are a way to showcase work, inform the general public about fiber arts, and create economic opportunities for everyone with a fiber ecosystem, beginning with the shepherd or farmer and ending with the client who values the locally handmade product. The Fiber Rocks! exhibition became an excellent example of fiber artists’ creativity and demonstrated their ability to reflect on the local heritage, while utilizing traditional and contemporary techniques to create innovative works of fiber art. In addition, Fiber Rocks! became an exciting example of EVFAC’s ability to mobilize and bring together a community of fiber artists, organizations, and visitors. —Olimpia Newman, Director of Development, EVFAC


NORTHERN RĺO GRANDE NATURAL HERITAGE AREA National Heritage Areas are recognized by Congress as making unique contributions to the American experience. The Northern Río Grande National Heritage Area extends over 10,000 square miles, encompassing all of the land area of Taos, Río Arriba, and Santa Fe Counties. It is a vast area with many geologic features and an abundance of natural resources, and perhaps most importantly from a heritage perspective, its people and their stories. In its northern region surrounding the Río Grande, New Mexico contains the heart of the Pueblo settlements, some with histories that span a millennium. Through subsequent migrations and events, including the arrival of the first Spanish (European) colonists, Mexican independence, and American colonization, Northern New Mexico has emerged as a “cradle of settlement.” The Mesa Prieta petroglyphs provide documentation of these various migrations and settlements in the imagery that is preserved on rock. A key part of the Northern Río Grande National Heritage Area’s effort is in partnering with local entities that are participating in the preservation of culture and resources. Through our grants program and other collaborations, we provide support to community organizations that help further our mission. Fiber Rocks! is an excellent example of these partnerships. It involved the participation of five different organizations, including the Española Valley Fiber Arts Center and Mesa Prieta Petroglyphs Project as the two organizers of the exhibit, and the participating venues that housed the exhibit: Española at the Misión y Convento Gallery, in Santa Fe at El Museo Cultural and in Taos at the Hacienda de Los Martínez. This collaboration enabled artists to draw inspiration from the unique landscape of the Mesa Prieta and the imagery of the ancient settlers to this land, and express it in woven threads that tie together history, fiber traditions, and contemporary cultural expression. This catalog will continue the life of this unique collection and contribute to the growing awareness of the people, the talent, and the natural beauty that is Northern New Mexico. —Tomás Romero, Executive Director, NRGNHA


NADINA BARNES Nadina Barnes of Abiquiu, New Mexico, has been working with textiles most of her life. She began sewing as a young child, making clothing and accessories for her dolls and costumes for herself. She learned a wide variety of skills to enhance her abilities in clothing design, sewing, felting, quilting, and dyeing. Nadina produces hand-dyed fabrics for artists and creates quilts, dolls, and clothing for herself and for sale. She enjoys passing on her knowledge to others by teaching tie-dyeing to children and adults. For the past thirty years, she has had a particular focus on dyeing with a fondness for recycling, seeking out interesting cloth, and then transforming it in the dye pot.


TITLE: Secrets are Everywhere SIZE: 32" × 22" MATERIAL: Hand-dyed, discharged cotton cloth INSPIRATION: Walking on the Mesa Pieta Petroglyph trails is a journey for the imagination. Every few steps reveal more petroglyphs. The artistry is amazing and, without the artist to interpret, the meanings are secret. Are they stories, hopes, or prayers? They cannot be idle doodles because they require long hours of work. I add my own meanings, through my own world experiences, and know my imaginings are probably far from what the original artist intended. My collage is meant to convey the feeling of searching along a trail. There are so many things to see and images appear powerfully. One image seems to show a man with a string of knots and I remember Popé and the Pueblo Revolt. I added a string with knots, like the knotted string used to let the people know when the day to stand tall had arrived, in remembrance of the many people who passed this way before.


EVELYN CAMPBELL Evelyn Campbell of Los Alamos, New Mexico, grew up on a ranch in western Nebraska and learned to sew as a child in 4-H clubs. Later in life, that passion for sewing led to her interest in weaving. She graduated from the University of Colorado in 1947 and worked in research at the University of Colorado Medical Center in Denver. In 1953, she moved with her family to Los Alamos. Evelyn began working at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in 1962 in a Molecular Biology Research Group, retiring in 1995. Since then, weaving has been her primary interest, and she has taken most classes offered at the Española Valley Fiber Arts Center. However, it was Robin Reider’s Tapestry class that hooked her into pursuing tapestry more seriously. Robin told her students: “Once you learn how to weave tapestries, you will see weaving everywhere you look in nature.” Evelyn feels that the landscape in New Mexico is so beautiful that there is no end to the inspiration it offers a weaver.


TITLE: Thunderbird SIZE: 13" × 14" MATERIAL: Cotton warp, wool weft dyed with Sabraset dyes INSPIRATION: The mythology that surrounds the petroglyphs and pictographs all over the world, and especially in New Mexico, are fascinating. I chose to weave a replica of a Thunderbird on the basalt rock of Mesa Prieta. I chose the Thunderbird because it is still a very important symbol to the Native people to this day, as seen in their jewelry and paintings. The post office in Los Alamos was decorated with the Thunderbird when it was built in the 1940s, and it is now a national historic building.


ANNE VICKREY EVANS Anne Vickrey Evans of Tierra Amarilla, New Mexico, has been involved with felt making for over thirty years. She was first introduced to felt as a child while visiting her grandparents in Norway, where nearly everyone had a pair of felt boots. A Danish friend taught her how to make a pair of felt slippers, and from that point on, felt became a focus for her. Anne has written instruction books on wet and needle felting, and she has designed felt-making craft kits for children and adults. In addition to working with a variety of different companies developing felt-making techniques and machines to serve their purposes, she also makes handmade felt garments and accessories, hand-felted wall hangings, sculptures, and other felted objects. She has received awards for her work including the Jurors Choice Award for “Best Body of Work” at the Uncommon Threads Art-to-Wear Fashion Show in Illinois in 2012. In 2014, Anne was one of five invited artists at the Fiber Innovations exhibit at the Parker Arts and Events Center in Parker, Colorado, where she had three handmade felt wall hangings. Anne and her husband own the FeltCrafts® business that provides felt makers with tools and machines for felt making. Contact:

TITLE: A Glimpse of the Past SIZE: 44" × 35" MATERIAL: Hand-felted Merino wool batting, roving and prefelt, hand-dyed silk fabrics, hand-dyed machine knit wool, bison hair, Romney wool roving INSPIRATION: Imagining what these ancient people did within their environment to survive and connecting that to the images scraped on rock were inspiration for this piece. The sheer quantity of ancient petroglyphs on individual rocks was breathtaking. Many of them were made before the Spanish, who brought horses and sheep, came to the area. I marveled at the perfectly shaped cupules found on some rocks that were used to burn incense for sacred offerings. This piece incorporates a number of elements that embody the Mesa Prieta petroglyphs. The felt hands shown surrounded by stones on the right side of the piece represent the hands of the artists who used stones to draw the petroglyphs. The bison hair represents the animal as a staple of the ancient cultures. As the hair was applied during felting, individual hairs traveled throughout the piece. Two cupules are made in felt on the upper left side. The white on black and brown petroglyph figures represent a number of images seen at the site, and the sun at the center top represents a meaningful image to the cultures living in the region that saw the sun as one of their most important symbols.


DONNA FOLEY Donna Foley of Silver City, New Mexico, has been been weaving tapestries for more than twenty-five years as maps of her spiritual journey. The topography is both an external terrain of the mountains of the Gila wilderness where she lives, as well as an internal landscape of meditations and dreams. The natural dyes she uses for her colors are the springboard for each piece she weaves. Collecting local plants, as well as the use of the traditional natural dyes of antiquity, inspire and ground her in an ancient art form. The wool from rare breeds of sheep such as Churro and Lincoln and the added elements of beads, stones, and sticks are all important components of her work.


TITLE: Stories in the Stones SIZE: 37" × 19" MATERIAL: Naturally dyed yarns including cochineal and madder root, turkey feather, beads, carnelian, fossil, tektite stones, arrowhead INSPIRATION: My inspiration was drawn from the atmosphere of the entire site, not from any particular petroglyph. The Mesa seemed to resound with stories and images of shamanic ceremonies that filled my soul. As we wound our ways through the multitude of stones, this feeling of magic and communication with “the other” is what I tried to capture in my piece.


NEIL GOSS Neil Goss of Lawrence, Kansas, uses his work to speak to the natural processes of the earth and how those processes respond to human impact. In 2012, he received two BFAs in Design from the University of Kansas School of the Arts in Design—one focusing on Textiles and the other on Ceramics. For the past five years, Neil has been focusing on sustainable arts practices such as natural dyeing, weaving, hand-dug clay, and foraging art materials. He has studied with many well-known artists, including Mary Anne Jordan, David Brackett, Dominique Cardon, Elena Phipps, Sachio Yoshioka, Nilda Callañaupa Alvarez, Inge Nørgaard, and Michelle Wipplinger. Neil has taught workshops, completed public installations, and done artist talks from coast-to-coast of the United States. Currently he is an artist-in-residence at the Charlotte Street Foundation in Kansas City, Missouri, and he teaches pottery and natural dyeing at the Lawrence Arts Center. Contact:

TITLE: Earth and Love (Front)

TITLE: Money and Warfare (Back)

SIZE: 94" × 60"

SIZE: 94" × 60"

MATERIAL: Hemp, wool, natural dyes, charcoal ink, fallen tree limbs, basalt rocks

MATERIAL: Hemp, wool, natural dyes, charcoal ink, fallen tree limbs, basalt rocks

INSPIRATION: This piece embodies my experience at Mesa Prieta and living in contemporary America. One side of the work incorporates petroglyphs found on the Mesa that tells a unique story of life on Earth. The second side combines symbols found in contemporary America as well as petroglyphs, telling another unique story. The canvas is grounded to basalt rocks from the Mesa symbolizing the Earth that grounds and sustains us, just as it did thousands of years ago. The dichotomy of historical imagery paired with contemporary symbols is to display the differences in what is important and recognizable between now and then. 12

DANA HELMS Dana Helms of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, has been an artist since the age of twelve and a half when she sold her first piece of work to a Native American publication for three dollars. It might not seem like a lot, but in 1977, it was incredibly motivating. This transaction encouraged her to pursue her passion. By the time she graduated from high school, she had earned a full scholarship to the Colorado Arts Institute in Boulder. Her parents were hesitant to send her to another state and encouraged her to take a year of study at the University of Oklahoma. There, she learned a wide variety of eye-opening skills and became convinced she was destined to be an artist for her remaining days. Her task was to figure out what that would look like. Recently, she reconnected with her love of fiber work passed to her by her great-grandmother, Gongie, who taught her how to work in crochet, foiling, and ceramic techniques. Dana knows her great-grandmother is smiling with pride, and she feels her spirit every time she is engaged in her work. Contact:

TITLE: Dragon Toad SIZE: 59" × 44" MATERIAL: Cotton, thread, acrylic paint, gabardine, copper thread INSPIRATION: While I was unable to settle on just one petroglyph, I was definitely sure which drawing would hold center stage. I am a huge Game of Thrones fan and when I first saw the Dragon Toad petroglyph, I thought, “That looks like the dragons from the series!” I imagined what it would have been like to see a horned toad for the first time. Its resemblance to a dragon is amazing! The name of this piece was a combination of “dragon” and horned “toad.” I am honored and grateful to be part of this show. A special thank you goes out to my docent, Janet. Without her willingness to work with meeting times, we wouldn’t have been moved and forever changed by the petroglyphs.


SANDRA HOPPER Sandy Hopper of Elephant Butte, New Mexico, creates her “one-of-one” fine silk and felted pieces in her home studio, Grasshopper Silk. She began working with dyes on silk in 2001, adding Nuno and wet felting in 2012. Her piece, Earth and Sky, a silk ruana, was featured in New Mexico Magazine’s Unique Boutique in 2005, and Grasshopper Silk Studio was selected to be part of the original New Mexico Fiber Arts Trails program. While teaching a fiber workshop in Tumon, Guam, Sandra was invited to exhibit her work at the Marianas Women in the Arts annual exhibit in Guam. She has shown her work for many years with the Southwest Women’s Fiber Arts Collective Fiber Festivals in Silver City. Her work has been represented by several New Mexico galleries including the Santa Fe Community Gallery, Johnson’s of Madrid, Río Bravo Fine Art, and the New Mexico Museum Shops. When time permits, she writes about the process of creating fiber art on her blog,, and journals about the process on her Facebook page, Grasshopper Silk Art, and this spring, she opened an Etsy shop. Contact:

TITLE: Mourning Sun SIZE: 54" × 36" MATERIAL: Handpainted silk striped crinkle georgette, yarn from Española Valley Fiber Arts, alpaca, Merino, handspun art yarn INSPIRATION: The sheer number of petroglyphs at Mesa Prieta speaks to the spiritual importance of this area. When considering the millennia it took to create all these monuments, and the importance of the spiritual legacy that each one represents, we gain insight into the spiritual dedication of the creators. The fact that so many of these petroglyphs were made facing east resonated with me. I can visualize the creators waiting for first light to begin their work anew. It is this image that helped me distill the essence of the area into color, texture, and form in this cloak. To honor the spiritual tradition of creating petroglyphs, I applied a base coat of colorful dyes on the silk georgette then using a brush with only pure water, thus ‘carving’ the symbols into the silk. The Nuno technique uses alpaca, Merino and hand-spun yarns, forming a radiant circle so the wearer embodies the sun.


HEATHER LYNN HOWARD Heather Lynn Howard of Riconada, New Mexico, has deep roots to New Mexico. Her great-grandparents on both sides came to New Mexico as ranchers to raise Hereford cattle and Churro sheep. They lived in dugouts and small dwellings in the southeastern part of the state. She relished the close relationship to her grandparents and extended family and learned to appreciate the culture and vistas of New Mexico. Though she was raised in the Panhandle of Texas, she was deeply influenced by the creatively artistic lives her family lived. Heather’s education in the fiber arts began as a young girl under the special attention of her mother and two grandmothers. She graduated from Texas Women’s University with a degree in Textiles and Apparel and received an Associates Degree in Fiber Arts and Río Grande Weaving from Northern New Mexico Community College (NNMCC) in El Rito. She is an experienced patternmaker, seamstress, and weaver and has taught natural-dye classes, Río Grande weaving, and fashion design at NNMCC, Española Valley Fiber Arts Center, the Tennessee Weaving Guild, and the Intermountain Weaving Conference. Heather is deeply passionate about carrying on the traditions of weaving that are this area’s most unique artistic legacies. She enjoys incorporating traditional Río Grande patterns into her own unique weaving designs. Contact:

TITLE: Río Grande Ram SIZE: Small MATERIAL: Cota, cochineal, madder root, chamisa, logwood, and alkanet natural dyes, Churro wool, silk, and elk antler INSPIRATION: I was amazed to see many of the traditional Río Grande weaving shapes—arrows, triangles, hourglasses—in the ancient petroglyphs. These designs, the animal shapes, and the natural colors of the landscape were my inspiration.


APRIL JOUSE April Jouse of Santa Fe, New Mexico, received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Fiber and Material Studies from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where she studied weaving, dyeing, sculptural crocheting, embroidery, drawing, and printing. Her love of process-oriented art took her to the Anchor Graphics Press to study photo lithography and aluminum plate lithography under Rick Repasky. Since moving to New Mexico in 2012, April’s focus has been on sewing machine drawings. April is committed to the fiber arts community and serves as the Director of Operations for Española Valley Fiber Arts Center.


TITLE: Timeline SIZE: 20" × 40" MATERIAL: Linen, thread INSPIRATION: Over time, our goals and sight lines change, however, the effort and energy to move forward remain the same. The petroglyphs' presence embody the many hands that brought them into being, and they carry that specific spark of life through the years. These living, breathing, changing images inspire us to create, and to continue to strive for more.


JIWAN SHAKTI KAUR Jiwan Shakti Kaur of Taos, New Mexico, has been a lover of wool since she was a child. She is dedicated to sharing and growing the felting community, as well as exploring and expanding her own artistic expression through felted wool. Wool's nature is ancient and primal, allowing Jiwan Shakti to create in many ways, particularly through felting. Jiwan Shakti believes that wool plays an important place in our sustainable future, and it is this combination of ancient roots and future purpose that serve as her inspiration. With a Masters of Science in Experiential Education, Jiwan Shakti is an educator by profession. She has a strong background in the arts, including studying art history while gaining a Bachelor of Arts in cultural anthropology. A self-taught felter, Jiwan Shakti was inspired by felted Namdas in North India to pursue the craft. She has been felting mats and rugs since 2004 and in 2006 founded the Sacred Felt Collection. She has hand and foot felted over 2,000 Sacred Felts that have made their homes in over twenty countries.


TITLE: Elemental Human: Avanyu & Arrow and Solar Symbol & Shield SIZE: 60" × 15" and 26" diameter circle MATERIAL: Merino wool blend, Churro wool INSPIRATION: How humans relate to the elements around them has always been a fascination for me. Equally fascinating is what we choose to leave behind. After touring these particular petroglyphs, I was struck by the differences and the similarities of the images created over the three time periods from ancient to modern, including representations of elements in nature; objects created by humans such as arrows, shields, and other weapons; and images showing the power of humans such as the Heraldic Lion. The ancient solar symbols and simple venues crosses feel to me to express something different from the shields and weapons. There is a contrast between honoring the natural powers of life that sustain us versus the use of our own power as humans. For this reason, I chose to make each felt double-sided, representing contrast and balance. There are also inherent contrasts and balance in the shapes of the pieces themselves—a circle and a line. Walking among the petroglyphs was a dynamic experience. While doing so, I contemplated the power of the elements and how I express my power as a human. What do I want to leave behind?


JENNY KNAVEL Jenny Knavel, of Delavan, Wisconsin, is a visual artist and a professor of art at Western Illinois University. She is interested in creating work that is inspired by quilting traditions and aesthetics, reinterpreting them in a modern context. Jenny’s work merges one of the most traditional American art forms with the impressive and exciting technology of the digital era. Using Photoshop and her camera, she creates digital patterns and simulated textures with a computer. The designs are printed onto cotton fabric, using a large-format ink-jet printer. The fabric is then cut and pieced together into intuitively constructed compositions.


TITLE: Mesa Prieta Quilt SIZE: 34" Ă— 35" MATERIAL: Ink-jet print on cotton, cotton batting, thread INSPIRATION: I am inspired by and attracted to abraded and textured surfaces. The natural world provides plenty of inspiration for design and pattern. The structure of this quilt takes its inspiration from an abstract, geometric petroglyph. Its shape was defined by a round, thick-contoured border, and contains a column of triangular forms located in its center. The boldness of the design and the ambiguity of its meaning intrigued me.


KATHY KONECKI Kathy Konecki of Santa Fe, New Mexico, is an experienced knitter. She grew up in Chicago where she learned how to knit from her mother when she was just ten years old. She set her knitting aside to focus on a career in the corporate world, but it beckoned her back in 2001 when she left the stress and intensity of the corporate world behind her. “I appreciate the meditative and relaxing aspects of knitting and enjoy feeding my creative side that I generally ignored most of my working life.” In 2009, she co-founded a knitting business called Necessary Little Luxuries that is dedicated to bringing a bit of luxury to daily life in the form of handknit wearable accessories made with luxury yarn. She participates in fairs and shows primarily in New Mexico, and sells her accessories in local shops. Kathy is a member of the Las Tejedoras Fiber Arts Guild in Santa Fe, coordinating their shows and exhibits. She is an active participant in the success of the Española Valley Fiber Arts Center, serving a term as the board President.


TITLE: Vortex of Contemporary Southwest Textile Fiber SIZE: 35" diameter MATERIAL: Undyed Angora, alpaca, Churro, mohair, Rambouillet, llama, and bison fiber. INSPIRATION: Petroglyph carvings and other historical references to early Southwest textiles indicate the importance of bison hair and sheep fleece. Contemporary textiles use a greater variety of locally available animal fibers. This piece highlights the amazing variety of animal fibers available in Northern New Mexico and the varieties of textures and natural colors that come from these animals. The vortex shape was inspired by the spirals seen in the Mesa Prieta petroglyphs. The fibers used in the piece are naturally colored yarn from locally raised animals. Starting at the top and working clockwise is fiber from the Angora rabbit, alpaca, Churro sheep, Angora goat (mohair), Rambouillet sheep, llama, and in the center is bison.


PERLA KOPELOFF Perla Kopeloff of Alamosa, Colorado, born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where she received a Masters in Architecture from the University of Buenos Aires. She moved to the United States in 1980, first, to rural Virginia where she learned the crafts of Appalachian basketry and weaving. Combining her unique background and creative talents, she established herself as a tapestry weaver, completing commissions with residential and corporate entities such as General Electric, Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church, and Roanoke General Hospital. The lure of greater artistic freedom in the American West brought her to Taos and finally to Colorado’s San Luis Valley where she has resided since 1992. Her basketry series “Canastas” uses handmade paper with Colorado and New Mexico red soil to reflect the imagery, colors, and textures of her native South America. Perla uses discarded objects and encaustic painting techniques in her works as a reflection of an excessive society that discards and replaces objects at a fast rate. Treasures recovered from parking lots, natural settings, and secondhand stores give new life and meaning to her work. Participating in several national juried fiber shows, Perla was chosen to be an Artist in Residence for the Colorado Arts Council from 1995 to 2002. During this time, she worked extensively with school districts in both urban and rural settings to enrich and enhance the curriculum using handmade paper as the main media. Contact:

TITLE: Vessel SIZE: 20" × 15" MATERIAL: Handmade paper, natural pigments, oil-based paint sticks INSPIRATION: This vessel contains the secrets and symbols of a bygone era when writing on rocks was the only survival story told. Made with handmade paper from plants such as yucca and cattails, dyed with black and brown pigments, and drawn upon with oil-paste sticks, it depicts the uneven marks of the petroglyphs seen on volcanic rocks found on the Mesa.


GABRIEL MAESTAS Gabriel Maestas of Northern New Mexico, is inspired by the beauty of his native state. A self-taught abstract landscape painter, he enjoys using nature as an inspiration for his canvas. Gabriel enjoys the connection between painting abstract forms and tapestry. He was introduced to the field of the textile and fashion design through the Española Valley Fiber Art Center’s teachers and members. For the past five years, he has immersed himself in learning all aspects of the textile design process, from design to manufacturing.

Contact: Gabriel can be contacted through the Española Valley Fiber Arts Center

TITLE: Mesa Prieta Wallet SIZE: 5" × 7" MATERIAL: Churro wool, leather INSPIRATION: I was inspired by the sense of place where the petroglyphs live. I chose to weave a tapestry over an everyday accessory—a wallet—that allows the user to carry this unique environment with them wherever they go.


DENNIS MARKLEY Dennis Markley of Delavan, Wisconsin, is an artist and educator. He is interested in the structure of design and the art form of collage. His visual vocabulary includes humble and subtle elements such as found textile scraps, handmade raffia paper, and recycled Masonite, and he is attracted to rough edges and abraded surfaces. In 2010, Dennis received a grant from Elgin Community College to photograph the petroglyphs of the Vecinos del Río Mesa Petroglyph Project. Working with Katherine Wells and Jenny Knavel, they produced a self-published book, Animal Flute Player Petroglyphs on the Wells Petroglyph Preserve in Northern New Mexico.


TITLE: One At top SIZE: 12" × 12" MATERIAL: Cotton, silk, thread, raffia paper, Masonite, wire, wood TITLE: Two At bottom SIZE: 12" × 12" MATERIAL: Cotton, silk, thread, raffia paper, Masonite, wire, wood INSPIRATION: I met Katherine Wells at a bookstore in Albuquerque, New Mexico, in the early summer of 2009. She was promoting her recently published book, Life on the Rocks. While I listened to Katherine as she spoke about the semi-arid landscape, the ancient artists, and the fragile bonds across time and cultures, I was captivated and inspired. This work is a direct reflection of that experience.


CAROL MARTIN-DAVIS Carol Martin-Davis of Santa Fe, New Mexico, has been sewing since she was a child and a practicing fiber artist since 1977. Carol finds using fabric a natural medium for creative expression. Most of her work is two-dimensional quilting, but she also occasionally does three-dimensional work as well. She is a member of the El Rito Quilters Guild, Northern New Mexico Quilt Guild, and Studio Art Quilt Associates.


TITLE: Emergence SIZE: 66" × 20" × 34" MATERIAL: Cotton fabric, thread INSPIRATION: At the site, I saw petroglyphs that are indicative of four periods—Archaic, Pueblo, Spanish Colonial, and Contemporary—however, I was most inspired by the setting as a whole. This piece embodies the physical place where the petroglyphs live, along with the beauty of the images themselves. I chose fabrics that represent various aspects of the site. For example, on the base, the wavy aqua represents the Río Grande and a water serpent, one of the petroglyph images. The brown fabric speaks to roots deep in the soil. The fabric with colored circles embodies multiple ideas: sunlight through the trees, consciousness, and shield forms chipped into the rock. Other fabrics represent junipers, shrubs and plants, lichen and spirits. The appliquéd golden figures represent actual petroglyphs from the Pueblo and Spanish Colonial periods. The figure that comprises the top of the piece is my interpretation of a figure at the site that had its arms raised and rays emanating from its head. The circles on the front and back of the body represent the contemporary period, and the half-ladder forms on the back of the head represent the Archaic Period. I see the figure as emerging from the stone into a spiritual realm that was perhaps its original inspiration.


ANDREA ORTIZ Andrea Ortiz of Hernandez, New Mexico, began her weaving adventures at the Española Valley Fiber Arts Center about eight years ago. In her first class, she learned to weave a scarf with Trish Spillman. She went on to weave rag rugs with Sandy Voss, tapestry and Río Grande weaving with Andrea Garcia, Gloria Padilla, Norma Navarro, and several other teachers at the Center. In particular, Heather Howard has worked extensively with Andrea to hone her skills. Andrea weaves two days a week without fail and concentrates on both her artistic and technical skills. She is usually planning her next project about halfway through her current weaving. Andrea loves people and she is inspired by the good she sees in them and by the natural world that surrounds her. Her color choices reflect her optimistic look on life that she brings to each and every piece she weaves. Andrea is currently weaving primarily in the Río Grande style, allowing her to express her vision in fiber as a painter would with paints.

Contact: Andrea can be contacted through the Española Valley Fiber Arts Center

TITLE: Journey Through Time

TITLE: Shield

SIZE: 15" × 25" with 23" hanger

SIZE: 14" × 19" with 20" hanger



INSPIRATION: During our tour of the Mesa Prieta, we learned about the three time periods in which the petroglyphs were created. I included imagery from all three periods in these pieces. The indigenous people carved decorative shields during the earliest period, which I featured on one of the tapestries. The river and animal life are represented by the zigzag snake carved during the Pueblo period. The lion figure speaks to the Spanish presence starting around A.D. 1600 It is called the Heraldic Lion for its prominent place on the Spanish flags, and it was the first thing seen by the Native people when the Spanish entered the area. The remaining abstract designs on the tapestries are my interpretation of the Modern period.


JOANNE OSBURN Joanne Osburn of Las Cruces, New Mexico, enjoys sewing with a particular preference for tailored designs. Her mom taught her to sew in the ninth grade and she has been sewing ever since. Joanne creates clothing because it feeds her soul. It is one of the deepest pleasures of her life next to cooking and eating. She enjoys the entire experience of choosing all the elements that go into creating a garment including pattern, fabric, colors, textures, and notions. Creating appliqué, embroidery, and beading embellishments are her favorite parts of the process. Nature and cultural diversity are frequently the inspiration for the decorative aspects of her work. She has her own label, Lookin’ Good Mama! that expresses her appreciation and admiration for the inner strength of women in all societies.


TITLE: Shields of Blue SIZE: 48" × 28" MATERIAL: 50/50 wool/rayon blend, lamé, thread INSPIRATION: This piece was created while thinking about petroglyph artists creating their distinctive shields and imagining what they were trying to capture.


CHERI RECKERS Cheri Reckers of Jarales, New Mexico, earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts with honors from the Columbus College of Art and Design and has been a professional silk painter for over twenty-six years. Cheri’s paintings are often inspired by patterns in nature, especially from the flowers, bugs, and plants in her garden. She uses a free-style silk painting technique to produce most of her work. Her award-winning silk paintings and wearable art have been exhibited nationally and internationally and they have appeared in numerous publications.


TITLE: Circles and Shields SIZE: 30" × 26" MATERIAL: Fiber-reactive dyes on silk organza INSPIRATION: I was drawn to the many circular shield petroglyphs at Mesa Prieta. Patterns in nature provide endless inspiration for my artwork, and I frequently incorporate circles, spots, and dots into my paintings.


TRISH SPILLMAN Trish Spillman of Santa Fe, New Mexico, founded Española Valley Fiber Arts Center (EVFAC) to further the fiber arts. She enjoys teaching and leading workshops to share her knowledge. Trish has a Masters of Arts with additional graduate studies in art history from the University of New Mexico. She has taken classes at the Fashion Institute of New York City, holds a certificate from the New York School of Interior Design, and numerous fiber workshops and seminars. Trish is the co-author of Spanish Textile Tradition of New Mexico and Colorado published by the Museum of New Mexico Press, Santa Fe. Two years ago, with help of EVFAC, she held a retrospective show of her fifty-year involvement with fiber. She continues to generate original art works in weaving, felting, embroidery, and beading


TITLE: Anasazi Remembered SIZE: 21" × 36" MATERIAL: Linen, fabric, rocks INSPIRATION: I am not a tapestry weaver and yet wanted to depict the petroglyphs in their environment. To do this, I painted on fabric, cut the fabric into strips, and then wove them together. I made sure that our New Mexico blue sky is prevalent in the piece. The added rock resemble the black basalt of the area that were painted with petroglyph designs. This is the first time I have tried the technique of painting a scene and then cutting and weaving the strips.


FELICIA TRUJILLO Felicia Trujillo of Española, New Mexico, has been making objects from willow since 1999. She first learned the skills to work with willow in Rockland, Maine, at a furniture school. Upon returning home, she sought out local basket makers to learn more about the art of working willow; most notably, Lorenzo Armijo, a basket maker from Pena Blanca, and Bob Allalunis of Taos. She is passionate about promoting willow baskets and screens by educating the community about the abundant willows that grow along the acequias, a community-operated watercourse. The willows need to be cleared away annually to keep them from interfering with the water flow. They grow back smooth and long, making them an important, abundant source of basketry material. Trujillo taught basketry in the Community Gallery at the Santa Fe Convention Center where she has also shown her work. She participated in Santa Fe’s 400-year celebration at Fort Marcy Park, selling her pieces and teaching anyone who wanted to make a basket. Trujillo is also interested in exploring new materials, making sturdy baskets from discarded bike rims.


TITLE: Screens of Perception SIZE: 62" × 90" MATERIAL: Willow INSPIRATION: My father would take us up to the Mesa to haul rocks for building walls at home. He would point out the petroglyphs to us as we drove up the first big hill, so I’ve always known about them. To actually get up close to them and have someone tell you what they could mean, well, that made me feel differently about the place. To see the serpents emerging from cracks, cupules seen clearly in the right light, symbols of stars and planets and life and eternity, flute-playing critters; this place blows my mind!


TERRI WILDERMUTH Terri Wildermuth of Santa Fe, New Mexico, has made this beautiful state her home for the past thirty-seven years. For twentyfive of those years, she worked for the New Mexico State Forestry, retiring in 2003. She went to China to teach English for five years, returning to Santa Fe in 2010. Terri practices the fiber arts of knitting, weaving, and felting, and she sells her wet and Nuno-felted garments at arts and crafts shows.


TITLE: Nuno-Felted Jacket SIZE: 19" × 26" MATERIAL: Merino wool roving, wool material INSPIRATION: New Mexico was my inspiration for this jacket. I am fortunate to have experienced many of New Mexico’s unique landscapes and colors throughout the years, and seeing the petroglyphs adds to the magic. Being able to participate in Fiber Rocks! thanks to EVFAC and Mesa Prieta Petroglyph Project, was a chance to experience a new and special landscape. I chose to show the colors of the land along with just a few petroglyphs that called out to me in my piece.


GERALDINE WOODHOUSE Geraldine Woodhouse of Katy, Texas, has always been a tactile person. Her mother taught her to sew by hand and machine, before the local 4-H club would let her join. At eight, they claimed she was too young to have the dexterity to operate a sewing machine. She was set firmly on the path of the fiber arts during one summer spent at her grandfather’s farmhouse. Bored, she offered to sew by hand a gingham dress her mother brought along to sew. Her mother also taught her to knit and quilt, and later, Geraldine discovered weaving. She finds that creating cloth is even more inspiring than sewing commercial fabric. Geraldine studied Home Economics at Florida State University and Textile Design at Auburn University. She joined the Contemporary Handweavers of Houston and Contemporary Handweavers of Texas, which have fed her soul for more than twenty years by hosting workshops, semiannual conferences, and an annual weavers’ sale.


TITLE: Long Ago Told SIZE: 14" × 18" MATERIAL: Wool, silk, natural-grown brown cotton INSPIRATION: I have always been interested in simple, primitive images. With just a few strokes, they convey a concise view of people, animals, birds, and plants. It was easy to see that some of the animal images clipped from rocks were the same animals we have now, such as skunks, birds, deer, dogs, snakes, and people. When I heard about the Fiber Rocks! challenge, I did some research and ordered books to learn more— Life on the Rocks, One Woman’s Adventure in Petroglyph Preservation by Katherine Wells, Rock Art in New Mexico by Polly Schaafsma, and Kokopelli by Dennis Slifer. I've had already been experimenting with weaving simple historic images using tapestry and Summer and Winter weaves. Tapestry is a good way to create what-you-see-is-what-you-get images. It is a straightforward weave where the weft is carried only as far as necessary to make a horizontal line of an image.


JUDGE’S NOTES AURELIA GOMEZ, DEPUTY DIRECTOR MUSEUM OF INTERNATIONAL FOLK ART IN SANTA FE Aurelia Gomez was asked to review this unique body of work and to select awards based on three categories: technique, theme, and creativity/innovation. Ms. Gomez commented that the pieces as a whole excelled in technique and bold creativity, each was unique and demonstrative in its own right.

TECHNIQUE First Prize: Donna Foley, Stories in the Stones (page 11) This piece incorporates traditional tapestry techniques with symbolic elements that add dimension and move it beyond the flat surface. Together they tell the story of her inspiration that she eloquently weaves together. Honorary Mention: Terri Wildermuth, Nuno-Felted Jacket (page 29) Her Nuno-felted jacket layers colors that appear like rocks piled over time. The chosen petroglyphs are interpreted literally, however their superimposed technique projects authority and importance.

THEME First Prize: Anne Vickrey Evans, A Glimpse of the Past (page 10) In a harmonious way, Ann unifies the petroglyph theme and its environment. The felted structures effectively emulate the process of creation and the influence of the environment over time. Honorary Mention: Carol Martin-Davis, Emergence (page 23) Emergence is not only inspired by the petroglyphs, but also become one. Carol’s piece takes the viewer beyond the literal. It is daring and whimsical at the same time.

CREATIVITY AND INNOVATION First Prize: Felicia Trujillo, Screens of Perception (page 28) The screen uses natural fiber materials, the willow, in a straightforward way. The screen’s raw appearance is enhanced by its transparency that offers incredible shadows that project the petroglyph images into time. Honorary Mention: Jiwan Shakti Kaur, Elemental Human (page 17) The Elemental Human felted pieces have a strong voice and expression of style. The imagery engages us as the piece reveals complementary petroglyph images on both sides of the felt, particularly as they wind and spin.



The Mesa Prieta Petroglyph Project seeks to preserve petroglyphs on Mesa Prieta through the education of the local community and recording what may be well over 75,000 images on the Mesa.

Española Valley Fiber Arts Center’s mission is to cultivate and support multigenerational participation in local, traditional, and contemporary Fiber Arts.


Northern Río Grande National Heritage Area’s mission is to sustain the communities, heritages, languages, cultures, traditions, and environment of Northern New Mexico through partnerships, education, and interpretation. Our Vision is Community and economic viability rooted in the heritage and the environment of Northern New Mexico.

Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.