Surface Design Journal - Summer 2014 - Sample Issue

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w h o ’ s

w h o

Surface Design Association

P.O. Box 20430 Albuquerque, NM 87154 info@surfacedesign.org surfacedesign.org Executive Director

Diane Sandlin 512.394.5477 executivedirector@surfacedesign.org

Surface Design Journal is a quarterly publication

of the Surface Design Association, a non-profit educational organization.

Assistant Executive Director

Susannah Fedorowich 707.829.3110 administration@surfacedesign.org Surface Design Journal Editor

Marci Rae McDade 503.477.7015 journaleditor@surfacedesign.org SDA Digital Publications Editor (Website, NewsBlog, eNews)

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LM Wood lmnopwood@gmail.com Surface Design Journal Art Director

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Gerrie Congdon 503.788.3322 membercommunications@surfacedesign.org Printed in Hanover, Pennsylvania

The Sheridan Press www.sheridan.com Executive Board:

President . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Jeanne Raffer Beck Vice President . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Karen Hampton Secretary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Vivian Mahlab Treasurer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Joyce Martelli Board:

Director . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Astrid Bennett Director . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Marianne Biagi Director, President Emeritus . . . . . . . .Jane Dunnewold Director . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Diane Franklin Director . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Teddy Milder Director . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Margaret Miller Director . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Jeanette Thompson 4

SURFACE DESIGN ASSOCIATION Our Vision: To inspire creativity, encourage innovation,

and advocate for artistic excellence as the global leader in textile-inspired art and design. Our Mission: To promote awareness and appreciation of

textile-inspired art and design through member-supported benefits, including publications, exhibitions and conferences. Our Objectives:

• To provide opportunities for learning, collaboration and meaningful affiliations • To mentor and support emerging artists, designers, and students • To inform members about the latest developments and innovations in the field • To recognize the accomplishments of our members • To encourage critical dialogue about our field • To inspire new directions in fiber and textiles • To raise the visibility of textiles in the contemporary art world SUBSCRIPTION / MEMBERSHIP

The Surface Design Association membership: $60 a year ($35 for student with ID); $30 ($20 student) of each member’s dues shall be for a year’s subscription to Surface Design Journal. Subscriptions are available only to members. Outside USA: add $12 for Canada and $20 for all other countries. US funds only. Send Subscription/Membership correspondence to:

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Surface Design Journal

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Cross-Cultural Conversations The theme “Korea: East & West” began to take shape back in 2011 when I first saw cover artist Shin-hee Chin’s Self Portrait #5 in Fiber Focus, a regional exhibition hosted by Art Saint Louis gallery. At a distance, the piece shimmered in a seemingly pixelated halo of vibrant color. Chin created this effect with a technique she developed by appropriating the traditional Korean paper twisting method of jiseung used for basketry. Handmade Korean mulberry paper (hanji) is twisted into single strips between the index finger and thumb to make cords. Chin substituted recycled fabric for paper to construct thin tubes, which she then connected with hand stitching. Dyeing certain stripes added tonal variation. Chin’s technical achievements align with her introspective narrative. “Self Portrait #5 poses questions about identity and the sense of belonging in terms of gender, ethnicity, and nationality: Who am I and What am I? Traditionally, red and blue are assigned gender-specific roles. Red and blue are also used a great deal in flags and are thus associated with patriotism, allegiance, and loyalty. Both Korea and the US, the two countries essential in defining my nationality and cultural citizenship, use red and blue colors in their flags. To symbolize the hybridity of my identity and cultural practices, I alternated stripes of red, white, and blue (America) and red, blue, white, and black (Korea) in creating an image of myself.” This issue is filled with stories about fearless artists who have ventured beyond the borders of their homeland in search of creative challenges and personal fulfillment. Others have dedicated their boundless artistic energy to promoting traditional and contemporary Korean art forms. To provide the backstory needed to fully appreciate these efforts, several articles provide key historical references and terminology. Also of note is the Korean convention of listing family names first followed by given names. Throughout this issue, however, I follow the American style of placing given names first. Every international edition we put together affords incredible opportunities to learn about the textile traditions and fiber-art forms of other countries. For Korea, my editorial research was enriched by consultations and translations

Summer2014

generously provided by many of our contributing artists. Special thanks goes out to Kyoung Ae Cho, Hyunsoo Kim, Chunghie Lee, MiKyoung Lee, Jiseon Lee Isbara, and Warren Seelig. Later this summer, Lee Isbara will have new pieces on display in two concurrent shows in my hometown of Portland, Oregon. On the heels of her opening events, I will venture beyond the Northwest to Jeju Island, South Korea, to attend the Korea Bojagi Forum. This biennial conference, organized by Chunghie Lee, promises a wealth of cross-cultural conversations with several international lecturers, persimmon dyeing workshops, and exhibitions of art made by over 100 artists from 17 countries!

Marci Rae McDade journaleditor@surfacedesign.org

COVER CREDIT: SHIN-HEE CHIN Self-Portrait #5 Recycled twisted fabric, hand stitching, hand quilting, dyeing, fabric painting, 52" x 38", 2010. Detail of mouth ABOVE. TOP: Flag design of South Korea.

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Surface Design Journal

features 06

Korean Fashion Art by Karen Searle

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Shin-hee Chin: Valorizing the Voiceless by Mary M. Dusenbury

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The Evolution of Bojagi by Maria Tulokas

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Cultivating Hanji in America by Aimee Lee

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Stitches in Time: Jiseon Lee Isbara by Prudence Roberts

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Joomchi Tradition as Contemporary Art by Jiyoung Chung

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Ambassadors of the Asian Miracle: Hwajin Oh and MiKyoung Lee by Warren Seelig

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Korea’s Chung Young Yang Embroidery Museum b y L e e Ta l b o t

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Summer 2014 Volume 38 Number 4

departments 50

Exposure A gallery of recent work by SDA members

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Emerging Voices Jayoung Yoon

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Emerging Voices Aram Han

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Informed Source Kwang Young Chun

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First Person Soo Sunny Park

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Legacy Yeonsoon Chang

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Spotlight on Education Ewha Womans University Seoul, South Korea The University of the Arts Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

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In Review 9th International Fiber Biennial A Modern Narrative of Material Beauty Philadelphia, Pennsylvania FiberNext Wilmington, Delaware Do Ho Suh: Home within Home within Home within Home within Home

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Seoul, South Korea Do Ho Suh: Dreams May Come Hong Kong Kyoung Ae Cho: One at a Time Milwaukee, Wisconsin

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Valorizing the Voiceless

S h i n - h e e b y

SHIN-HEE CHIN Self-Portait #5 Recycled cotton, twisted fabric, blanket stitching, hand quilting, dyeing, fabric painting, 52" x 38", 2010.

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Shin-hee Chin’s diverse body of work invites the viewer to reflect deeply on human life, particularly the ways that women have understood, encountered, and transformed the world around them. Her self-portrait on the cover of this issue reflects the insight and empathy with which she views and interprets the world. Born in Seoul, South Korea, Chin currently teaches in the department of Art and Design at Tabor, a Mennonite college in Hillsboro, Kansas. She received a BFA and MFA from Hong-Ik University in Seoul and an MFA from the University of California, Long Beach. Chin’s awardwinning work has been exhibited widely in Korea, Japan, and the US. Chin often uses old cloth and worn-out garments as primary materials. She began this practice many years ago with her children’s outgrown clothing. Today she frequents thrift shops in the small towns of rural Kansas. Occasionally, she finds bits of handmade lace or crumpled embroidery, work a prairie woman once created with love and skill, but devalued and rejected by her descendants. In Behind the Scenes, she has reclaimed a large number of cross-stitched embroideries, giving them new life and honoring their makers. The long piece hanging horizontally in space reveals not only the painstaking and confining handwork of cross-stitch, but also the loose ends—the chaos of life—that is normally hidden behind each carefully orchestrated front. In her artist statement, Chin asserts “I constantly try to valorize devalued women’s labor and the woman’s body by reversing the negative insinuations associated with female domains and imbuing them with positive qualities.” Her impressive toolkit of techniques is used with skill and sometimes a startling imagination. Nadia Anjuman,1 a portrait in her 2012 exhibition War and Peace, depicts a young Afghani poet who died after a severe beating by her abusive husband. In a poem that Chin quotes in the exhibition catalog, Anjuman wrote “I am caged in this corner, full of melancholy and sorrow… My wings are closed and I cannot fly…”. The yoyo quilt technique may seem like an unlikely choice for this subject, but in Chin’s hands the flexible three-dimensionality of the yoyos, pressed behind a superimposed red-thread grid, conveys the terrible tension of this suppressed life.2 Ten years earlier, Chin created a sculpture that first began to deal with the subject of the isolation of the voiceless. Silence is a poignant portrayal of a young woman who appears to have been silenced rather than one who is taking pleasure in quietude. It is a small, powerful work, one of a series made simply by binding and modeling her children’s old clothes. In Silence, the tight binding Surface Design Journal

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threads emphasize the constriction of the voiceless even as they hide any hint of the clothing— and the memories it evokes—that form the unseen core of each figure. In an exhibition in the fall of 2013 at the Lawrence Art Center in Lawrence, Kansas, Chin returned seriously to the subject of silence, voice, and communication with a work entitled Mother Tongue and Foreign Language. Our mother tongue is so much a part of the fabric of our being that it is hard to imagine who we would ‘be’ without it. Language is more than a naming of things. It is a very particular perception of the universe and the place of humans within it. It is also our primary connection to the world around us. What is it like to be silenced? To be transplanted to a place where no one speaks your language? Cut off. In Mother Tongue and Foreign Language, Chin composed a diptych work with parallel format. The pattern on two short jackets is formed from the English alphabet on one and the Korean hangul on the other. The phrases “My Mother Tongue is Your Foreign Language” and “Your Mother Tongue is My Foreign Language” appear on the long skirt panels below, one set in English, the other in Korean. Mother Tongue and Foreign Language is primarily about language as a barrier and the stark loneliness of having no way to communicate fully even with one’s own children. The direct simplicity of the presentation, however, conveys a quiet acceptance of the reality of this deep divide.

ABOVE: SHIN-HEE CHIN Silence Old cloth, cotton thread, linen thread, polyester thread, hand stitching, 16" x 11.5" x 11", 2001. TOP: SHIN-HEE CHIN Behind the Scenes Cotton, polyester, cross stitch canvas, embroidery floss, needles, dowel rods, machine and hand stitching, 50" x 240" x 30" (installation dimensions), 2013.

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Her impressive toolkit of techniques is used with skill and sometimes a startling imagination.

SHIN-HEE CHIN Nadia Anjuman Recycled fabric, yo-yo quilt technique, whole cloth dyeing, fabric painting, hand stitching, 60" x 48", 2012.

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By contrast, Breathing is a joyful work that revisits the theme of binding and freedom that is conveyed in the words of Anjuman’s poem and in the sculpture Silence. The work is constructed of twenty hanbok jeogori in a stunning rainbow of colors. It dominated the gallery at the Lawrence Art Center, cascading from a corner of the high ceiling and flowing out onto the floor. The jeogori is a short, tight jacket that is part of the hanbok traditional dress of Korean women. Lovely as it appears to an observer, the jacket, drawn tight around the bodice with long ties, constricts a woman’s movements and reflects the restrictions placed on her in traditional Korean society. In her own life, Chin has broken through many of those restraints—most dramatically by leaving Korea and emigrating to the US. Breathing, created from jeogori that once belonged to her mother and grandmother and their circle of friends, breaks through symbolically for all of them by detaching the constricting ties and spreading the arms of the slender jackets like wings. Like a flock taking flight, the community of women remains interrelated by the old ties now used to loosely connect the edges of the sleeves. Slight breezes in the gallery caused the panel of jeogori to sway and their shadows to dance on the walls. I recently saw a photograph of a long string of Tibetan prayer flags flying from an unseen point high in the Himalayas and was reminded of Breathing. If the joyous, connected freedom expressed in this work is not yet a reality, perhaps it is the artist’s vision, hope, and prayer for the silenced and disenfranchised women of the world for whom her work displays such empathy.

ABOVE: SHIN-HEE CHIN Mother Tongue and Foreign Language Silk, polyester, handmade Korean hanbok jeogori (jacket), stenciling, appliqué, quilting, stitching, 200" x 50" each, 2013. BELOW: SHIN-HEE CHIN Breathing Recycled Korean hanbok jeogori (jacket), cotton, monofilament, bamboo poles, hand stitching, 15' x 58" x 19' (installation dimension), 2013.

1Chin’s

piece Nadia Anjuman received the 2014 Kirtz/Van Nortwick Award in The Artist as Quiltmaker XVI, organized by Firelands Association for the Visual Arts, Oberlin, OH. 2Nadia

Anjuman was one of a small group of young women who met secretly to study banned writers. Their story is told in Christina Lamb’s book The Sewing Circles of Herat (New York: Harper Collins, 2004). A few months before her death in 2005, Anjuman published Dark Red Flower, her first book of poetry.

Shin-hee Chin’s solo show Root and Rise is on display at Pioneer Bluffs Gallery, Matfield Green, KS through August 30, 2014; www.pioneerbluffs.org/gallery. www.shinheechin.com

—Mary M. Dusenbury is Research Curator and Project Director of Color in Ancient and Medieval East Asia at the Spencer Museum of Art, University of Kansas.

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SURFACE DEISGN JOURNAL - Summer 2014

E POSURE YOUNGMIN LEE Pleasanton, California Jogakbo Korean silk gauze (sukgosa), silk thread, bojagi technique (gamchimjil, homjil), hand stitching, 14" x 14", 2014. Photo by the artist. www.youngminlee.com

JACK BROCKETTE Dallas, Texas Dragonflies at Sunset Hand-dyed silk organza, three layers quilted, French seams, embroidery, 75" x 45", 2008.

JIYOUNG CHUNG Providence, Rhode Island Whisper—Romance: Ocean Joomchi, about 57.75" x 88.75", 2013. www.jiyoungchung.com 50 50 50

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SURFACE DEISGN JOURNAL - Summer 2014

GUO-XIANG YUAN Hong Kong IxI Polyester, laser engraving, 2010. Photo by the artist. www.yuanguoxiang.com

SAARALIISA YLITALO Washington, DC Hippocampus 3 Mulberry paper, waxed linen, silk thread, rust dyeing, joomchi with shifu (paper thread), 36" x 12", 2014. www.saaraliisa.com

NANCY DOVE Gilbert, Arizona Entwined I Mulberry paper, thread, gold leaf, joomchi, 10" x 10", 2011.

Artists represented on the “Exposure” pages are members of the Surface Design Association (SDA). This issue features the work of members who have populated their SDA profile pages with images and information about themselves and their work. This free and easy online service adds to the SDA Image Library and Member Directory; both are valuable research tools for curators, writers, collectors, and artists from all over the world. To learn more, log into your member account and follow the prompts, or visit the gallery at surfacedesign.org. 51 51 51

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e merging v oices Aram Han The needle is a political tool. It pierces and binds membranes together. The thread that it steers is tied off and remains, while the needle continues to join and mend. As an artist, I use the needle to stitch together various histories and discourses revolving around the simple act of sewing. This act, however, is anything but uncomplicated. The creation of each stitch engages sewing’s complex histories and politics of traditional, industrial, feminist, immigrant, and artist labor. Sewing is a time-based art practice. Fiber as a medium speaks a language of accessibility, intimacy, and time. From its inception, it has been touched. To sew, the hand, armed with a needle, pierces the cloth, pulls the needle up, pierces the cloth, and pulls the needle down. Each sewn thread creates an indexical line of invested time, gesture, and rhythm. In my practice, I sew with persistent repetition, imbuing it with the spirit of my hands. In each work, my hands, the histories of the practice, and the people involved in these histories are contained and revealed. My project A Mend: A Collection of Scraps from Local Seamstresses and Tailors is informed by the politics of sweated labor. The lure of the “American Dream” draws many immigrants who arrive to find out that their employment options are limited. Many end up getting jobs that offer low wages, require repetitive manual labor, and are sometimes hazardous with little to no protection. Inspired by my seamstress mother, who emigrated with me from Korea to the US in 1992, I visited tailors and seamstresses in the Chicago area. I talked with them about my project, used their services, and asked them to donate the remnants from hemming jeans. While collecting jean cuffs, I asked them a series of questions. I created a quilt-like structure out of the scraps of their hand labor and compiled a chart reflecting their answers. The chart reveals a sad reality—many of them are unable to continue their former careers in this new country. 54

BELOW: ARAM HAN A Mend: Collection of Scraps from Local Seamstresses and Tailors. Jean cut off scraps, gold denim thread, machine stitching,168" x 120" x 48", 2011-2013. Details RIGHT & TOP. Photos: Hyounsang Yoo.

In US Citizenship Test Sampler, I use needlework to call upon the socio-historical role of women and the function of non-citizen communities. Sewn samplers were used in Colonial America to teach young children needlework and the alphabet. I am hand-sewing the 100 civic study questions that compose the US Citizenship

Surface Design Journal

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ABOVE & BELOW: ARAM HAN US Citizenship Test Sampler #78 by Lidi (In progress) Cotton thread on linen, hand stitching, 11" x 8.5", 2014. LEFT: ARAM HAN US Citizenship Test Sampler (In progress) Cotton thread on linen, hand stitching, 360" x 8.5", 2013–ongoing. Photos: Chanhee Choi.

Test I am currently studying to take. I will subsequently sell the completed work for $680— the cost of applying for naturalization. This action is motivated by the history of educated adolescent women embroidering decorative pictorial samplers that functioned as signifiers of worth to potential suitors. My American citizenship is thus contingent on the sale of the work. I invite other non-US citizens to contribute to the pool of samplers, both augmenting the project and building a community. Some see this project as patriotic, as non-citizens learn about US history and government through a traditional American craft. Others argue that the act of stitching these samplers by non-citizens represents a political reappro-

priation of a text that is inherently condescending of the immigrant community, with a making process that reflects immigrant labor today. Thus, my practice is rooted in investigating the convergence and subversion of multiple histories and political narratives. Non-US citizens interested in participating in Aram Han’s US Citizenship Test Sampler project can contact the artist through her website www.aramhan.com. Her work is included in Material Possessions at Lubeznik Center for the Arts, Michigan City, IN (through July 26, 2014); www.lubeznikcenter.org.

—Aram Han was born in Seoul, South Korea. She received her BFA in 2008 from the University of California, Berkeley, and her MFA in Fiber and Materials Studies from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2013.

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i nr eview Seoul, South Korea Reviewed by Hyunsoo Kim

Do Ho Suh: Home within Home within Home within Home within Home Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art An enormous three-story townhouse stood inside Seoul Box, the most spacious exhibition hall in the center of Seoul’s National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (November 12, 2013–May 11, 2014). For the grand opening of the MMCA on November 13, 2013, Korean artist Do Ho Suh revealed the elegant form of Home within Home within Home within Home within Home, his largest work ever created. This full-scale building made of translucent blue eunjosa (thin silk used for making traditional Korean Hanbok costumes) and exquisite sewing is comprised of two pieces. The outer layer is a replica of Suh’s first apartment as an international student in Providence, Rhode Island. Inside, his family’s traditional Korean style house, in which he grew up, is suspended from the ceiling. Standing inside this work, viewers could picture him daydreaming about teleporting himself to a comfortable home in the motherland, or perhaps moving his Seoul home inside his current residence. The word Home is repeated five times in the title to reference the geographical, historical, and cultural meaning embedded in the location.

DO HO SUH Home within Home within Home within Home within Home Silk, metal rod, 3D modeling, sewing, about 40’ x 50’, 2013. Installation view at Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul, South Korea. Courtesy of MMCA, Seoul, South Korea.

Suh is expanding the concept of space by placing a traditional Korean house within a western town house, a western town house within Seoul Box, Seoul Box within the museum, the newly built museum within the historical Kyungbok Palace, and Kyungbok Palace within the city of Seoul. Suh’s use of translucent silk embodies a Korean philosophy that “architecture is part of nature”, where concepts of “inside” and “outside” vanish. The significance of this work is found not only in its mesmerizing scale, but also the coexistence of contrasting elements—femininity and masculinity, past and present, interior and exterior, real and unreal, east and west. Moreover, Suh’s ongoing home series of exact duplicates of real places can also be interpreted as deeply emotional spaces, beyond the physical. These monumental works involve his architectural planning and communal creative process with groups of skilled artisans and workers. Through this collaboration, Suh further actualizes shared experiences with his viewers. His choice of translucent silk visualizes the fragile quality of atmosphere and unreachable memory of a home. The experience of walking into this dreamy piece touches on an individual’s nostalgic emotion of personal memories, which leads to empathy with the work. An abundance of natural light streaming through the glass walls of Seoul Box maximized this magical feeling. www.mmca.go.kr —Hyunsoo Kim received a BFA in Textiles from the Rhode Island School of Design and an MS in Textile Design from Philadelphia University. She is a textile artist, and instructor at Dongduk Women’s University, Ewha Womans University, SangMyung University, and Seoul Women’s University in Seoul, South Korea.

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city: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . state: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . zip code . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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account number . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .expiration date . . . . . . . . . Cardholder’s Name: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Cardholder’s Signature: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Billing address if different than mailing address: street: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . city: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . state: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . zip code . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

SDA Membership brings Surface Design Journal to your mailbox 4 times a year - plus much more: • Stay connected to textile arts community news via monthly eNews email + NewsBlog. • Be seen! Submit your work for consideration to SDJ’s Exposure & SDA exhibition calls-for-entry. • Get more hits! Create your own member profile webpage on SDA Website which gets over 100,000 visitors a month.

• Get promoted! Use SDA Website Calendar to publicize your workshop or exhibition. • Share the passion! Borrow 1 of 3 SDA Swatch Collections to inspire a class or local meeting with this extraordinary educational resource (also downloadable). • Get funded! SDA Grants & Awards can help support your personal development or local textile arts lectures & events.

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