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Wed., February 18, 2015 at 7 pm

Free for TSGNY’s Full, Donor, and Student Members. $10.00 for Newsletter Subscription Members and Guests. Admission fees support TSGNY’s Nancy and Harry Koenigsberg Award.

Meeting Location
Community Church of New York Unitarian Universalist 40 E. 35th St. (between Park & Madison Avenues), New York, NY. (Entrance at street level on the far right of the church itself; doorway marked #40.)

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February 18, 2015: Guest Artist
Elizabeth Billings

Through her distinctive weaving style (Billings uses locally gathered materials including reeds, fir needles, stalks, grasses, saplings and roots), she educates people about the conservation of natural resources and she hopes to transitions the viewer "from an intuitive place to a conscious discovery."*  Billings creates textiles and large installations that literally and metaphorically connect people to nature.  

After training with a master weaver in Vermont, Billings traveled to Japan where she apprenticed with a weft ikat (kasuri) weaver.  Through these global experiences she has created her own unique  weaving styles and approach to her art. 

Adding a layer of words to surfaces, Billings has embroidered poems of her relatives, Vermont poet Cora Brooks, and diary entries (1857-1867) of Harriet Warren Vail onto her indigo-dyed ikat and a series of intimate hand towells.  On another piece for a large airport installation, instead of natural-dyed ground clothe, she used slates of wood veneer that were stenciled with writings of Vermont writers/poets and woven into panels. 

Though Elizabeth Billings thrives on the quiet in her Vermont studio, she is inspired and challenged when collaborating with other poets, writers, weavers and woodworkers to create distinctive installations. She has partnered with photographer Michael Sacca, wood carver Andrea Wasserman, and groups of artist to create large commissioned public installations.

The many commissioned public works include art installations for Chandler Center for the Arts, VT; Dana Farber Hospital, MA; New Mexico Court of Appeals; Green Mountain College, VT; Harvard School of Public Health; Terminal D & E, Philadelphia Int'l Airport; Burlington Int'l Airport, VT; Johnson State College Library, VT; plus many, many more.

Billings received her MFA in Fiber from Cranbrook Academy of Art and later she served as Executive Director of Shelbourne Craft School in Shelbourne VT.  She represented Vermont Women Artists for 2003-4 at the National Museum of Women and the Arts, Washington DC.She has been artist-in-residence at the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park in Woodstock VT, and at the Georges River Land Trust and the K2 Family Foundational she and Michael Sacca were the first (2013) to become Artists in Residence.  

*Quote by Elizabeth Billings to Bhakti Ziek of SDA.  Photos by M.R. Sacha

Upcoming Speakers 

March 18, 2015: Joan Morris
Joan Morris began shaped-resist dyeing in 1983, after many years of working with dyes, paint and fabric. That year marked the beginning of her work as master-dyer for the theatre department at Dartmouth College, where she continues to work. She has dyed the textiles for over 60 productions there. Joan began teaching shibori in 1989. She teaches shibori internationally to adults, as well as to children in the schools of the northeastern United States.

April 15, 2015:  Rod Kiracofe, author, Unconventional & Unexpected: American Quilts Below the Radar, 1950-2000. 

May 20, 2015: to be announced

June 17, 2015: Annual Members' Showcase of Current Work

Additional meetings may be announced if a Visiting Artist's schedule permits a speaking engagement with TSGNY. 

Previous Speakers

For many years, members of the Textile Study Group of New York have been attending monthly programs featuring artists and authorities representing all aspects of the world of fiber.

2014-2015 Roster of Speakers:
     September – Matthew Cox, embroidery, painting.
     October – Anne Wilson, sculpture, drawing, performance.
     November – Jane Lackey, drawings, sculpture, installations 
     December – Olivia Valentine, lacemaking, photography
     January – Suzanne Tick, hand weaver and sculptor 

During TSGNY’s 2013–2014 program year, these outstanding speakers presented programs about their work:

September – Warren Seelig, influential weaver who also teaches, lectures, curates, and writes about textile subjects.
October – Luci Arai, traditional sashiko embroidery on sumi-ink painted Japanese papers.
November – Beatrice Coron, papercutter who creates silhouette designs using an X-acto knife, paper, and Tyvek.
December – Pat Oleszko, street, stage, screen performance artist whose work ranges from humorous to absurd.
January – Glenn Adamson, newly applointed Director of the Museum of Arts and Design. 
February – Nathalie Miebach, translates meteorological, ecological, and oceanographic data into woven sculptures. 
March – Cynthia Schira, early proponent of computer-based weaving with an international reputation.
April – Dorothy Gill Barnes, sculptor who works with wood she harvests from felled trees.
May – Diane Savona preserves antique clothing and tools by sewing their structures under and onto vintage cloth.
June – Show of Members' Work

For a more detailed listing of our guest speakers click here.