ArtAndes Blog

Textile Enlightenment through the SW to the Pacific NW.

Posted April 3, 2011 @ 8:46pm | by Melanie


ArtAndes hit the road for one whole glorious month, showing rugs and Maximo Laura's tapestries in a combination of a market,  weaving gallery, 4 homes and a textile museum. It was a splendid way to do business, see some old precious friends, meet new ones, see some fantastic parts of the country, eat well and oh yes, make some money. It was a full experience!

Santa Fe: a two day market in the rail yard area of town. A dear friend who was on a Peru trip in 2009, introduced me to Santa Fe last year. It's a gallery town that's for sure. Business was average. But as with any road trip, one brings bikes along and riding around Santa Fe was really scenic with plenty of hills. 

Taos: Weaving Southwest Gallery. Wow, that was the place to be for ArtAndes! It's the Ayacucho of North America. Do people know their weaving. It was a very stimulating environment and we extended our stay by 4 days. Many locals are accomplished weavers and the gallery had 25 years of expert leadership from a re-known weaver 'Rachel Brown' Her granddaughter Teresa is now at the helm and giving it a future. Alot of men weave in this area as well, which was really cool. The overall response from the experienced weavers was " I could never do this" They were completely awe struck that all the yarn for the rugs, is all hand-spun on a drop spindle. The gallery only deals with contemporary tapestry design, our textiles really fit in. We plan to go back and hopefully Maximo will be giving a class there next year if all goes as planned. The riding was also very scenic!


L: Maximo's tapestries (below) at the gallery  R: doing business Southern California style


Palm Springs: That was just going to be a 2 day stopover to do a bike ride with the Thompsons on our way to the bay area. They had visitors that needed rugs as it turned out, so that was a bonus. The Thompson's actually live in Mpls- they were just getting warm while renting a condo short term. Another blessing of how selling a rug 10 years ago, led to a few Peru trips and a lasting friendship. Our ride was at high noon ( had to sell rugs first) sunny and 90 and we suffered but it had good lingering memories later.

Atherton/Bay area: The Weisenberg's have a lovely California ranch style home in a wooded area very close to Stanford University, Silicon Valley, places I've only heard about. WOW! One feels like they have their finger on the pulse just by osmosis! David and Kathleen were on a Peru trip in 2002 and I have adored them ever since. California is quite far so having a road trip to their neighborhood was a great way to reconnect. They had alot of connections and sales were great. Kathleen got Fundacion Comunidad connected with Rotary Club while on the Peru trip, so giving a foundation presentation at her Palo Alto club was in order. I was nervous! Geez, Steve Jobs could have been there. My approach was from the textile & travel business end and how it feeds the non-profit with donors. They were shown alot of great slides of textiles ( mantas) on women's backs, textiles on the looms and some good rugged hand shots, and then of course good scenery photos. They seemed impressed! Oh, no riding, too busy and too rainy.

L: Kathleen & Mel                                                                               R: Tom's house redecorated


Nevada City: A lovely mountain town and a beautiful blizzard kind of shut down the show. But spending 4 days with Gayle was like being on a retreat! Once again, a Peru trip in 2005 paved the way for sisterhood. We settled in and found it hard to leave! No riding, didn't have studded tires.

Portland: Now Tom hasn't been on a trip but he's going! Friend of a friend ( who has been on the trip of course) His new craftsmen home was waiting for rugs!!! We met some good folks and had a fun home show. And as you probably know, Portland is the #2 biking city in the country, beat out of first by the Twin Cities last year. It's not fair, they deserve #1, they really truly have the bike lifestyle thing figured out. That's it I'm packing my bags and moving to Portland!

La Conner, Washington (near Whidby Island) I was very fortunate to network with the accomplished and well known textile artist 'Anita Luvera Mayer' Anita is an internationally recognized weaver and versatile fiber artist, designer and author. She was doing a weeklong workshop for 22 artist women from around the country and invited me to do an evening trunk show and slide presentation during their event. What an honor to be part of that! Whew. Biking was good, a bit flat but the daffodils were in bloom!


The Peruvian textiles are unlike anything anybody has seen. I felt very proud to represent such talented weavers. They are weaving at a level that surpasses most. That was reiterated many times over. 

Helping to keep the craft alive is alot of fun!

Filed Under: Rugs | Permalink
XML Sitemap