“Creating Revenue Through the Arts”
I was born in Duluth, MN, on July 16, 1956, and grew up on a farm near Green Bay, WI. I studied art at the Denise Miller Weaving Studio in Taos, NM., the evergreen state college in Olympia, WA and completed my art degree at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay with a focus on an American modernist art fiber art wall sculpture. I established Interfibers Studio Gallery in 1981 and have 40 years of experience working with the fiber arts.
In 2009 I created a project "Creating revenue through the Arts” to help the indigenous artisans of Guatemala. My fair trade wage and volunteer teaching time provide a specialized skill and higher standard of living for the indigenous communities. I have deep respect for how the indigenous people have persevered to preserve their lifestyle. How hard they work and how loyal they can be.
Every winter I work for three months in Antigua, Guatemala designing and sewing apparel with the Mayan women and lapidary work with the men. Together we make jackets and jadeite beads. I travel to remote Mayan communities in order to purchase hand weaved Jaspe’ fabric directly from the Mayan weavers, for this is the best way to give the most support. At this point, I still transport all the clothing and jewelry in my suitcases and sell the inventory at my gallery Interfibers in Door County, Wisconsin; however, each artisan receives payment immediately regardless of how long it may take to sell. I now have a small sewing store with sewing machines and every year I bring down more tools and equipment. My "Creating Revenue through the Arts" project started with quite simple scarves and purses.The project evolved into sewing pillows, yoga bags, tops, dresses, skirts, and now coats and jackets. The 2017 design is an open cardigan style jacket fashioned short in the back with a long tailored front fold.
My "Creating Revenue through the Arts" project started with quite a simple scarf and purse design, however over the years it has evolved into sewing pillows, yoga bags, tops, dresses, skirts, and now coats and jackets. The 2017 design is an open cardigan style jacket fashioned short in the back with a long tailored front fold.
My lapidary work with the men cutting and polishing jadeite stones for beaded necklace helps several families in the community. Young boys start as an apprentice to learn the trade and the elderly general focus on one lapidary technique and repeat the process. All of the lapidary artisans know much more about cutting and polishing stones than I; however, I work hands on with the stones and design all the beads. I feel that my project has helped the indigenous artisans of Guatemala earn a high wage and design with a variety of techniques.Financial support is needed to provide cleaner and safer housing for me and helping with the arduous task of transporting the crafts back to the United States. I keep getting sick in Guatemala and need to improve my living arrangements and lighten some of the physical work. The project has been very successful, but hard to do alone without financial help. I am applying to grant foundations to support Creating Revenue through the Arts.