Fiber Arts, Gallery Walk, Print Fiesta

Three in one weekend in Silver City


Thursday, Aug. 19 was an exquisitely rainy, overcast day as I headed west and north to Silver City. Besides delighting in the much-needed rain, I planned to enjoy the Southwest Women’s Fiber Arts Collective stash swap, and to learn more about the upcoming annual Fiber Arts sale.

After an hour of chatting and exploring the various fiber treasures brought by members to exchange for other fiber treasures, I had secured a lovely set of scissors – you can never have too many.

Then Marcia Tinker, who is heading up the Holiday Fiber Arts Sale for the Collective, and I headed over to the Little Toad Creek Brewery & Distillery for a lovely smoked salmon lunch. Marcia was a wealth of information not only about the upcoming sale itself, scheduled for Oct. 8 and 9, but also about the incredible involvement of the arts community in what is truly a massive event.

Oct. 7-9 is the Silver City Art Association (SCAA), "Weekend at the Galleries" held each year during Indigenous Peoples’ Weekend. Currently 40 galleries belong to SCAA and many will open their doors for special exhibits and extended hours. This year, the Southwest Women's Fiber Arts Collective (SWFAC) has moved its annual sale into downtown to take happy advantage of the many locals and visitors who come to enjoy the art, visit with the artists, learn more through the ongoing demonstrations, and leave happy, satisfied, and with an armload of holiday gifts and goodies.

The Holiday Fiber Arts Sale is from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 8 and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 9.  in the gorgeous Murray Hotel ballroom. Members of the collective offer woven goods, quilts, wall hangings, whimsical fiber art, re-imagined wearable art, hand painted silk clothing, tie dye, lampshades, pet clothing and almost anything you can imagine made from fibers. The assortment is huge, and this year will include some of my charming pet quilts.

I was so excited by the pure joyousness of this event that despite the travel distance, I had to participate.

SWFAC's mission "is to celebrate fiber art and realize its economic potential, nurture and empower both novice and skilled fiber artists, enrich the community by fostering opportunities for hands-on experiences, learn from each other, and earn."

This sounds like a mouthful but how it shows up “IRL,” In Real Life, is in the fiber art demos happening throughout the sale in members' booths, and special presentations that will focus on extraordinary talents. While numerous demos will be ongoing throughout the sale both Saturday and Sunday, these special demos are scheduled during the Saturday evening Gallery Walk from 4-7. The little folk not to be forgotten, SWFAC will feature Kid's Crafts on both Saturday and Sunday. I will have a special opportunity for you to select your binding for your pet quilt and watch me finish it right before your eyes.

That weekend will also see the return of the annual Southwest Print Fiesta, “a celebration of original prints, the artists who create them and the people who collect them.”  The Fiesta will be happening in downtown Silver City with demos, workshops, and of course, lots of prints to admire and purchase.

But the fun and the art won’t end in October. SWFAC is bringing back the ever-popular Tapestry of Talent fashion show for April 22, 2023.

While only SWFAC members will be showing their wearables, anyone can become a member and be included. As a member of the Collective, I can tell you that it is a wonderful group of interesting people with diverse talents and skills, and I truly appreciate how nice they all are.  Its so easy to strike up a conversation, learn about different skills, and just have an all-around rich and rewarding time. So, if you have an interest, especially in learning more about the Tapestry of Talent fashion show, contact Charmeine Wait, who is heading up the effort, at information@fiberartscollective.org. Come and meet many of the members at the Holiday show. Learn more about the organization at www.fiberartscollective.org.

Southwest Print Fiesta, Weekend at the Galleries, The Holiday Fiber Arts Sale