Meeting Programs

AAFG 2016-17 Meeting Programs

General Notes

Membership meetings are held the 2nd Monday, September – May
Social Time & Library Browsing and Business: 6:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Meeting Begins: 7:00 p.m.

Zion Lutheran Church
1501 West Liberty (between Seventh and Stadium)
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48103
Directions to Zion Lutheran Church
Enter on the east side of the building using the door closest to Liberty. Piper Hall is in the lower level; stairway is visible from the entrance, and a small elevator is around the corner from the stairway.
Parking options: Free generous parking onsite.

No Cancellation Policy

AAFG only rarely has cancelled a meeting due to bad weather conditions. Consult your local internet, radio or TV reports for the most updated road and weather conditions and decide for yourself if you want to travel. Unless there is a weather emergency situation where all roads are closed, we will gather.

Monthly Schedule

September 12, 2016
New Year Kick Off
User Friendly Guide to AAFG Website
Mary Valerie Richter & Liz Ritter

October 10, 2016
“In Search of Color”
Elaine S. Wilson 

Color is the most elusive, magical and relative factor in our visual world. The one thing we can definitively know about color: it is ever changing. Painter Elaine Wilson will describe the ways in which she has used color to balance the strong force of drawing in her work, and discuss how the influence of other artists – and the teaching of color, have informed her practice. Elaine earned a BFA from Washington University and an MFA from the Yale School of Art. Now based in Washington D.C., Wilson taught previously in Ann Arbor at the U-M School of Art and Design and Washtenaw Community College. Her work is in the collections of Grand Rapids Art Museum, the Office of the President of U-M, Herman Miller Inc., Washtenaw Community College and C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital. Website:

November 14, 2016
“Journey of the Artist: Muse, Mojo, and Matters”
AAFG members Millie Danielson, Urban Jupena, Amy Cameron, and Susie Krage are featured in this new edition of the successful panel discussion from two years ago. The evening will begin with a short story by AAFG member and professional storyteller Barb Schutzgruber. Then each panelist will present three photos of work that reflect their individual journey in becoming an artist, discuss what matters as an artist, and share his/her muse and mojo. Gathering the threads together, Barb will close our program with another story. AAFG member Terry Voigt will moderate the discussion.

December 12, 2016 – No Meeting
Holiday Party – Details on AAFG Members Page

January 9, 2017
“Textile Inheritance: Historic Weft-Faced Compound Figured Silks and Modern Hand Weaving”
Dr. Julia Galliker

This presentation describes how new research methods make historic figured silks held in museum collections available to weavers for study purposes. In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, antiquities collectors acquired archaeological silk fragments attributed to Mediterranean and Near East workshops between AD 600-1300. While necessary to protect our fragile textile heritage, conservation standards have limited access to these pieces for study purposes. Now, high-resolution digital images and computer-based analysis techniques provide new information about how historic silks were constructed from a weaver’s point of view with a focus on material processing, weave structure, pattern design, and end use. Dr. Galliker earned a PhD in ancient textiles from the University of Birmingham (UK), Institute of Archaeology and Antiquity.

February 13, 2017
“A Year in the Yarn Business” Trunk Show and Lecture
Pete Sickman-Garner
In the Fall of 2015, Pete and Carol Sickman-Garner left their jobs, took out a loan and started plans for opening a local yarn shop in Ann Arbor. The plan was to marry Carol’s love for fiber and knitting with Pete’s experience as marketing manager for the Zingerman’s Community of Businesses to see if they could fill the need for a yarn shop in town. The shop, SPUN, opened in Kerrytown on December 1, 2015.

March 13, 2017
“Finding the Stories”
Alice Vander Vennen
The finder who becomes the keeper, now becomes the fiber artist. Woven deep in any given piece of fiber, stories and histories are spun, caught in the centrifugal force of the retelling. In this presentation Alice will share what it means to be the keeper of that story, and how we can visually honor the woven histories and imprinted journeys. We will look at what happens when found objects become a part of the larger story…when cloth is stitched to copper, wool is woven with wire, buttons and branches dot the narrative. We will see what happens when we combine all these elements to create an art piece that is both personal and mysterious…one that speaks of roads travelled and stories found…one that becomes the keeper of stories.” Website:

April 10, 2017
“Surface Tensions”
Andrea Myers
Artist Statement: “Within my artistic practice, I maintain an interest in exploring the space between the two-dimensional and three-dimensional, hybridizing painting, printmaking and sculpture. I feel my work is dependent upon various processes, such as cutting as drawing, the relationship between deconstruction and construction, and the inherent malleability and vulnerability of my chosen materials, namely fabric and paper. I identify myself as a painter who constructs painterly sculptures and installations. I am interested in using painting as a matrix to work against and to stretch into the realms of other mediums. I look to painting to inspire color and form, and extract the formal qualities to reinvent the boundaries of painting.”

Andrea holds two degrees from from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago: a BFA in Printmedia and an MFA in Fiber and Material Studies. She is currently an adjunct professor at the Columbus College of Art and Design. Her awards, commissions, and exhibitions are extensive. Andrea works in both fiber and paper. Website:


May 8, 2017
“You Can Take the Weaver out of Africa but You Cannot Take Africa out of the Weaver: My Journey with Kente Cloth and West African Textiles”
Bonnie Kay
Bonnie Kay’s connection with Africa began in 1963, when as a new college graduate she responded to John F. Kennedy’s challenge to join the Peace Corps. She was part of a project which offered freshly-minted science majors an opportunity to teach in secondary schools in Ghana. It was there that one of her student’s introduced her to a Kente weaver. In the late 1980s, Bonnie taught herself to weave. The designs and colors she is attracted to and uses in her weaving reflect the influence of the time she spent in Ghana, South Africa, Bangladesh and Peru. She recently revisited Ghana and South Africa, and was able to reconnect with the former student who had introduced her to Kente fifty-three years earlier. Bonnie will talk about Kente cloth, its origins, designs and weaving techniques, and share her collection of Kente. She will also share examples of her own work which incorporate Kente designs.

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