Tabitha Gilmore-Barnes’ Statement
I am now retired and am devoting time to develop and strengthen my novice level tapestry skills, and to identify and participate in exhibit venues. My inspiration comes from two sources: My studio views of the Catskills here in Delaware County, NY, and Scripture words and images. I am emotionally dependent upon the open skies and towers of summer cumulus clouds, seasonal transitions and ranges in full color, and the minutia in my flower beds and local streams. I take many photos, translate these into a sketch or possible woodblock print (which echoes the textural aspects of weaving), and then usually create the tapestry….only to re-weave it upon seeing mistakes and areas for improvement in the final tapestry.
My Scripture texts are usually one word, in either English or Hebrew. They originated out of my interest to portray the Roman Catholic liturgical calendar through key words and corresponding colors found in this church calendar. And yet, as I move into the Hebrew language, the tapestry imagery focuses on subtle symbolism and those corresponding colors to encourage and reinforce understanding of Biblical truths. I hand spin and dye local wools to get the vibrancy and subtleties of color I want to energize the tapestry imagery and text. I am only at the very beginning of this process, and don’t know where it will lead over the next 30 years: but that is the excitement of weaving.
Tabitha Gilmore-Barnes’ Biography
I took weaving classes as an evening student at SUNY Fashion Institute of Technology (1974-1976) and two tapestry workshops at The Tapestry Center (now defunct) (1990) in New York City. I started my weaving business in 1980, and that June with my first tapestry, won the Brooklyn Museum Fence Art Show, Award Winner. I completed my B.S. Art Education at SUNY New Paltz (1995), and continue to be self-taught from books, taking classes at Womens’ Studio Workshop, MURAL (Mount Utsayantha Regional Arts League), and Roxbury Arts Group.
I sell my functional handwoven products locally, and showcase my artwork in juried exhibits at area galleries. Recent exhibits: my woodblock print (Maple Tree & Stone Wall) was viewed at Cooperstown Art Association’s “Essential Art!” (2016), and I created specifically “HOPE” (tapestry—see photo) for the “Artists Stand Up” exhibit (June 2017) at the Roxbury Arts Group. MURAL’s Community Art Shows, in 2016 “Feast Your Eyes” featured “Winter Stream” (see photo, tapestry is based on my photos and woodblock print) and in 2015 “Catskills Impressions” showcased “Sunset”, which was the brochure cover photo. I am featured in David S. How Art is Made in the Catskills, © 2017 Artinthecatskills.com., and have been interviewed and promoted in: Summer 2016 Eberhardt-Smith, T. (CatskillMade) Flow, Spring/Summer, “Featured Artwork: Winter Stream”, issue 5, http://catskillmade.eberhardtsmith.co/issue/flow/; and
Spring 2015 Eberhardt, A. and Smith, T. (Catskill Made) Equinox, “Weaving a History: Crafts in the Catskills”, volume 1, issue 1 / spring 2015, http://catskillmade.eberhardtsmith.co/. Lastly I have participated 2012-2015 in the AMR – Artists Making aRt™ – Open Studios Tours, and was Coordinator of same for 2015-2016-2017.