SDA-WA Member Activities April 2020

“Without art, the crudeness of reality would make the world unbearable”

George Bernard Shaw


Ann-Dance of the Moons

“Dance of The Moon” by Deborah Ann


Fabric artist Deborah Ann will be included in Divergent Voices- Common Ground, a 4-women artist exhibit opening this month in Yakima WA. The other artist are Carolyn Nelson, Cheryl Hahn and Laura Wise.

“Our group started meeting about 5 years ago to talk about our lives as girl artists in the 50’s and 60’s when women artists “didn’t exist” as far as we knew. We grew up and went to art school and found out that Janson’s History of Artalso knew of no women who were real artists.

Having been a “fiber/fabric artist since the early 1960’s I knew what I did was only “woman’s work” and not art. Even during the Feminist Movement of the 1970’s, I was reproached for my art but we kept struggling.

We created careers that kept our art alive. Some prospered academically, others in advertising or the museum world. We kept life, art and reality together. Though we work in different mediums and different styles we had a common voice. The exhibit shows our progress with work from our early days until today with narrative about our journey. All women artists will be able to relate to what we say.

Now the 4 of us live in Yakima as career retired  but prolific, successful, respected, well known artists who have made it to a time where women are named, not only in Jenson’s History of Art, but many other books, people’s memories, art collections and museums throughout the world. Our lives and those of millions of other creative women have changed in the last century because we all refused to not be women artists.”

Divergent Voices- Common Ground                                                                                       Yakima Valley Museum,  2105 Tieton Drive, Yakima                                                                 Dates: March 28 – August 29

The Museum is closed due to COVID-19 situation, please check for updates about the exhibition.


“The Journey” by Deborah Ann

Ann-Am I Her

“I am her” by Deborah Ann

Ann- Dream Wedding of Prince Frog

“Dream Wedding of Prince Frog” by Deborah Ann

02-Drum-Song by Deborah Ann

“Drum Song” by Deborah Ann


“Nude in Chair” by Deborah Ann





Portraits for change poster

Portraits for Change exhibition

Diane Williams at Portraits for Change exhibit

Diane participated in this exhibition at the University of Washington with her portrait quilt. Portraits of Change exhibition featured 28 portraits of Real Change vendors, write-ups about their experiences of homelessness and a then-and-now photo series of Seattle

“There’s a large population of people experiencing homelessness in the University District and on campus who go unacknowledged. Unfortunately, with the current U.S. system in place, only 40 percent of the homeless population is sheltered, resulting in an increased mortality rate, according to the National Alliance to End Homelessness. Nine of the 40 original vendors portrayed are known to have died since the portraits began in 2012.”

Real Change exists to provide opportunity and a voice for low-income and homeless people while taking action for economic, social and racial justice. Learn more at

diane williams quilt

Diane Williams Real Change Portrait Quilt

Real Change Portrait

Diane Williams Real Change Portrait Quilt (detail)

Diane says: ” it’s scrappy, raw and wonky with lots of loose threads to reflect life on the streets”.



“Look” by Donna Dowdney

Donna Dowdney at BARN Ars Poetica

One of Donna fabric art pictures and her companion poem will be featured in the Ars Poetica event at the Bainbridge Artisan Resource Network (BARN) on Friday, April 03, 2020 from 4:00 PM – 6:00 PM in the BARN Commons.

“Celebrate National Poetry Month by joining us for the opening reception of the first Ars Poetica at BARN. You’ll see thirty works from the Fiber Arts studio inspired by poems contributed from the Writers’ studio. It will be a grand opportunity to hear from the fiber artists and poets about what inspired their work. You can enjoy the show as well as some refreshments.”

“Look” by Donna Lee Downey

Look at a rock                                                                                                                                        … discover a mountain

Look at a water drop                                                                                                                            … discover the sea

Look at a leaf                                                                                                                                          … discover a tree, then a forest

Look at a seed                                                                                                                                        … discover a flower, then a garden

Look at a baby                                                                                                                                       … discover a child, then an adult

Look at fabric                                                                                                                                        … invent a landscape

Just look!

She also participated at FIBER FEST held at the Bainbridge Island Museum of Art. One of her fabric art pieces was displayed with other fiber and textiles created by BARN members.

More about Donna



“Seed Book II”  by Jean Marie Tarascio. Altered book, recycled tea bags, handmade paper.

SDA Members  at Fiber 2020

Jean Marie Tarascio and Barbara De Pirro participate in Fiber 2020 at BIMA, Bainbridge Island Museum of Art

Fiber 2020 explores diverse ways artists are working in fiber and textiles. Over thirty-five artists are featured in this large group exhibition, from traditional fiber arts through contemporary works and installations. Media include lace, embroidery, quilts, wearables — reconstituted and repurposed objects — conceptual sculptures and art installations.

Fiber 2020                                                                                                                                      BIMA, 550 Winslow Way E, Bainbridge Island
March 6th  to  June 7th.                                                                                                                  BIMA has close its galleries, bistro, and store through March 31, due to COVID-19 situation.


“Blossom” by Barbara De Pirro. Painted papers, acrylic crocheted stainless steel wire


Michele Wipplinger


By Karen Selk

Every now and then someone comes along who makes a big impact on the way we think about our earth. Michele Wipplinger was one of those people.  She had a passion for colour and textiles which propelled her life’s journey.  She was an author, educator, master dyer, traveller, photographer, designer, consultant and business owner of Earthues, a natural dye company.

The textile community of weavers, spinners, quilters, knitters, dyers, stitchers and felters was in the midst of a huge revival during the 1960s, 70s and 80s.  We were experimenting with weave structures, spinning any fibre we could lay our hands on, making quilts that hung on the wall, felted funky hats and experimented with dyeing all of that cloth, yarn  and fibre with chemical and natural dyes.  The few natural dye books available instructed us on using flowers, roots and bugs to colour our cloth with the help of mordants. Most of those mordants were heavy metals that were bad for the environment and our health.

Michele was a pioneer, looking for another way to make natural dyes colourfast using non-toxic natural ingredients.  The search for traditional methods used by other cultures took her on a quest for many years through Europe, Southeast Asia, South Asia, South America, Africa and Central Asia.

She shared her findings and recipes with the textile community through workshops, presentations and her publications: Color Trends and Natural Dyes for Artisans of the Americas and notebooks that accompanied her workshops.  But Michele was not content with such a small, captive audience.

She became a board member for the Color Marketing Group and helped companies like Aveda, Origins, Esprit, Martha Stewart Living, Terre Vede, LL Bean, and Nature Conservancy, develop products that could bring awareness of the value of natural colours to a larger world.

Michele’s vast knowledge and sense of colour was sought out by government and non-government agencies for the development of naturally dyed products throughout the world.  She worked with: Organization for American States, Aid to Artisans, DOBAG in Turkey, USAID, and UNESCO to help develop repeatable, sustainable eco-methods for creating beautiful colours for cottage industries, textile cooperatives and small companies.

In 1995 she won the United Nation’s Fashion Industry and Environmental Awardfor environmental stewardship on the development of an ecological natural dye process for the American textile industry.

Michele’s passion for tinting the world with natural colour has touched so many lives throughout the world with her enthusiasm and heartfelt connection to the people she taught and learned from.  He husband, Andro, continues her legacy through Earthues, a business working in partnership with artisans to fulfill their dreams.  Michele Wipplinger has left us with an example of an active, purposeful life, full of curiosity, creativity, warmth, and joy.  We could best honor her life by following her lead.

There will be a memorial on May 9 at Sunset Hill Community Centre, 3003 NW 66thStreet, Seattle, WA – Arrival 1pm, Service 2pm, Reception 3pm


More details about these shows, events and classes can be found on the SDA-WA blog:

Congratulations everyone!

If you would like to have your show, event or other information in the blog post, please email by the 15thof the month.


Due to the Covid-19 situation, some meetings may be canceled. Please, contact your area leader.

Eastside—For more information, please email

North Peninsula—Please, contact Sue Gale for more information

See our website at:

North Sound(Snohomish, Skagit, Whatcom and Island Counties)—Area Leader Valerie Wootton. She sent this message: I just spoke to a representative of the Skagit Valley Food Co-op and they are not allowing any meetings or classes in their building for March. They will be reevaluating the situation again in April. I will send out new information as soon as I get it. e-mail:

Seattle– Please, contact Cynthia for more information,

South Central— Vicki Gerton will host the April 8 surface design meeting at her studio, 1819 Davison Ave., Richland, starting at 10 am (9:45 for gathering and coffee/tea).  We will be doing hands-on preparation for a May 13 printing project. Because of the COVID-19 virus, the meeting will be subject to cancellation or postponement. Please email Vicki Gerton to confirm meeting and to find out what supplies to bring at

South Sound—Please contact Faith Hagenhofer at faithkeh@hotmail.comfor more information.

Surface Design Study GroupMeetings are the first Tuesday of the month from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. To attend the group, you can register by droppingby BARN, calling Tammie at BARN at (206) 842-4475 x216

Vancouver, WA—Please contact Sharon Svec atsharon@smsvec.comfor more information.

Whidbey Island—The meetings are held on second Tuesday of themonthand typically run from 9:30 am to noon.Area Leaders—Debra Calkins (, Mary Burks ( and membership chairperson Natalie Olsen (


More Information About SDA

 Surface Design Washington

Surface Design Washington:


Surface Design National and International


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