The WEDNESDAY GROUP includes 14 tapestry designer-weavers who have been collaborating since 1993. Meeting Wednesdays in New York City, artists converge from as far south as Washington DC to as far north as Albany NY at the studios of Archie Brennan and Susan Martin Maffei. Internationally known artists, Brennan and Maffei constitute the core of the group, representing over 80 years of professional weaving and teaching experience in both the US and internationally from the Arctic to the South Pacific, from Australia to France and Scotland. Collectively, the Wednesday Group explores the unique facets of tapestry, a medium which has exerted expressive influence worldwide for centuries, from pre-Columbian Peru, Coptic Egypt, China through medieval, Renaissance, Baroque and contemporary Europe. Passionate designers and weavers, their works have much in common, and much in contrast to visual arts today and traditional tapestries of the past.
The group began exhibiting collectively in 2003. Initial exhibits represented individual portfolios linked primarily by medium which then evolved into creation of group projects integrating individual works to a common theme with common design components. The first of these, completed in 2006, focused on contemporary interpretation of a 14th century antependium tapestry image of the Annunciation of the Virgin. Twenty-eight tapestries were completed, each reinterpreting a detail from the original imagery. The pieces, which were mounted on four horizontal panels to optimize exhibit options for display in a variety of venues, are found on the attached CD. The panels currently reside in the Lombardi Cancer Center of Georgetown University Hospital.
The second collaborative project was selected to coincide with the exhibition of Baroque tapestries at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, October 2007-January 2008. Individual tapestry format was fixed at small 4 x 4 x 1” pieces with the objective of compressing the spirit of the Baroque into radically limited space. The resulting 16 images were consolidated onto a single panel and entitled Not Gone for Baroque, a word-play on the original attitudes of the artists toward this particular period – attitudes which altered substantively over the course of the project, the symposium and the viewings of the Met’s tour de force exhibition.
WEDNESDAY GROUP Artists
Barbara Bettigole has studied tapestry alongside a career in education. She has a long history of tapestry weaving, studying with Soyoo Park. She has been with The Wednesday Group since 2005.
Carol Bitner, with the Wednesday Group since 1995, is trained in fine arts and has been involved in art education for the past 40 years. She has exhibited tapestry works in juried and invitational shows since 1976, in the US and Canada, and has been artist in residence at different locations within the US.
Archie Brennan is a leading international figure in tapestry. His work is in major art museums around the world, and he has taught and lectured at universities and art schools since 1962. He began a 7-year, full time tapestry apprenticeship in 1948, and is an arts graduate from Edinburgh, Scotland.
Barbara Burns has been weaving since 1994, focusing on tapestry since 2002. She has trained in various art techniques, interior design and textile conservation. She has been an artist in The Wednesday Group since 2003.
Don Burns trained in interior design and textiles. He has been weaving tapestries since 1994 and has been exhibiting since 1997. His work is represented in the Textile Museum Learning Center in Washington, DC. An artist with the Wednesday Group since 1998, he has been teaching tapestry weaving since 2000.
Annelise DeCoursin has been weaving since 1980. In 1990, she provided technical specimens/illustrations for Carol Russell’s book, The Tapestry Handbook. She has exhibited in juried and invitational shows since 1993, in the US, Europe and Russia. She has been an artist in The Wednesday Group since 1994.
Helen Gold trained at the Scheuer Tapestry Studio in New York City from 1988-89. Since then she has exhibited in shows in the US and Canada. She has been an artist in The Wednesday Group since 1994.
Rita Landau trained in textile and textile design and has done conservation of the textile collection at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. She has been weaving since 1998, exhibiting since 1999. She has been an artist in the Wednesday Group since 1998.
Susan Martin-Maffei has been weaving tapestry professionally since 1985. Her back- ground includes training at Les Gobelins in Paris and apprenticeship and studio work at Scheuer Tapestry Studio in New York City. She has taught and exhibited in the US and abroad and has work in both public and private collections.
Anna Byrd Mays trained in mathematics and has been weaving since 1982, earning Master Weaver certification in 1989. Her multimedia work has been exhibited in juried and solo shows in the US since 1994. Since 1998, she has focused on tapestry, and she has been an artist in The Wednesday Group since 2001.
Brenda Osborn began weaving in 1976 while pursuing degrees in Latin and Greek. She has exhibited in juried and invitational shows and has won national and regional awards. She began studying tapestry in 2001 and joined The Wednesday Group 2004.
Betsy Snope has been weaving since 1975. She has exhibited her tapestries since 2002, and has been an artist with The Wednesday Group since 2000.
Pamela Topham is a professional weaver whose work is exhibited in galleries and museums through the US. She joined The Wednesday Group 2004.
Alta Turner trained in art history/painting and statistics. She began weaving in 1990, focusing on tapestry in 1997. She has been an artist with The Wednesday Group since 1999.