|TAFA Member, Luke Haynes, on the last issue of Fiberarts Magazine|
My latest copy of Fiberarts Magazine arrived on Wednesday and I was absolutely thrilled to see Luke Haynes, a TAFA member on the cover! A few pages later, I saw that Lisa Call, another TAFA member, won an Award of Excellence at the prestigious Quilt National 2011. Woo hoo! Kudos to both of them! They deserve all of this and more as both work at producing a huge and consistent body of work that rocks our textile community!
Then, under News and Notes, I saw that our esteemed local art gallery, the Yeiser Art Center, announced the winners of the Fantastic Fibers show. I attended the opening night. The jurors, Freda Fairchild, Caryl Bryer Fallert (TAFA Member) and Judy Schwender (curator of the National Quilt Museum) are members of Paducah Fiber Artists, my local fiber art group.
Oh, then on page 32, Fiberarts had held a competition on artist studio spaces and Denise Labadie, yet another TAFA member, won the award for Best Organization/Storage. Wowzers! Fiberarts Magazine was turning into a place of familiar faces!
|"Monastic Ruin at Glendalough" by Denise Labadie|
With a shock, I read that this latest issue would also be the LAST ISSUE!!!!! From Editor Marci Rae McDade:
"FIBERARTS has been both an impactful magazine to the contemporary art community and a labor of lover for us here at Interweave. However, times change and the support for Fiberarts has not been strong enough over the past several years to continue keeping it in circulation. As a result, the Summer 2011 issue of Fiberarts will be the last one we publish. We at Interweave thank all of the subscribers, as well as the artists, writers, venues, and advertisers who have contributed to Fiberarts over the years."
THIRTY-FIVE YEARS of publishing and being a driving force in this community just goes down like that? Without a fight? Chat boards and forums have been discussing this in a rage. We are left hanging, with so many questions... Why did they not share with the community that they were struggling and that they might have to close? Why didn't they try combining an online version with the published one? How about making advertising rates cheaper so that more of us could purchase them? Why? Why? Why?
|Lisa Call, winner of the Award of Excellence at Quilt National 2011 explores human-made structures of containment.|
Surely, Interweave Press did not make this decision lightly. They most certainly examined other options. Still, this is a terrible loss to the serious reflection of and on trends, value, emerging and established artists and news within the textile and fiber arts community. Yes, there are other magazines, but none of them have the history and seasoned experience of this one, which emerged along with the people it represented at a time when textiles struggled for recognition as an art form.
What does this death of this important voice say about us as a group? Are we really not able to sustain the businesses that represent and inspire us?
This scares the $#*^@! out of me. As most of you know, TAFA has been fundraising for a new website. We are trying to raise $5,000. That is NOT a lot of money nowadays, but if you don't have it, it could be the same as 5 million. $1,500 has come in. All of it, except for one donation has come from TAFA members. Sure, they are the ones who will benefit the most from the site, but I have been surprised to my core that nobody else has contributed to our campaign. We have over 1700 followers on our facebook page. $2 bucks apiece would buy the new site.
I have spent money on facebook, google, project wonderful and google ads. Not one response. I am exhausted by the effort and from the lack of support. I know that when the new site is launched it will quickly become one of the major hubs for this community. We will not be and have no intention of becoming a replacement for Fiberarts Magazine. We have a different focus, but the same inspiration that that magazine offered will be there for everybody.
|Caryl Bryer Fallert, juror for Fantastic Fibers|
If a 35 year old institution can't make it, then how can emerging ones like TAFA hope to succeed? Yes, this is the worst economy since the Great Depression, yet there are still plenty of people spending money on luxury items. Are we, the artists and organizations that support and inspire fiber arts and textiles, not worth the investment? It's a pretty depressing scenario.
So, here we go:
CALL TO ACTION!!!!
(Yes, I am yelling in a loud voice, waving an embroidered banner...)
Pick a fiber arts or textile cause today and give it your vote of confidence with some cash.
Of course, I hope that you will want to support TAFA with its fundraiser, but it could be a group in your local community, another magazine you enjoy (may I suggest Hand/Eye or the Textile Blog?) Or, buy something from someone who is making textiles or fiber art. Connie Rose has a 50% off sale going on. Our TAFA members who have Etsy shops can be found in our Catalog of Shops. We are all people struggling to keep afloat. Support us!
Fiberarts Magazine may not have put out a call for help, but I am doing so now.
Alone, it's an uphill battle that may end up face down in the dust.
Together, we can do anything!