Convergence and Member’s Retreat


Convergence is a biennial conference organized by the Handweavers Guild of America. Usually held in even years, the conference consists of lectures, workshops, exhibitions, vendor fairs, and much more. The American Tapestry Alliance partners with the HGA by hosting a post-conference workshop known as the Members’ Retreat and presentations known as the Speakers’ Session. The Speakers’ Session features presentations from the instructors who are leading the Members’ Retreat and is open to any Convergence attendee, whether or not they are a member of ATA.

Speakers’ Session

The Speakers’ Session will be held on Sunday, July 14 from Noon to 4:00 PM at the Hyatt Regency & Convention Center in Wichita, KS as a part of Handweavers Guild of America’s Convergence Conference. Attendees can purchase a day pass to Convergence to attend the Speakers’ Session. The room location and final details will be posted soon. We encourage you to join this free event that is open to all whether or not you are a member of ATA. Join fellow weavers as we hear what inspires two well-known tapestry artists in their artistic practice. The two speakers will be our workshop leaders, Sue Lawty and Shelley Socolofsky.

2024 Members’ Retreat

The Members’ Retreat Workshops will held Monday-Thursday, July 15-18, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. These workshops provide a rare opportunity to work with leading tapestry artists in a workshop-intensive environment where students can gain tremendous technical skills in weaving and design. Registration will open to Curator and Collector Members on March 15, 2024, starting at 8 am Pacific, and for all other members on March 22, 2024, at 8 am. The workshop fee for members will be $600 per person and non-members will be $650. 

Accommodations for Members’ Retreat
Reserve your hotel room at Drury Plaza Hotel Broadview-Wichita Hotel once you have registered to participate in the retreat. The deadline to register and receive the conference rate is June 7, 2024. Single/double occupancy rate is $129 per night and includes breakfast. Use Group #2402102. The hotel is located 0.4 miles (approximately a 7-minute walk) from the entrance of the Hyatt and 0.2 miles (approximately a 5-minute walk) from the back entrance of the Century II. Includes complimentary shuttle to and from the airport, free parking, and breakfast buffet. 


Sue Lawty is a highly experienced artist, designer, and teacher, whose work is in collections worldwide including the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, where she was Artist in Residence/ Associate Artist from 2005 – 2010. Alongside a solo exhibition of her work, she developed highly acclaimed education and community projects. Prestigious artist research fellowships include Smithsonian Museums, USA, and the University of Leeds, UK. This winter, Lawty will take up a three-month IASPIS International Artist Residency in Stockholm, Sweden. Earth Materials, a book about Lawty’s work, was published in 2017. Participants in Sue’s workshop Tactile Sensibility in Woven Tapestry will hone their eye, hand, and intellect in the intricate interplay of structure, material, and design in woven tapestry. 


Raphia Squares

Sue Lawty

Indigo, Detail

Shelley Socolofsky

Traditionally trained with master tapestry weavers at the Manufactures des Gobelins in France and Fondazione Arte della Seta Lisio in Italy, a historic Jacquard cloth fabricating workshop, Shelley’s current practice utilizes both preindustrial and new digital loom technology. The connecting thread between the ancient and contemporary weave together forming a symbiotic collective reality. Recent exhibitions include Weaving Data at Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, Portland, Oregon, The Material Turn, FOFA Gallery, Montreal, QC, Canada, World Tapestry Now and The Art is the Cloth at NHIA Amherst Gallery at New Hampshire Institute of Art, and Deerfield Academy in Massachusetts. Socolofsky serves as Board President of the American Tapestry Alliance and is on the faculty at Portland State University’s School of Art + Design. She lives and works in Portland, Oregon.

Beyond Technique: Tapestry in the Age of ‘likes’, A.I., and the Consumable Image will be a critical deep dive into design, tapestry concepts, glitching tapestry, material meaning, and experimental approaches to the historical form/ object of tapestry. The workshop is open to all levels of experience. Go here to read a detailed description of the course.

Color Bodies, In Progress Detail

Shelley Socolofsky

Crease, Detail