Blue Screen of Death, 2018
53 in x 43 in
The American Tapestry Alliance organizes multiple exhibitions in service to the organization’s mission. Each exhibit has a unique focus to allow for a broad range of techniques, concepts, and experiences. It is not uncommon to see engaging tapestries from first-time exhibitors displayed beside those of professionals.
A great deal of effort goes into producing each exhibition and the accompanying catalog. Most of the work is done by volunteer members; we could not produce our exhibits without them. We are grateful to every person (past, present, and future) who lends their time and dedication to the exhibits team.
ATA exhibitions highlight the best of international contemporary tapestry and provide opportunities in the field of tapestry in the following ways:
- Each is juried to high standards of artistic and technical excellence
- They tour venues throughout North America
- A high-quality catalog with critical essay accompanies each exhibit
- Promotional methods designed to attract media exposure
Our exhibitions have historically attracted excellent attendance for their host museums, galleries, and art centers. For information about hosting an ATA exhibition contact exhibitions(at)americantapestryalliance.org.
American Tapestry Biennial (ATB)
The first American Tapestry Biennial was held in 2006. This juried exhibition highlights international contemporary hand-woven tapestry. The work of hundreds of artists has been showcased by this exhibit since its inception. The American Tapestry Biennial travels to multiple venues to broaden the understanding of tapestry as an art form. Each exhibition is juried by a renowned member within the field of art and/or art history and is accompanied by a full-color exhibition catalog that is sent to curators, collectors, and other art professionals.
Small Tapestry International
Historically, there has been a bias against small tapestries stemming from the attitude that only large tapestries were significant. As a counterpoint, ATA organized the Small Tapestry International, which spotlights small formal tapestries from around the world. The Small Tapestry International is held in alternating years from the American Tapestry Biennial, featuring many of the supporting aspects of the American Tapestry Biennial such as a high-profile juror, full-color exhibition catalog, and multiple exhibition venues.
Beyond: Tapestry Expanded
In 2024, ATA will feature a new exhibition, Beyond: Tapestry Expanded which is ATA’s first curated (and partially juried) exhibition that recognizes artists incorporating non-weft dominant construction and multi-media approaches within woven structures. Informed by tapestry weaving processes, work in this exhibition seeks to support artists exploring materiality, processes such as weaving improvisationally, working off-loom, and moving their work off of the wall and out into space. The exhibition also seeks to represent a diverse array of artists working within and among varied cultural identities.
The content for this annual show is generated by members who elect to participate. Registrants are randomly paired with another tapestry weaver with whom they exchange 5” x 7” (13 x 18cm) tapestry postcards via postal mail. This exhibit offers a fun opportunity for ATA members to get to know another tapestry weaver and participate in a community online exhibition via social media.
Tiny But Mighty (formerly Unjuried Small Format Show)
Tiny But Mighty is held every two years in conjunction with Convergence, the international fiber art conference of the Handweavers Guild of America. This extremely popular exhibit attracts entries from tapestry artists around the world. Each show is documented by a high-quality catalog and is a favorite attraction at Convergence.
Through a generous donation from The Laffer Curatorial Program, we are able to offer TEx@ATA (Tapestry Exhibit at American Tapestry Alliance) Several exhibitions are curated each year for this online gallery. Shows vary in content; some are based on a theme, and others present the work of a single artist. The curator for each show develops the concept and works closely with the artists who are featured.
With this opportunity, we are able to provide a stipend to outstanding curators interested in designing an exhibition of the highest caliber. Such shows are characterized by a tight cohesive theme and highlight artists who not only exhibit technical and aesthetic excellence in the tapestry medium, but also work in a more conceptual manner, or stretch the definition of tapestry. An essay written by the curator interprets the work within a broad artistic context. For more information about Laffer curatorship, contact info(at)americantapestryalliance.org.