Sunday, March 24, 2013

African and Guatemalan Textiles at Ellarslie

I spent an afternoon being carried away with the presence of all kinds of textiles, weavings, wall hangings, ranging from antique African, collected and exhibited by David Bosted, to present day art in the Guatemalan tradition, courtesy Armando Sosa, long a local resident and teacher of weaving and a great textile artist.

 Armando's work is fine, detailed, beautiful, in silks and fine fibers, based on the traditional weaving of Guatemala where he learned from his family, and apprenticed, before coming to the US to pursue art weaving as his livelihood.

 Today's event at Ellarslie, a mansion in the middle of an old estate in Trenton,now the Museum of the City of Trenton, was a gallery walk and participatory lecture on the African textile section of the exhibit, given by the collector, David Bosted, who had suggested and lent some of his African textile collection to exhibit.

 And there was the work of a local designer, Pat Key, of garments she made using African hand dyed fabrics. She was there, too, wearing one of her own creations, hand dyed fabric from Ghana, and brought along some of her own collected African textiles, mostly very long pieces used as wraps. Many of the audience were experts in textiles and the give and take at the lecture was, well, let's say I learned a lot.

And Nick, the presenter's son, modeled his vest, the front created from scraps of Kente and mud cloth, in itself a collision of haves and have nots, kente being the fabric of kings, and mudcloth of the person in the street. Other collectors shared their textiles with the group, and I'll just put a stream of pix up, without captions, since it's pretty clear what's going on here!


  1. wow, it would be very interesting.

  2. What a fab exhibition and wonderful textiles. The wall hangings are quite something and so are the fabric pieces. I'll bet you could have listened all day and all night.


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