During Tamarack Artisan Foundation’s 10th Anniversary celebration three Fellowship Awards were presented for artistic excellence and lifetime commitment to promoting and fostering the arts in West Virginia. I am honored to have been selected by the review committee along with humanitarian photographer Paul Corbit Brown of Oak Hill and sculptor/author Carter Taylor Seaton from Huntington.
The support for artists within West Virginia is unique in the United States. TAMARACK at Beckely was the first facility built as an entrepreneurial opportunity for all art/craftsmen in our state. Since 1979 a Bi-Ennial Juried Exhibition with $30,000 in awards funded through the Division of History and Culture has acquired for the State Museum contemporary works.
The Tamarack Foundation is extremely important to the proliferation and continuation of art made in West Virginia because it raises funds from corporate and private donors and distributes these by supporting artists to create a national market; grants and awards for juried shows and lifetime achievement; and acts as ambassador and lobbyists for independant craftspeople.
I submitted a project to research the social environment of Blanche and Otha McDonald of Letter Gap, WV during the 1960’s as they created fiber works using hand sewing techniques (including ‘faux hooking’). The funds will help in travel expenses to catalog stories and images of works from collectors into a publication with step-by-step directions for fiber artists to be inspired to create contemporary works. Teaching these skills and the story of these two independant women is my goal.