Sustaining the Local Fiber Arts Heritage


Sustaining the Local Fiber Arts Heritage     

Lecture by Olimpia Newman      

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

6:30 – 8:30 pm at Historic Los Luceros, Alcalde, NM

Suggested donation – $5      

Shepherding of Churro sheep was introduced by Spanish colonists, and continues as part of farming to this day in the Northern Rio Grande valley. Beginning in the mid-20th century, local wool processing facilities began to disappear. As a result, shepherds focused on meat production. Ironically, traditional weavers in Chimayó and elsewhere use non-local yarns produced from non-Churro wool. The gap between Churro wool raised by local farmers and the use of other wool yarns becomes starker with every passing year.
Española Valley Fiber Arts Center (EVFAC) is raising awareness and stimulating demand for locally made products out of natural raw fiber by preserving local shepherding traditions, creating demand for local fiber, sustaining wool processing regionally, upholding weaving skills in the community, and contributing towards economic development – especially in rural areas where shepherding is most common. In addition to a colorful presentation, many of these issues will be shown in the educational documentary An Unbroken Thread: Wool & weaving in Northern New Mexico. 

Directions to Los Luceros: Drive north of Española on Hwy 68 about 9 miles. Continue about one mile north of the sign for Alcalde. From Taos, drive south on Hwy 68 through Velarde. Continue south about 6 miles. Look for a green sign for Los Luceros on the east side of the highway. Turn west onto CR 48 and go down to the bottom of the hill. Drive through the gate where the road ends, over the ditch and park in the parking area in the orchard near the Visitor Reception Center. Walk through the VRC to the open area behind it. The presentation will be in the large white structure on the other side of the patio area. 

Olimpia Newman is a former textile designer who has worked with numerous mills in the US and Germany. After completing her MBA in Paris she managed projects in African and Asian countries for the United Nations focusing on upgrading the entrepreneurial skills of women and sectoral business development. Since her arrival in New Mexico in 2011, she has concentrated on working with fiber artists and their businesses. Olimpia is presently EVFAC’s Director of Development where she is responsible for fund and donor development, program design and implementation.        

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