In light of summer travel, I started thinking about our global connections at SNAD. To preserve and advance the art of hand embroidery – a globally practiced craft
is our mission. and the phrase - a globally practiced craft - is what I think about on a daily basis. How do we make these global connections? How do we tell multicultural stories? How do we teach embroideries from around the world? The answers I came up with is that we do these things by staying connected, by being inclusive, by creating relationships with communities both near and far, and by giving people space to educate and tell stories on their own terms.
The world sure does seem to be getting smaller these days - technology and data seem to create constant and immediate connections between people - the veil is thinner than in the past. But really, the world is, as it will always be, a vast place with huge blocks of land, air and water separating us. Connecting with others from across the divide is a choice we make. Allowing space for other voices is a choice we make. We make both choices daily at SNAD.
Although SNAD may seem limited by our location in San Francisco - California - the United States, we take an active role in creating and staying connected with our global community. And let’s not forget that San Francisco itself is quite a diverse city, arguably getting less so, with residents from many, many different backgrounds. Inspired by both our mission and by the unique beauty of embroideries from around the world, SNAD continues to celebrate our shared diversity: through educator perspectives, talks that explore significant cultural differences and similarities, and exhibitions that share examples of needle arts from our local and global communities.
Asif Shaikh embroidery 'resurgence'
This summer if you can't travel the globe, SNAD will be exploring the globe from home - with plenty of opportunities for you to jump in and join us! Kicking off our summer programming is a new exhibition opening at the Hanging Thread Gallery
featuring the work of one of India’s most accomplished and acclaimed embroidery and textile experts, Asif Shaikh. A self-taught embroiderer, he has created award-winning museum-quality embroidered masterpieces which are sought after by textile lovers, collectors and museums across the world. Our exhibition will highlight the revival of India’s textile heritage with a special focus on hand embroidery. Though many techniques and crafts are no longer practiced, this exhibition brings with it the hope that what is lost can be brought back - and that which still exists can be produced with the utmost skill and quality. Opening on July 23rd, we are thrilled that Asif will be here to join us for the Member’s Reception
to share his thoughts on lost traditions and bridging the East/West gap.
Hanna Rohatynska embroidery for World Embroidery Day
On the heels of Asif’s exhibition premiere is SNAD’s celebration of World Embroidery Day,
which will double as a fundraiser for Ukraine. In collaboration with Sarah Pedlow and Threadwritten, this World Embroidery Day you can take a class taught by Ukrainian embroidery artist Hanna Rohatynska. Artist Christina Shmigel will join the class to share her Ukrainian mother’s embroidery and her family’s emigration to the US in the 1940s. We are especially grateful to Ellice Sperber for shepherding and organizing this opportunity.
This summer and fall you can also see and hear a variety of presentations and talks from voices around the globe through our Webinar Speaker Series. Explore the battle between France and the UK over the origin of the Bayeux Tapestry i
n a talk by Alexandra Makin or learn about the extraordinary career of Helen M. Stevens
of Bury St. Edmunds, a world renowned hand embroiderer and designer. Another stop in the UK, and you can visit with Dr. Lynn Hulse
who will explore the figurative wall hangings stitched by the RSAN between 1875 and c. 1908, and then head on to India to explore the history and artistic vision of Atelier Shikaarbagh
with Mayankraj Singh, whose inspiration is the rich repertoire of hand embroidery traditions of India & Europe and also the regal legacy of one’s family.
If you are not completely exhausted by the trip around the world in Webinars, consider taking a class that will widen your cultural perspectives. You can learn to make beautiful Jane Austen inspired Rose Buttons
with Uk based award winning embroidery artist Chrissie Juno Mann or to make traditional Korean Saeksilnubi
with Youngmin Lee. Lastly, for those of you in Australia, Zurich and the UK, we will be teaching in your time zone
this October with a class created for us by Australia-based Michelle Hamill!
Saeksilnubi by Youngmin Lee
Whatever your travel schedule allows, consider us a launching point for expanding your worldview, for exploring cultures east to west, and for learning traditional techniques from around the globe!