Newsletter #1: Chronicle

The Ibero-American Textile Network

Juan Diego Roldán – Coordinator of the Sophia Wanamaker Gallery at the Costa Rican – North American Cultural Center – Costa Rica


Inauguración Bienal IV Bienal Internacional de Arte y Diseño Textil 2006, Costa Rica

Inauguración Bienal IV Bienal Internacional de Arte y Diseño Textil 2006, Costa Rica


The Iberoamerican Textile Network began with the preparations for the Fourth Biennial International Textile Art and Design Exhibit: “Man + Woman = Creation,” Costa Rica 2006, with an approach that foreshadowed the need to confirm the validity of textile art as a socio-cultural resource entailing the diverse forms of human development.

Based on the work done by cultural centers, the Organization of Women in Textile Art (directed by the artist Pilar Tobón as the head of this international group), and the initiative of the Costa Rican artist Paulina Ortiz, the project serves to reexamine the scope and possibilities of textile creations through reflections and proposals that provide new instruments to understand, include, and promote textiles in the world of contemporary art and agendas for development.

The exhibit’s conceptual framework included a dual project where a man and a woman created a work of art (a requirement that turned gender issues into a springboard for extensive negotiations) that emphasized the esthetic abilities of the main figures, reaffirming this space within the field of creative textile for both genders. These arguments were important for setting off a movement that shares a common cause and innovative, inclusive visions for Iberoamerican textile creation within a global setting.

Since that first meeting, Manuel Arce, the Cultural Director of the Costa Rican – North American Cultural Center and then Director of the Spanish Cultural Center, did a careful analysis of what the scope of the project should be with Paulina.

Initially, it only encompassed a textile creation exhibit so a complementary agenda for participation by international professionals was added. These professional would contribute specialized knowledge about textile creation from curatorship to marketing. This raised the flag for the urgency to refine a project to create an international organization that would review and promote textile creation in Iberoamerica – a thorough assessment of “who we are” and “where we are going.”

Nevertheless, this decision posed substantial risks to be assessed, going beyond a single organization or a complex anthropological textile history running in parallel throughout our countries: the scant information about regional work and the vastness of the possibilities, the dearth of researchers in textile matters, and basic and university education on the subject, to mention just some of the difficulties that were encountered. More complex critical parameters needed to be implemented to facilitate the possibility of recreating textile creation using an all-encompassing language to find common points of view through other means of communication and new technologies involving innovative proposals.

Initially, these cultural promoters set out to achieve a major impact in Costa Rica, but they also ran into parallel efforts being made in other countries that evidenced an impressive number of actions and efforts with similar motivations. Critical information about textile creation was found to be unconnected and improperly documented so the need for a network was evident.

Using these premises and intentions to establish a fluid international connection about the state of textile creation, a management committee and a board of directors were set up in September 2006.

This beginning rests fundamentally on the encounter among and the diversity of promoters’ and director’s points of view. The need to exchange knowledge and to analyze the impact and common threads of conversation, directions that Iberoamerican textile creation could take, are some of the issues to be addressed by the committee members, who are attempting to discover new tools and definitive spaces so textile art can grow in diverse areas.

The progress made by these efforts is expected to consolidate strategic alliances with institutions dedicated to the cultural processes in the Iberoamerican region, focusing primarily on promoting, sponsoring, and making meetings for reflection and discussion to analyze textile creation and the possibilities for expansion a reality. Both new technologies and contemporary art scenarios pose a challenge to sustainable growth for visual textile creation, implying that creative proposals need to be formulated that have a consecutive impact on the new times and new spaces yet to come.

This is the mission, the search for an esthetic language built upon a proposal that entails its own framework: that artistic drive turned into a sustainable platform based on the exchange of information and open discussion, raising awareness about the possibilities of textile as a cultural intervention and a tool for life.


Visita al museo Ixchel de Guatemala

Visita al museo Ixchel de Guatemala

Conferencia de María Luisa Curruchich

Conferencia de María Luisa Curruchich