New Centre for Textile Art opens in Conche

21 Jul 2011

CONCHE, NL ---------- On July 26, 2011 the French Shore Historical Society will officially open a Centre for Textile Art. The purpose of the Centre will be to encourage the art of handmade textile crafts and to promote the art and history of textile-based traditions, especially of the Northern Peninsula. The Centre will focus on the historical textile development of northern Newfoundland by acquiring, preserving and making accessible a research collection of textiles and relevant documents. It will sponsor exhibitions, conferences, symposia, oral history projects, publications, fellowships and grant funded initiatives.

Since its founding in 2000, the French Shore Historical Society has showcased textile work by craftspeople in the region, including exhibitions of hooked rugs, knitting, embroidery, and included textile objects in its permanent exhibit. It has sponsored several workshops on textile art and in 2009 added the unique French Shore Tapestry, embroidered by women from Conche, as a major part of its exhibit.

In 2010, as a foundation for developing the centre, a research project was undertaken by the French Shore Historical Society in partnership with the Port au Choix – St. Anthony Regional Council of the Rural Secretariat. The purpose of the research was to document the traditional craft skills on the Great Northern Peninsula, with particular attention to crafts using or creating textiles. An inventory of the research, done by Memorial University student Lisa Wilson, can be accessed by visiting the MUN Digital Archives Initiatives.

Further information on all the work carried out by the French Shore Historical Society can be found on their  website: www.frenchshore.com.