On January 14, 2017 the Fiberarts Guild gathered for its annual Potluck Fundraiser, arguably our most fun event of the year. We ate, chatted, laughed, and hugged. As in years before, the Chinese auction held a myriad of art supplies, yarn, fabric, and many other assorted goodies gleaned from each other’s studios (one person’s trash is another one’s treasure). In the silent auction, we bid on (and sometimes vied hotly for) beautiful items handmade mostly by Guild members.
Traveling reporters circulated among the crowd asking the pithy question, “What do you like most about the Guild?” Meet a few selected members with their answers:
Carolyn Carson: I like my friends and what I’ve learned from them.
Jan Myers-Newbury: The people IN the Guild.
Jean Thomas: All the great people.
Michelle Browne: I love the people.
Katrina Shorter-Harrison: The warmth, constant support and encouragement of the members keeps me here
Evan Zajdel: I enjoy the opportunities to see other members’ work and be inspired by it.
Jeanette McCabe: I like the resources the Guild has to offer and members’ friendliness and willingness to help. People are open-minded and very welcoming.
Linda Brown: The people, the encouragement of creativity, the speakers, and Outreach: Knit the Bridge and Pop des Fleurs.
Jamie Herron: The wonderful friendships that develop. I moved to Pittsburgh not knowing anyone and now I have more friends than I had in the 40 years before.
Juliane Gorman: How organized and energetic we all are.
Hattie Lehman: Being with other fiber enthusiasts and the energy that’s created. We are all a little crazy!
Amber Coppings: Being around other artistically and politically like-minded people.
Annie Lawrence: I feel like I found my tribe—girlfriends, artfriends.
Carol Henley: The friendships.
Stacy Morrison: The generosity, creativity and friendliness of Guild members. It’s a great group willing to share and help each other and promote fiber art around Pittsburgh.
Jill Valenzuela: Like-minded people doing like-minded things.
Cathy Stechschulte: So far, I’ve really enjoyed the critiques, the field trip to the Textile Museum in Washington, and Fiberart International.
Ellen Smith: The willingness of people to share and mentor.
Barbara Dahlberg: The camaraderie.
Ann Taymans: Friendliness.
Kirsti Adkins: Being with other people who can see possibilities; who say “Wow that is really cool!” instead of “What’s that for?”
Delli Spears: The interaction at critique. That does it for me; if I didn’t go to anything else [the Guild offers], that would be enough.
Toni Ritchey-Ridella: We’re a conglomeration of people who are like-minded and inspire each other.
Kevin Walker-Neveras: The Knit-Crochet Special Interest Group; I joined specifically for that.
Rae Gold: I LO-O-OVE everybody! I think we have the very best guild ever because everyone is friendly, caring, and creative.
Vicki Ivancik: I like all the different artists and everyone’s creativity. These women are phenomenal!
Sam Milford: I like the support of like-minded people, the shows and artist talks. I think of Guild members as friends, not “GIRLfriends” but “GUILDfriends”. I like seeing members develop as artists over the years.
Phoebe Hopkins (guest): Everyone’s been so friendly today, so welcoming. That will help bring in members.
Chie Togami (guest): Everyone’s really welcoming without questioning.
Ellen Julius (new member): I need to come to more meetings!
Emily Harris: Connection and Reconnection. I was a member of the Embroiderers Guild back in the 70s and then left Pittsburgh for 40 years. When I returned, I had an immediate, magical reconnection with Rae Gold. Besides that re-connection, I’m now making new connections with other Guild members.
So, it seems like we have something really special going on here. Come and join us!