Nancy Taylor
Professor of Art

Nancy Taylor teaches a variety of courses in weaving and fabric arts, and she regularly exhibits her own art. She has also led off campus programs in East Africa several times and conducted research about textile dyes with students.

She remarks, “I am particularly interested in the cultural and historical roots of contemporary weaving and other fiber arts, and in the important roles textiles have played in almost all cultures and times.”

Contact Info

Campus Mail
Drawer 48

Phone
765-983-1397

E-mail
nancyt@earlham.edu

Office
233 Center for Visual and Performing Arts

Website
Website Link

Programs/Departments

  • Art

Degrees

  • M.A., University of Wisconsin, Madison
  • B.A., Colorado College

Selected Courses:

Weaving I, II, III and IV (loom-based work and dyeing), Art Cloth I, II (everything you can do with fabric after it's already woven), Independent Studio Studies in Weaving, Off Campus Program in Tanzania, and student/faculty research projects.

Cultures of Tanzania and Kenya is a 5-credit course designed to help you understand more about the people you will be meeting and the diverse cultures you will be experiencing in Tanzania and Kenya.  The main focus of our readings and discussions will be the family, as a way of understanding and comparing cultures, and to take best advantage of our main cultural informants – the families with whom you will be living.  Much of your learning will be experiential, and our readings, discussions, tours and lectures will provide background and help you process those experiences.  Your homestays in Usa River, Lamu, Mgeta, Iringa, and Loiborsoit will offer you your closest extended contacts with people. The Cultural Window papers will give you an opportunity to focus on a specific aspect of your experience and analyze it carefully.  You will be volunteering in Iringa, and will write an extensive ethnographic/reflective paper about that experience, based on observation, participation and interviews.

There is always something growing on my loom! I work in slit-weave tapestry, as well as multi-harness weave structures and many forms of dyeing. I am particularly interested in the cultural and historical roots of contemporary weaving and other fiber arts, and in the important roles textiles have played in almost all cultures and times.  I have been teaching and learning with Earlham students since 1981. Along with teaching weaving and other textile arts, I am an active foreign study leader. I've traveled with students to East Africa eight times, and will be returning in 2015.

 

There is always something growing on my loom! I work in slit-weave tapestry, as well as multi-harness weave structures. I am particularly interested in the cultural and historical roots of contemporary weaving and in the important roles textiles have played in almost all cultures and times.

 

Recent Exhibitions

2013 Whitewater Competition, October- December 2013. Indiana University East  2013 Whitewater Competition Award.

"Summer 2011" 115th Annual Exhibition of Richmond and Area Artists, November – December 2013. Richmond Art Museum.

"Red and Blue" Open Space: Art about the Land.  Minnetrista (Muncie, IN), Art Association of Henry County, and Anderson Center for the Arts. Sept 24, 2011 – Jan 14, 2012.  

"Denali", "Landscape Diamonds", "Uroa to Iringa" 113th Annual Exhibition by Richmond and Area Artists. Richmond Art Museum, Nov 3 – Dec 14, 2011. 

Heat of the Sun Eye Dazzlers. Handweavers Guild of American Convergence 2010, Albuquerque, New Mexico, July 22-25, 2010. 

"Midday Market" "Away from Home: fiber work by Nancy Taylor." Leeds Gallery, Earlham College. October, 2009.   

Recent Publications 

Taylor, Nancy. “Postcards from the Field”. Handwoven. Issue 160, May/June 2013. p. 46-47.

Baker, Neal and Nancy Taylor. “Measuring the ‘Excellence’ of Librarianship at Earlham College” in Excellence in the Stacks: Strategies, Practices and Reflections of Award-Winning Libraries (Jacob Hill and Susan Swords Seffen, eds., Cambridge, UK: Woodhead, 2013).

Handweaver's Guild of America

American Tapestry Alliance

Surface Design Association

Five students and I are currently researching the "Colors of Earlham." Here is a summary of our project: Until the first textile dye was synthesized in 1856, all color on fiber came from natural dyes.  All color, for peasant dress and the most elegant of court costumes, for decorative tapestries and pile rugs, required a lot of skill and a lot of time. Most dyes were from plant materials, though there were several significant animal sources as well. The trade in dye materials was an important part of economies world wide, whether those dyes had been gathered from natural areas or grown as crops. But, imported dyes were expensive, and many dyers were dependent on far more local dye sources. What if we could only have colors from Earlham? We are exploring what colors we can create from the plants that grow on Earlham’s properties. We work only with wild native and naturalized plants, and only those that we can collect sustainably, without damaging the plant populations. Before synthetic dyes, most local dyers made heavy use of non-native plants grown in gardens, which we are not doing. Also, the color which comes from wild plants varies according to local growing conditions. Our research goal is to discover the palate available from Earlham. We are in the process of creating a number of final projects. Our website is under construction, but take a look at http://epress.earlham.edu/naturaldyes/.

I love biking, hiking, playing with our labrador puppy, hanging out with family, and, of course, weaving and dyeing.

 

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