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On Display in the Library

A Weaver's Path by Joan Bartram

Joan Bartram

McKillop Library's "Hidden Talents" series is continuing with A Weaver's Path, weavings, painting, books, and photographs that record the life-time interest in and pursuit of the art of weaving. A Weaver's Path, currently in the library foyer display cases, is the fifth in a series introduced to highlight the varied talents of the university's faculty and staff. This unique exhibit, created by Joan Bartram, collection development librarian, reflects and records her varied artistic endeavors - tapestry, painting, drawing, and the production of artist's books -- as well as years of observing, commenting on and recording visual works. After 19 years as a librarian in McKillop Library, Joan Bartram will be retiring this summer to pursue her artistic interests.

Joan BartramCommenting on the roots of her artistic interests, Joan remarks that she has been exposed to people working with their hands since birth. She is the granddaughter and great-granddaughter of lace manufacturers whose mill was in Pawtucket, and the granddaughter and daughter of paper box manufacturers and graphic designers. Her extended family, which included a weaver, was greatly influenced by the Arts and Crafts movement and the RISD environment, and her father, Philip Green, was a RISD alum.

Joan spent her formative years in Barrington, Rhode Island where she attended public schools, learned to sail-- her other abiding interest, and began producing textiles at an early age. She received her first loom from Santa Claus at age eight. At the University of Rhode Island, textiles were her artistic focus and she spent her junior year abroad at Skiringssal Folk High School in Sandefjord Norway as a member of the Scandinavian Seminar. The folk high school is a Scandinavian institution that exists outside the formal Northern European Gymnasium system; it is an outgrowth of the philosophy of N.F.S. Grundtvig and the National Romantic Movement. The household textiles on display reflect her Scandinavian experience and its aesthetic.

Joan BartramFrom the 1970's onward she has been weaving, stitching and knitting. During the 1980's and 1990's she designed and published a line of knitting patterns that are once again attracting interest. During the mid-1990's she was able to seriously pursue a long standing interest in tapestry weaving.

In addition to studying in Norway, Joan studied weaving at Penland School (North Carolina), Arrowmont School (Gatlinburg TN,) and at the Creative Arts Workshop at the Boston YWCA where she also taught and worked with tapestry weavers Archie Brennan and Susan Martin Maffai. She studied book binding at the North Bennett Street School (Boston) and has studied drawing and painting at the Newport Art Museum and the Rhode Island School of Design/Continuing Education.

Joan's work has been exhibited in galleries in Newport and in the New England region.

For more information about McKillop Library's Hidden Talents series, contact Lisa Underhill, library technical services specialist, at 401-341-2290 (email: )
Cloth woven by Joan Bartram

Some resources on: Weaving