Learning to Weave with Las Cruces Artist John Garrett



Exciting things have been happening here at the University Art Gallery! Last Saturday we had a workshop with our current Artist-in-Residence John Garrett. Mr. Garrett is a local artist who has been working 40+ years as a studio artist. His work deals with textile technologies, and he uses a large range of traditional weaving materials, yet also items such as plastic, metal, paper and wire. His resulting work usually ends up being a type of textile. Currently residing in the NMSU Art Gallery, Mr. Garrett has installed his floor loom where he is weaving strips of clothing donated by the Las Cruces community to create a large textile.

He is creating the “fabric of Las Cruces”!


Saturday’s workshop began with a conversation about the art of weaving. Garrett brought in textiles from around the world to show how different cultures weave and put patterns into their textiles. He then taught our guests all about the floor loom from beginning to end: set up, measuring warp, putting warp on the beam, threading it, tying it to the front rod, then weaving. Tension, selection, spacing, throwing and beading were also discussed. Garrett then talked about primitive looms and frame looms which anyone can make at home with a minor investment (just a box of nails!). He demonstrated how to set up and use a simple loom.

This great event Saturday included the whole gamut of ages: kids, college students, adults and seniors. All the materials are donated clothing (mostly knit t-shirts) from the Las Cruces community. If you are curious about weaving, this is a great opportunity to learn a new hobby. Everyone is welcome, anyone can weave! John Garrett will be residing in our gallery Tuesday – Saturday from 10am-4pm until February 26. We are almost halfway done with the giant community weaving. Our minimum goal is to make it 9′ x 9′ and we want to make it bigger if we can! If you are interested in donating, please bring t-shirts to the University Art Gallery on Tuesday – Saturday between 10-4. Don’t forget that Mr. Garrett will be giving an artist lecture on February 26 at 6pm here in the gallery. Come see the giant weaving and hear about this wonderful woven community experience! If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to email us at artglry@nmsu.edu or call the gallery administrator at 646-2545.