Back to All Events

Public Programs- Deborah McMahon Symposium at Southwest School of Art, San Antonio, Texas


Established in 2010, this symposium features noted fiber artists exemplary in their field in lectures, exhibitions or workshops. Named in honor of Debbie McMahon who was an accomplished and devoted fiber artist, Debbie was also a student and Trustee at Southwest School of Art. Her husband created an endowment in Debbie’s memory to facilitate this annual conversation on contemporary fiber arts.

This year’s symposium, on Sunday, November 11, focuses on artists working with natural dyes in their creative process with lectures by three fiber artists, Texas artists Analise Minjarez and Sarita Westrup will discuss their collaborative work under the name of Tierra Firma, along with keynote speaker Sasha Duerr from Oakland, CA. In addition, Duerr will conduct a workshop on the use of plant-based, natural dying November 9–10.

SASHA DUERR is an artist and designer who works with plant-based recipes, natural dyes and place-based palettes. She is a professor at the California College of the Arts with a joint appointment in textiles and fine arts where she designs curriculum and teaches courses in the intersection of natural color, slow food, slow fashion and social practice. Her work has been shown in galleries and museums across the United States and abroad. In 2007, Sasha founded Permacouture Institute to encourage the exploration of regenerative design practices for fashion and textiles. Her extensive work with plant-based palettes has been featured in the New York Times, American Craft Magazine, Selvedge, and the Huffington Post. She is the author of The Handbook of Natural Plant Dyes and NATURAL COLOR.

ANALISE MINJAREZ is a fibers artist and educator from El Paso, TX.  Minjarez creates fiber sculptures and installations using natural dyes, hog gut, and plastics to highlight the contextual differences between materials. Her objects investigate Mexican-American identity and the metaphysical awareness created by the landscape of the Texas-Mexico borderland.

SARAH WESTRUP is a fiber artist from the Texas-Mexico borderlands whose passion for fibers and natural materials has led her to the process of naturally dyeing cloth and alternative surfaces. She explores the use of natural dyes, nets, and even rocks to create sculptures and installations that examine her homeland. She received her BFA in Fibers at the University of North Texas and has studied under well-known natural dyers such as Catharine Ellis and Sasha Duerr. Sarah teaches natural dye workshops throughout Texas to inspire natural color in people’s artistic practices.

More Info HERE