Like most artists, I spend an inordinate amount of time applying for grants, shows and residencies. I get more rejections than acceptances and have developed a thick skin, so usually the rejections just roll off my back.
I recently learned about the Icelandic Textile Residency (ITC) and sent them a proposal. I have to admit that I REALLY wanted this residency and I knew that a ‘No’ would sting. To my great delight, my proposal was accepted and I will be spending the month of September 2024 in Northwest Iceland in the town of Blönduós on the glacial river Blanda (about 4 hours from the current volcanic eruption activity!).
Here are some pictures of the town and nearby landscape. The residency building was a former women’s college and my room will face the river. Doesn’t it look amazing?
The residency is designed for textile artists, textile designers and textile researchers and they have some fantastic cutting-edge equipment (no pun intended!). Here’s what is available in their textile lab: laser cutter, vinyl printer, Tc2 digital looms, felt loom, heat press, 3D printer, knitting machine and tufting! The residency program also has a grant to support sustainable fashion experimentation.
I am just starting to weave again after a 40-year hiatus, so having access to the weaving lab sounds very appealing. I studied weaving at Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) in New York and my weaving professor, Miriam Kellogg Fredenthal, became my lifelong mentor until her death at 98 ½. I am very excited about re-learning how to weave and adding this technique back into my art practice.
In addition to all the delicious options above, there’s also lots of hiking nearby and the town offers warm swimming pools and hot thermal baths. I have a strong feeling that this residency will come at an important time for me and it will help to point me in some new creative directions. Please join me in following the ITC residency on Instagram: @textilmidstod
If you have any tips about traveling to and visiting Iceland, I welcome hearing your ideas.