The founder and director of Weaving Hand, Cynthia Alberto, will teach “Back-strap Weaving.” This workshop will introduce participants to the history of back-strap weaving, an ancient yet globally practiced tradition. Using modern back-strap looms, participants will develop woven projects with an emphasis on sustainable, zero-waste weaving. Three techniques will be harnessed during this workshop and participants will walk away confidently knowing how to practice: plain weave, interlocking, and vertical stripes. In addition to developing their tactile and woven skills, participants will observe and study samples of back-strap looms and fabrics from various cultures (the Philippines, Indonesia, Guatemala, Mexico, and Peru.) This event is first in this year's Design Talk Series.
Bio: An artist, designer, and founder of the Brooklyn-based Weaving and Healing arts studio Weaving Hand, Cynthia Alberto seeks to bridge traditional and contemporary weaving techniques, drawing inspiration from ancient communities of Europe, Asia, Latin America, and Africa. Her artwork, performances, and public weaving projects honor traditional and artisanal techniques while also incorporating unconventional materials and a zero-waste philosophy. Throughout her artwork and teaching, Alberto continuously explores the many intersections between weaving and healing, as well as craft and sustainability. Inspired by her studio practice and teaching, Cynthia continuously explores diverse relationships between weaving, healing, inclusive art, craft, and sustainability.
In 2014 at Weaving Hand, Cynthia developed "Weaving Together": a series of ongoing collaborative weaving events that focus on healing the community and create interpersonal relationships through the act of weaving together. Members of different communities are invited to bring recycled materials to weave alongside their neighbors. "Weaving Together" events were held at Museum of Arts and Design, Cooper Hewitt, Barnard College, Pratt Institute, Earth Day Initiative, Pioneer Works, Queens Museum, Ace Hotel, Haystack Mountain School of Crafts and Bldg 92 Brooklyn Navy Yard.
Cynthia is also a recipient of the Dan River Weaving Award (1998); Peters Valley Craft Center Art Educator Scholarship (2008); The Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant (2009); Museum of Arts and Design - Open Studio Artist Residency (2008 & 2018); and Ace Hotel Artist in Residence (2015 - 2016), Hunterdon Museum (2020), Hancock Shaker Village (2021), Artshack Brooklyn, Artist in Residence (2021) Since 2009, Cynthia has been a Resident Artist at League Artists Natural Design; a studio and gallery in Brooklyn, NY that features work by adult artists living with disabilities.
Cynthia was featured in the Cooper Hewitt Design Dictionary (2014), where she demonstrates the process of weaving. She has conducted lectures and workshops at the Queens Museum of Art (NY), Tyler School of Art, Pratt Institute, Fashion Institute of Technology, Brooklyn Fashion and Design Accelerator (BFDA), Sheridan College Textiles Department, and Kapisanan Philippine Centre for Arts and Culture. Cynthia is a graduate of the Fashion Institute of Technology with a BFA in Textile Surface Design and exhibits her work worldwide.