Textile Artist Retreat @ Monson Arts: Summary

The Maine Crafts Association is pleased to partner with Monson Arts for a second year to offer a four-day retreat and planning session for eleven of Maine’s experienced and emerging textile artists to develop ideas for new work and build community. The retreat takes place on the Monson Arts campus, in Monson, Maine June 8 – 11, 2023.

The makers will participate in presentations and dedicated studio time and are provided with room, board and a travel stipend thanks to the partnership with Monson Arts and funding from the Betterment Fund.

Retreat Presenters

Lissa Hunter

Lead Artist & Presenter

Lissa Hunter is a Maine-based artist known for her basketry, drawing and mixed media work. Teaching, curating, and writing about contemporary basketry, design and creativity are noteworthy accomplishments in her career. Lissa continues to create from her Portland, Maine studio, and her work can be found in many national exhibitions, museums, and private collections.


Photo: Irvin Serrano

Rachel Ferrante

Executive Director, Maine MILL

Rachel Ferrante comes to Maine Museum of Innovation, Learning and Labor (Maine MILL) with more than a decade of museum experience. She has been executive director since September 2021. Prior to this role, she spent eleven years at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York rising from an assistant in the director’s office, to the marketing manager, and finally launching and overseeing the touring exhibition program as an exhibition project manager. Rachel is a graduate of Bates College in Lewiston with a B.A. in art and visual culture and minor in rhetoric. She holds a Master’s in Business Administration from New York University’s Stern School of Business. She and her husband have two young sons.

Maine Museum of Innovation, Learning and Labor (Maine MILL) is a history and culture museum in downtown Lewiston, Maine, that celebrates extraordinary stories of work and industrial ingenuity. Through the collection, exhibits, educational programming, and events, the museum invites visitors to explore how life, labor, and culture shape the present and influence the future. mainemill.org

Rachel Ferrante

Retreat Participants: Eleven Textile Artists

Veronica A Perez

Veronica perez creates intensely personal sculptures through community interaction using braided and woven. hair and textiles – while ruminating on identity, interdependency, and representation.

As a visual artist that is also a social and cultural worker, Perez uses these frames of reference to situate their work deep within intimate stories and experiences – and share them with a wider audience through sculpture and story.


Judith Daniels

Judith M. Daniels has been an artist for many years, always cycling between fine art and craft. For the past ten years she has concentrated on fiber or textile art which happily for her is breaking the boundaries between those two ways of categorizing creative expression. She finds working in textiles and paper a nourishing experience and finds much pleasure in the tactile qualities and surface textures of the materials that she uses. Primarily a felt maker, she is also an embroiderer, hand dyer and silk painter and has become captivated by the Korean paper technique called “Joomchi”.


Judith Daniels

Lisa Ferreira Jones

Lisa grew up in Maine and received a BFA in Metalsmithing and Jewelry Making from Maine College of Art in 2002. Since being introduced to papermaking at the California College of Arts and Crafts in 2000, Lisa has skillfully combined metal, wood, and her own handmade papers to form one of a kind creations. Lisa’s work can now be found in commercial installations, retail galleries as well as at her studio in Falmouth, Maine.


Katherine Ferrier

Katherine Ferrier is a queer poet, dancer, textile artist, teacher, and community organizer based in Rockland, Maine. Her research grows out of a deep practice of paying poetic attention to the world, and lives in the intersecting communities of movers, makers, writers and activists.


Since 2018, Katherine has directed the Medomak Fiberarts Retreat in Washington, ME, a nationally recognized gathering of fiber artists from around the world, where she teaches improvisational patchwork, slow stitching, wet felting, and writing for makers. Her work has been featured in Uppercase Magazine, The Knot, Contact Quarterly, and several poetry anthologies, including A Dangerous New World: Maine Voices on the Climate Crisis, and a self-published collection of photographs and poems about making, called Thread Says Stay. She is currently studying with weaver Sarah Haskell, as part of Maine Craft Association’s Craft Apprenticeship Program, and has recently shown her textile work at Speedwell Projects in Portland, The Ice House Gallery on North Haven, and The Buoy Gallery in Kittery. Katherine regularly teaches and performs throughout the US and abroad, and believes in patchwork as the radical practice of being patient, saying yes, and making space for everyone at the table.

Sarah Haskell

Sarah Haskell weaves and embroiders with naturally dyed and often handspun thread, illustrating stories of love, loss and longing. Exploring a personal yet universal narrative, she examines the heartache of the ephemeral, the tender beauty of the natural world and the astonishing gift of being human.


Sarah Haskell
The Great Unwinding, Sarah Haskell
Well Used, Well Loved (Detail), Sarah Haskell

Sara Hotchkiss

Sara Hotchkiss was 10 when she first set eyes on a loom, and she knew right away that she wanted to be a weaver. She received her first formal instruction in weaving in college and has been steadily creating fabrics in the 50 years since. Sara now makes rugs, wall hangings, and pillows in a range of patterns and palettes inspired by the gardens of her Waldoboro home. Her works have been shown in galleries and museums throughout New England and in New York’s American Craft Museum.


Emi Ito

Emi Ito works in a freestyle Japanese weaving technique known as Saori. The Saori aesthetic encourages weavers to improvise designs and materials, rather than weave a decided pattern. Emi uses both colorful yarns and earthy hand-dyed fibers in her work and considers the process of weaving to be as much a part of the art as the finished textile.


Bukola Koiki

Bukola Koiki is a Nigeria-American conceptual fiber artist who makes
work in response to the liminal space of the immigrant experience, colonialism and Yoruba cultural ontology with a focus on research, materials as metaphor and fearless experimentation. Koiki received her MFA in Applied Craft + Design from the Pacific Northwest College of Art and in 2023, she was awarded a United States Artists Fellowship. She currently lives and works in Maine.


Berri Kramer

Berri Kramer grew up in Lincoln, Massachusetts and spent as many hours as she could in the studios at DeCordova Museum. She earned a BFA in Design and Crafts from Kent State University and a Masters in Fiber from Lesley University, Cambridge, MA.


As a textile artist she explored color, pattern, rhythm and construction. She worked for 25 years designing for Better Homes and Gardens. Bringing that background with her to paint, encaustic and textiles, she utilizes her experience to voice a new layer of thought. Berri was the founder and President of Heartwood College of Art.

“ My work reflects the blocks of color and patterns that surround all of us everyday. I am fascinated by the tools and tracks that are unintentionally left behind. …a fiber remnant, a letter or a feather. The exercise in choosing from endless imagery and palettes, and editing it to distill the message, has become my practice in every medium. Often the scale of these snippets is exaggerated or reduced to take the viewer away from the “assumed.” The simplest forms can often tell the greatest story.”

“If you chase two rabbits at the same time, you will lose them both.”
-Russian Proverb

Ashley Page

Ashley Page is an interdisciplinary artist living and working in Portland, ME. Her practice is a vessel to present diverse representation and visibility to the African American image, intellect, and spirit. Her objects are a hybridization of traditional craft processes and spatial practice to reinterpret the human body and explore various modes of portraiture.


Halley Phillips

Halley was born and raised in Maine, and spending a lot of time outside as a child, was always inspired by the colors, textures, and landscapes that nature has to offer. Halley creates hand-made wall weavings, using mainly natural and recycled materials including: wool, silks, recycled cotton and silk, angora, etc. Halley also spins and dyes many of the fibers and yarns included in her pieces.


Textile Artist Retreat @ Monson Arts: Itinerary

Thursday June 8th
12:00 – 3pm Arrival & Check in at Tenney House
Lunch – This is the only meal not provided by Monson, please pack a lunch or visit the Monson general store for a great meal!
4:00 Studio tour, intros
6:00 Dinner
7:00 Welcome to Monson, Evening Presentations 5 minutes each

Friday June 9th
7:00 Morning Walk (meet @ Tenney House)
8:00 Breakfast
9:00 Lissa Hunter Presentation @ Tenney House
10:00 Studio time with Lissa Hunter
12:00 Lunch
2:30 Studio time with Lissa Hunter
5:30 Dinner
6:30 Evening Program /// Discussion with Panelists @ Tenney House

Saturday June 10th
7:00 Morning Walk (meet @ Tenney House)
8:00 Breakfast
9:00 Studio time with Lissa Hunter
12:00 Lunch
1:00 Studio time with Lissa Hunter
5:30 Dinner
6:30 Evening Program /// Moderated Discussion with Chantal Harris, Monson Arts Director (meet @ Tenney House)

Sunday June 11th
8:00 Breakfast
9:00 Studio, finish-up, clean-up
11:00 Lunch with last words
12:00 Departure
1:30 Fiber Farm Adventure!

Friendsy Farm
483 N Dexter Rd Dexter, ME 04930 (map)
Big red farmhouse with circle drive
Owner: Kelly Sheeper
Visit the farm and meet their sheep and angora rabbits. Fleeces and fiber projects will be on display with items for sale!

Textile Artist Retreat @ Monson Arts: Program Details

Monson Arts’ mission is to provide time and space for creative work. An initiative of Maine’s Libra Foundation, Monson Arts was created to spur economic development in Piscataquis County and began programming in 2018. Home to renowned painters, furniture manufacturing and slate quarrying, the town of Monson has a longstanding historical connection to the innovative craftsmanship of Maine. Monson Arts will foster this spirit of ingenuity by working with Maine Crafts Association to bring experienced and emerging textile designers and creators to Monson, both to provide an opportunity for these makers to experiment and work together and also connect with Monson Arts to discuss ways we can help support textile production in the region and the state. Craftspeople focused on their livelihood don’t always have the time to develop new ideas and reflect on their work or to work in a community of like-minded makers.

The retreat will provide a setting where textile artists can have uninterrupted time to develop new ideas for their work and also provide an opportunity for emerging and experienced craftspeople to work side by side.

Maine Textile Artist Retreat @ Monson Arts: Goals

  • To provide a retreat where makers can develop new ideas.
  • To foster cooperation and communication between generations of makers.
  • To help Monson Arts in developing initiatives that promote studio-based craft work in the region.

Eleven emerging and experienced textile artists have been selected by the Maine Crafts Association to come for an intensive four-day retreat session at Monson Arts. Housing, meals, and studio space will be provided for free. Specific activities will include:

  • Public presentations by all of the makers.
  • Uninterrupted studio time and access to special equipment.
  • Guided discussions with Maine Crafts Association and Monson Arts staff to talk about challenges and opportunities in the field.
  • Presentations by other experts, makers and historians

Our intent is to engage established and emerging textile artists in activities that will promote creative growth. This will be done through uninterrupted time to use Monson Arts facilities to develop ideas for new work. We connect textile artists with Monson Arts and Maine Crafts Association to both promote the region and to help our organization understand the needs of textile artists in Maine.

Maine Textile Artist Retreat Participants: Invitational Process

The Maine Crafts Association implements a process to identify and invite Maine-based textile artists through nominations and self-nominations. A final group of participants will represent various career points, gender, sexual orientation, race, age, type of work, and other identifiers.

The makers will participate in presentations and dedicated studio time and are provided with room, board and a travel stipend thanks to the partnership with Monson Arts and funding from the Betterment Fund.

Questions? Please contact info@mainecrafts.org or call (207)205-0791.

About Monson Arts

Monson Arts is a residency and workshop program in Monson, Maine. An initiative of Maine’s Libra Foundation, Monson Arts began programming in 2018. It was started as a way to spur economic development in Piscataquis County. Monson, the last town before the 100 Mile Wilderness on the Appalachian Trail, was the home of photographer Berenice Abbott, painter Carl Sprinchorn, and was a center for slate quarrying and furniture making.

Monson Arts’ mission is to provide time and space for creative work. This is done through a combination of residencies, workshops, artist retreats, educational initiatives, community programs, and exhibitions.