Free Zoom Symposium

by | Mar 5, 2021


Careers in Textiles Symposium
March 19 – 20, 2021
What is a Career in Textiles? The Handweavers Guild of America, Inc.’s (HGA) two-day online symposium spotlights leading professional and industry trend setters, sharing their experiences and providing insights on the diverse and changing landscape of textiles and fiber art. The symposium is open to all, but is geared towards young professionals, recent graduates, and students.
DAY 1: Hear from the Professionals
Friday, March 19, 2021
Representing different areas within the textiles career field, HGA’s invited speakers will share their knowledge and enlighten attendees to potential opportunities in the field. All sessions are free to view. View the full schedule.
Greyson Kirby is a designer, artist and writer living in Santa Barbara, California. She serves as a consultant within the high-end residential design industry creating private label collections of textiles and rugs. She developed a strong business acumen and deep understanding of the mechanics of product development working for companies like Ralph Lauren, Moore & Giles, Link and HOLLY HUNT, which allow her to seamlessly weave together the aesthetic goals of her clients with manufacturing sources around the globe and a keen understanding of marketing and distribution to make each product successful.
Andrew Curcio went to FIT and received his bachelor’s degree in textile development and marketing. He then landed an internship with HOLLY HUNT in 2010. He was then hired to become a top textile sales associate where eventually got offered a promotion in Chicago to lead the design and development team for the soft goods division of the company. After traveling and meeting with the top textile mills in the world he moved back to NYC to lead the sales teams as National Sales Manager.
Mary Jeanne Packer founded Battenkill Fibers in 2009 to provide value-added, custom carding and spinning services for fiber farms and makers; and to manufacture yarn and fiber products for wholesale and retail markets. The mill produces 100-150 lbs of artisan quality natural-colored and dyed semi-worsted yarn daily using refurbished traditional milling machinery. Since its founding, Battenkill Fibers has grown to provide 15 full-time and part-time jobs and was recognized as Washington County Small Business of the Year in 2015.
Tegan and Eric Frisino are both hand weavers with a love for fine art. Both graduated from SUNY Buffalo State College and received a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts Degree in Design. With Tegan’s degree in Textile Design and Eric in Graphic Design and Web Development, they started Comfortcloth Weaving, LLC, in 2016. Comfortcloth Weaving specializes in handwoven home goods, and custom yardage for small scale fashion designers. They also host a podcast that aims to bring professional weavers and the supply chain that supports them together in a transparent conversation about what it is like to make a career out of weaving called “The Professional Weaver Podcast”.
Todd Bowles is a graduate of North Carolina State University with a B.S. in Textile Design and a B.S. in Textile Management. He has worked in the textile and home furnishings industry since 1994, and has owned his own textile design consulting firm, Convergence, since 2010. Todd designs a signature collection of residential upholstery fabrics called “Carousel Collection” for De Leo Textiles and has done so since 2014. He has appeared as a guest lecturer and taught a senior level textile design course at NCSU called “Advanced Jacquard Weaving”.  He has also been a guest lecturer at North Carolina A&T University.
DAY 2: Preparing for a Career in Textiles
Saturday, March 20, 2021
Schools and universities will share information on their textile design and fiber art programs, and professionals in the field will provide guidance and critique with Open Portfolio sessions.
Textile Design & Fiber Art Programs
HGA invites program chairs/professors to promote your fiber art/textile program by participating in our Careers in Textiles Symposium. Universities can participate by joining us live via Zoom and speaking to Symposium attendees and by providing promotional information to highlight your program through HGA’s marketing channels. HGA will then advertise your program/university on our Careers in Textiles webpage, through our emails (reaching nearly 11,000), social media (Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter), and on HGA’s Fiber Art Calendar. If you are interested in promoting your textile design and fiber art programs, please click here to add your university or college. Participation is free.
Open Portfolio
generously sponsored by Mark Grigalunas
Open Portfolio is designed to provide constructive feedback to new and established fiber artists looking to grow their skills while serving as a learning opportunity for observers. Each participant will meet with three professional fiber artists to critique and discuss their portfolio. HGA Student members and current college/university students with a college ID may register for free to have their portfolio reviewed. For all other HGA members the fee is $5 and for Non-HGA members it is $10. There is no fee to just observe. Register for Critique
The Careers in Textiles Symposium is a complimentary program of the Handweavers Guild of America, Inc., a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. By registering you receive links to view the broadcast simultaneously on Zoom and Facebook (no account necessary). HGA’s Zoom subscription permits up to 500 guests to watch the program on Zoom while Facebook viewers are unlimited. Because the Zoom platform will fill quickly, registration for sessions that are free does not guarantee entry into the Careers in Textiles Symposium on Zoom. If Zoom is full we encourage you to watch the program live on Facebook. These broadcasts are recorded, free to view, and open to all. You can support our programming with a donation to HGA’s Fiber Trust. For more information about the Careers in Textiles Symposium, our programs, and membership, visit or call (678) 730-0010.
Sponsorship Opportunities: Support HGA and get your organization’s name in front of hundreds of fiber art enthusiasts. Call (678) 730-0010 or email HGA for more information on how to sponsor this program.
HGA is an exempt organization as described in Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code; EIN #06-08661. Our organization and programs are supported in part by generous contributions to HGA’s Fiber Trust.