August's featured tapestry artist is Skaidrite McKeag!
The show will hang from August 1st to August 31st, 2016.
Skaidrite was born in Latvia, but was forced to flee that country when the Soviet reoccupation of the country was imminent in the fall of 1944. She had just turned six. Her parents and she spent the next 5½ years in a displaced person refugee camp in Germany, in the American zone. In 1950 they had the opportunity to be sponsored by a church, which enabled them to emigrate to the United States. Making a living seemed much more possible in the United States than in what was left of Europe after the second world war.
Given this background, when time came for Skaidrite to make choices about her future, she headed toward a secure profession, one with which she could find employment in almost any city. Skaidrite earned the credentials to be a Registered Dietitian and functioned in that capacity for several years before returning to school for a Master of Public Health Nutrition degree. She worked in the public health arena until retiring in 1997. Her last position was with the New Mexico Department of Health.
Although she has always had a fascination with design and color, she was unable to start weaving until retirement. Skaidrite feels very fortunate to be living in the Southwest with its landscapes, colors and exciting weaving environment. It is also fortunate that Latvia became free once again in 1991. She has been able to return several times to visit relatives, as well as tapestry museums and weaving studios, and to immerse herself more in Latvian ethnographic designs. It is interesting to note that some of the Latvian designs are very similar to those of the Navajo. All these influences are present when she creates her tapestries. She lives in Santa Fe with her husband, Roy, who is a fine art photographer.