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Common Threads Fiber Symposium

Saturday, April 22, 2023
9:00 am4:00 pm
Interior of the exhibit at the Somerset Historical Center with vendor tables set up selling fiber arts.

Common Threads

Laurel Arts and the Somerset Historical Center are pround to present the 5th Annual Common Threads Fiber Arts Symposium. This one-day event will take place on Saturday, April 22nd from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. inside the unique museum space at the Somerset Historical Center (10649 Somerset Pike, Somerset, PA 15501).

Admission: $5
Food available for purchase from The Fat Squirrel

Common Threads is a celebration of all things Fiber Art including basketry, weaving, tapestry, coiling, knitting, crochet, embroidery, lacemaking, rug braiding, rug hooking, macramé, textile arts, silk painting, sewing, quilting, spinning, felting, papermaking, bookbinding, and many creative combinations of those skills. This event offers an opportunity for regional fiber artists to make meaningful connections and share their skills and knowledge with each other as well as the public. Throughout the day, roughly 15 fiber artists will be set up throughout the museum, demonstrating specific techniques, providing hands-on activities to participants, and the artists will be educating visitors when selling or talking about their hand-made products.

For a $5 admission, visitors who attend Common Threads get to meander through the winding museum space to visit each fiber artist’s table/booth. Every year, two guest presenters are featured as keynote speakers the day of the event. In the past, presentations have been given on a variety of very interesting fiber arts topics, techniques, fiber artists’ careers, published work, and displays including fashion shows.

*ATTENTION TEACHERS! The Pennsylvania Art Education Association offers Act 48 credits for attending the event. Sign up at the following link!


Artistic basket made by Lindsay Ketter Gates titled Lily of the Valley. Image of a cylindrical basket with embroidered flowers.

About the Presenter

This year's guest presenter is Lindsay Ketter Gates, who has been a studio artist for over 25 years. She holds an undergraduate degree in Fine Arts, a graduate certificate in Non-Profit Management/Arts Administration, and a Master of Business Administration. She was employed as the Director of Development at Peters Valley School of Craft for many years before taking on the role of Executive Director at Touchstone Center for Crafts in May of 2018. Her work is in the permanent collection of the American Embassy in the Republic of Djibouti, The Museum of Art and Design in NYC, Yale University Art Gallery as well as other international collections. Her work was included in the traveling exhibition ‘Rooted, Revived, Reinvented: Basketry in the 21st Century’, ‘Innovators and Legends; Generations in Textiles and Fibers”, and recently on loan to the American Embassy in Bandar Seri Begawan. Lindsay is sought to teach and lecture nationally and has spoken and taught at the Smithsonian's American Craft Museum – Renwick Gallery, St. Louis Art Museum, Textile Study Group of NY, Haystack Mt. School of Craft, Penland School of Crafts, Arrowmont School of Craft, Peters Valley School of Craft, SOFA Chicago, and the Fiber Arts Guild of Pittsburgh. Lindsay’s work has been featured on the cover of Metalsmith Magazine and on the pages of American Craft Magazine, FiberArts, Fiber Art Now, Surface Design Journal, Shuttle, Spindle and Dyepot Magazine, FIBERARTS Design Book VII, 500 Baskets, Making Good: An Inspirational Guide to being an Artist/Craftsmen, to name a few. In 2005 she was awarded an Individual Creative Artists Fellowship by the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, administered by the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation.

Both historical and contemporary fiber arts are represented at Common Threads, providing a link from past to present, making this event a relevant and successful collaboration between Laurel Arts and the Somerset Historical Center. One unique quality about fiber arts is that many of the techniques and materials have remained the same for hundreds of years, and most fiber artists have an understanding of traditional methods of creating their artwork. Many fiber artists often choose to branch out creatively, experimenting with ways to move the art form forward, pushing the boundaries by combining techniques, media, and implementing non-traditional materials within their work.