Adela Akers

Adela Akers - SHADOW OF MARS

Artist Statement

My background in science has strongly influenced my artwork. The choice of materials and process emerges from that experience. There is a mathematical discipline in the way the work is constructed, This mathematical sequence is in strong contrast to the organic process (handweaving) and materials (linen & horsehair) that bring the work to fruition. Even when I don't know the outcome, it is the transformation of the materials by the repetitive hand manipulation that leads me to the final expression. It is always a discovery when reaching the end.

All the steps are important and contribute to the final work. Narrow strips are woven sequentially, horsehair is inserted at even intervals. When the metal foil is used, it is cut in narrow bands to fit those intervals. It is my intention to externalize both process and materials and their interaction in order to create a richer surface that is the focus of the work. In the search for answers or solutions, the questions get better and the possibility of a miracle is ever present. The completion of each piece raises questions that form the fabric of work to come.

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Graduate of the University of Havana, Cuba, BS—Pharmacy 1955

The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL 1957-1960

Cranbrook Academy of Art, Bloomfield Hills, MI 1960-1963


2012 Quicksilver Mine Company, Forestville, CA

2010 Sonoma County Museum, Santa Rosa, CA

2009 Hibberd McGrath Gallery, Breckenridge, CO

Fiberscene, Online Gallery, San Francisco, CA

2008 Triangle Gallery, San Francisco, CA

2004 Thirteen Moons Gallery, Santa Fe, NM

2001 Triangle Gallery, San Francisco, CA

Solomon Dubnick Gallery, Sacramento, CA

2000 browngrotta arts, Wilton, CT

1990 Helen Drutt Gallery, New York, NY

1987 Patrick King Contemporary Art, Indianapolis, IN

1986 The Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia, PA

1984 Modern Masters Tapestries, New York, NY

1981 The Mandell Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

1980 Fiberworks Gallery, Berkeley, CA

1977 Bloomsburg State College, Bloomsburg, PA


2014 9th International Fiber Exhibition at the Snyderman/Works Galleries, Philadelphia, PA

2012 TERROIR, Friesen Gallery, Sun Valley, ID

Fiber Philadelphia , Distinguished Educators Exhibition, Crane Arts, Philadelphia, PA

8th International Fiber Biennial , Snyderman/Works Galleries, Philadelphia, PA

Innovators and Legends , Muskegon Museum of Art, Muskegon, MI (Traveling/Catalog)

2011 Crafting Modernism: Midcentury American Art and Design , Museum of Arts and Design, New York, NY (Catalog)

STIMULUS: Art and its Inception , browngrotta arts, Wilton, CT (Catalog)

A Common Thread , Uribe Backstreet Gallery, Santa Rosa, CA

Minutely Personal , Quercia Gallery, Duncans Mills, CA

2010 7th International Fiber Biennial, Snyderman/Works Galleries, Philadelphia, PA

New Work by Gallery Artists , Triangle Gallery, San Francisco, CA

SOFA Exhibitions : New York & Chicago, browngrotta arts

2009 browngrotta arts & Artifact Design Group, Wilton, CT

2008 New West Coast Design, Bucheon Gallery, San Francisco, CA

The Grid , Mobilia Gallery, Cambridge, MA

6th International Fiber Biennial , Snyderman/Works Galleries, Philadelphia, PA

2007 New Work by Gallery Artists, Triangle Gallery, San Francisco, CA

Saturn Returns: Back to the Future of Fiber Art , San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles, San Jose, CA

2006 Material Difference: Soft Sculpture and Wall Works, Chicago Cultural Center, Chicago, IL

Triangle Gallery, San Francisco, CA

Contemporary International Art Festival, Palm Beach, FL—browngrotta arts (also 2004, 2005)

5th International Fiber Biennial —Snyderman/Works Galleries, Philadelphia, PA

SOFA Exhibition , New York, NY—browngrotta arts (also each year from 1999)

2005 Contemporary Fiber Art—A Sampler, Sisneros Fine Art, Tulsa, OK

SOFA Exhibition , Chicago, IL—Thirteen Moons Gallery (also 2004)

High Fiber , Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC

Penland School of Crafts Resident Artists Exhibition , Asheville, NC

Contemporary International Art Festival, Palm Beach, FL—browngrotta arts (also 2004)

SOFA Exhibition , New York, NY—browngrotta arts (also each year from 1999)

Cranbrook to Lancaster and Back— Cranbrook Art Museum, Bloomfield Hills, MI

2004 Contemporary International Art Festival, Palm Beach, FL—browngrotta arts, Wilton, CT

4th International Fiber Biennial, Snyderman/Works Galleries, Philadelphia, PA

2003 SOFA Exhibition, Chicago, IL—Snyderman/Works Galleries (also each year from 1999)

2002 Three Fiber Artists—Latino Art Museum, Pomona, CA

Looming Large: Contemporary Weavers of the Vanguard —Bedford Gallery, Walnut Creek, CA

Survey Fiber2002 —Snyderman/Works Galleries, Philadelphia, PA

2001 New Forms in Fiber—Mobilia Gallery, Cambridge, MA

2000 Triangle Gallery—San Francisco, CA

Pertaining to Line —Snyderman/Works Galleries, Philadelphia, PA

1999 Horse Attitudes—Contemporary Art Center of Virginia, Virginia Beach, VA

1998 Modus Operandi: A Survey of Contemporary Fiber—Snyderman/Works Galleries, Philadelphia, PA

Defining Fiber —Braunstein–Quay Gallery, San Francisco, CA

Fabricated from Flax —Contemporary Crafts Gallery, Portland, OR

1997 Weaving Metaphors—Adela Akers, Virginia Davis, Emily DuBois, Arts Benicia, Benicia, CA

1992 Inaugural Exhibition—Asheville Art Museum, Asheville, NC

Textile Invitational— Baylor University, Waco, TX

1991 Philadelphia Museum of Art—Philadelphia, PA

Helen Drutt Gallery—Philadelphia, PA

1989 Craft Today: Poetry of the Physical—International Tour

Akers, Bohnenkamp, Wilchins: Fiber Forms —Columbus Cultural Arts Center, Columbus, OH

1988 Maple Hill Gallery—Portland, ME

Helen Drutt Gallery—New York, NY

1987 Fiber: The Next Generation—Illinois State University, Normal, IL

1986 Craft Today: Poetry of the Physical—Inauguration American Crafts Museum, New York, NY. Traveling nationally for 2 years.

1984 Multiplicity in Clay-Metal-Fiber—Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, NY

1982 Jacquard Textiles—Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, RI

Cooper Hewitt Museum, The Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Design, New York, NY

1981 Filaments—University of Hawaii, Manoa, HI. Traveling through 1983

Fiber: Thread and Cloth Forms —Dayton Art Institute, Dayton, OH

1980 Fibers—Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art, Winston Salem, NC

1979 Recent Fiber: Akers, Grossen, Tawney—University of Akron, Akron, OH

Clay, Fiber, Metal: Invitational Pennsylvania Craftsmen —Beaver College, Glenside, PA

Inaugural Exhibition— Tampa Museum of Art, Tampa, FL

1978 Diverse Directions: Fiber Arts—Washington State University, Pullman, WA

Fibers Invitational —Murray State University, Murray, KY

Contemporary Fiber Art —Newark Museum, Newark, NJ

8 Artists—Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA

Art in Crafts: Work in Fiber, Clay & Metal by Women, Bronx Museum, Bronx, NY

1977 Fiberworks—Invitational International Exhibition, The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH

1976 National Crafts Exhibition-Kranert Art Museum, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL

Textiles: Past and Prologue, Greenville County Museum, Greenville, SC

Frontiers in Contemporary American Weaving, Lowe Art Museum, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL

Textiles: Past and Prologue —Greenville County Museum, Greenville, SC

Frontiers in Contemporary American Weaving —Lowe Art Museum, Univ. of Miami

1973 Objects: Made in the USA—School of Art Gallery, Kent State University, Kent, OH

1972 New Jersey Artists-Craftsmen—Fairtree Gallery, New York, NY

New Dimensions in Art Fiber —Goddard-Riverside Community Center, New York

Pacesetters & Prototypes: Weavers —A Cranbrook Retrospective, The Detroit Institute of Art, Detroit, MI

1971 Two Artists Exhibition—Shop One, Rochester, NY

Forms Invitational —Fiber, Clay & Metal, Fine Arts Gallery, State University College,

Oneonta, NY

1970 Appalachian Corridors: Exhibition 2—Charleston, WV

Ceramics 70 Plus Woven Forms —Everson Museum of Art, Syracuse, NY

1969 Invitational Fabrics Exhibition—Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN

Wall Works: Invitational —J.B. Speed Museum, Louisville, KY

Designer-Craftsmen of Illinois —Illinois State Museum, Springfield, IL

The Craftsmen of Penland —Gallery of Contemporary Art, Winston-Salem, NC


Artist in Residence, de Young Museum, August 2014, San Francisco, CA

Arts Counsel/Chair, Arts Advisory Board, FUNERIA, Graton, CA 2001–present

Professor Emeritus, Tyler School of Art of Temple University, 1995 Philadelphia, PA

Professor and Chair Fiber Area, Crafts Department, 1972-1995

Tyler School of Art of Temple University, Philadelphia, PA

Visiting Professor, Chairperson Textile Area, Art Department, 1991-1992

School of Creative Arts, San Francisco State University, San Francisco, CA

Artist in Residence, Penland School of Crafts, Penland, NC 1968-1970

Weaving Advisor, Agency for International Development in the Alliance 1965

for Progress Program Peru, South America


College of Fellows American Craft Council 2008

Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant 2008

Flintridge Foundation Award 2005

Faculty Award for Creative Achievement, Temple University 1995

Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Grant 1989 and 1983

Faculty Research Study Leave, Temple University 1988 and 1979

Faculty Grant-in-Aid of Research, Temple University 1988, 1979 and 1975

Faculty Summer Research Fellowship, Temple University 1984 and 1975

New Jersey State Council on the Arts Grant 1971

National Endowment for the Arts Individual Artist Fellowship 1980 and 1974

National Endowment for the Arts, Artists at Penland School of Crafts, 1971 and 1969

Penland, NC

Cintas Foundation Fellowship 1968 and 1967


The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY

Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC

The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX

Everson Museum of Art, Everson Collection of American Art, Syracuse, NY

Johnson Wax Collection, Museum of Contemporary Crafts, New York, NY

Sonoma County Museum, Santa Rosa, CA

Bell Atlantic, Philadelphia, PA

Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Indianapolis, IN

E.I. Dupont De Nemours & Co, Wilmington, DE

Bowlen Holdings, Inc, First Interstate Plaza, San Diego, CA

Hewlett Packard, Palo Alto, CA

Equitable Insurance Co, New York, NY and Milford, CT

Hyatt Regency, Greenville, SC

Simon & Associates, Indianapolis, IN

W. B. Saunders Publishers, Philadelphia, PA

Cintas Fellow Foundation, The Frost Art Museum, Florida International University, Miami, FL


Fiber Art Today, Carol K. Russell, Schiffer Publishing, 2011

Smithsonian Institution, Archives of American Art, Washington, DC 2008

The Visual Experience , Jack Hobbs, Richard Salome & Ken Vieth, Davis Publications, Inc., Worcester, MA 2004

Fiberarts Magazine , by Akiko Kotani and Bernard Freydberg, Summer 2001

The New Textiles , Chloe Colchester, Rizzoli, New York, NY 1991

Contemporary American Craft Art , Lloyd E. Herman, Gibbs & Smith, Layton, UT 1988

Searching Out the Best, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, PA 1988

Weaving: A Handbook for Fiber Artists , Shirley Held, Holt, Rinehart and Winston, New York, NY 1980

Ikat , Jackie Battenfield, Van Norstrand Reinhold, New York, NY 1980

Fiberarts Magazine , by Jan Janeiro, March/April 1981

Weaving , Clara Creager, New York, NY 1979

Craft Horizons Magazine , by Pam Scheinman, February 1977

News and Press