Textile Arts Center is made up of a dedicated team of entrepreneurs, artists, designers, and textile enthusiasts.
Kelly Valletta - Co-Executive Director
Kelly Valletta is an artist, experienced art educator and one of the founding team members of TAC. She attended Pratt Institute where she received her Masters in Art Education. She believes that the arts can play a vital role in community engagement, and thoroughly enjoys sharing her broad knowledge of art with people of all ages.
Isa Rodrigues - Co-Executive Director
Isa Rodrigues is a textile artist and educator from the South of Portugal and one of the founding team members of TAC. After receiving her MA in Textile Conservation, Isa moved from Lisbon to New York to work and learn from the ethnographic textile collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Isa has been on staff at the Textile Arts Center since 2009, and is the founder and Director of the Sewing Seeds project. She likes to experiment with weaving and natural dyes, and her best ideas normally appear to her in dreams.
Kira Baker Silver - Director of Operations
Kira Silver has been involved with TAC since 2010. Beginning as an intern, she soon after became a weaving instructor. She learned weaving in January 2009 at Oberlin and hasn't stopped since. Other than weaving, she runs her business By The Baker, dabbles in screen printing, sewing, some major plant-loving and cat snuggling. Her background is in teaching both kids and adults alike, creating displays for Anthropologie and tackling a wide variety of freelance creative opportunities.
Whitney Newton - Class Coordinator
Whitney Newton is a fashion and textile print designer focusing on interactive storytelling and sustainability. After receiving her fashion design BFA from Parsons School of Design, she has been creating womenswear and childrenswear. As an avid foodie, she can be found snacking while draping, experimenting with textile crafts, dancing, or reading. Starting at TAC as a Surface Design Instructor for the Brooklyn summer camp in 2018, she is thrilled to continue working with the TAC team and community!
Lisa Sikorski - Director of Youth Programs, Brooklyn
Lisa Sikorski is a social practice based artist who has also been working in fibers and jewelry/metalsmithing for over 20 years. She has been teaching kids and adults in both these media in numerous places around the country for about as long. She joined the TAC team in 2015. Her most recent work is the birth of a tiny human that keeps her from doing anything meaningful with her art career (sigh). She loves teaching kids about the wonderful world of dyeing and thinks that empowering kids with craft skills is one of the greatest long term gifts we can give them.
Simone Evans - Youth Programs Manager, Manhattan
Simone Evans is an artist and designer, working with dyeing, printing, and silk painting techniques. While working at TAC, she owns a business Simone Evans Textiles, using her fabrics to create color-drenched silk garments. Some of her garments also include handwoven fabrics. She has been teaching at TAC since the summer of 2016 and has a BFA in Textiles and Material Studies from Kutztown University of Pennsylvania. She loves spending her time teaching youth & adults about textile designing processes and is stoked to be a part of the team!
Lynn Hunter- Administrative Assistant
Lynn Hunter has been working in textiles and instructing at the Textile Arts Center since she returned to NYC after a long stint exploring Europe & Asia in 2013. Outside of TAC, Lynn splits her time between creatively directing at Heirloom, an antique rug company and exploring her erotic rope project Tight Rope.
ADULT CLASSES INSTRUCTORS
- Addison Walz - Spinning, Felting, Weaving
- Ahna Hughes - Tapestry, Sewing
- Alicia Scardetta - Tapestry Weaving
- Caitlyn Mclaughlin - Sewing, Quilting
- Callen Zimmerman - Indigo, Rag Rug Weaving
- Chi Nguyen - Tapestry, Spinning
- Claire Schipke - Screen Printing, Macrame
- Denise Maroney - Embroidery
- Elena Kanagy-Loux - Bobbin Lace
- Emily Curtis - Leather
- Emma Redmond - Tapestry, Quilting
- Erina Schultz - Block Printing
- Florence Spurling - Machine Knitting
- Hannah Schultz - Printing
- Isa Rodrigues - Natural Dyes, Weaving
- Jamie Boyle - Weaving
- Jennie Maydew - Natural Dyes
- Joey Casey - Machine Knitting, Dyeing, Sewing
- José Picayo - Weaving, Bead Weaving
- Kaelyn Garcia - Embroidery, Needle Point, Tapestry, Weaving
- Karin Persan - Shibori, Indigo, Block Printing
- Karyn Lao - Pom Pom making
- Kira Baker Silver - Weaving
- Laura Eliason - Machine Knitting
- Linh Truong - Sewing, Suminagashi
- Lynn Hunter - Kumihimo, Macramé + Knotting, Crochet Rag Rug
- Mallory Zondag - Felting
- Molly George - Indigo
- Natalie Stopka - Bookbinding, Natural Dyeing, Marbling
- Olgalyn Jolly - Machine Knitting
- Olivia Zisman - Embroidery, Painting with Thread
- Philip Sachs - Screen Printing
- PJ Cobbs - Silk Painting
- Samantha Bittman - Drafting, Weaving
- Sara Peterman - Katazome
- Sheridan Black - Screen Printing
- Victoria Manganiello - Weaving, Bead Weaving
- Vien Le Wood - Bead Embroidery, Embroidery, Kumihimo
- Whitney Crutchfield - Screen Printing, Weaving
FRIENDS OF TAC
Visnja Popovic - Co-Founder
Visnja Popovic was born in Belgrade, Serbia and moved to the US in 1991. She studied textiles at the Rhode Island School of Design, including a semester spent in Ghana studying the art of weaving and traditional block-printing techniques. She went on to earn a Masters in Art Education from Pratt Institute where she spent a Summer teaching weaving to children in South Africa. Visnja helped Textile Arts Center in becoming a major resource for promoting textile art and design in New York City and beyond.
Owyn Ruck - Co-Founder
Owyn Ruck is a born-and-raised Brooklynite, with a passion for textiles and supporting small business and independent makers. Owyn studied Studio Art at Skidmore College, with a concentration in textiles and print making. Owyn helped Textile Arts Center in becoming a major resource for promoting textile art and design in New York City and beyond.
Jordana Martin - Oak Knit Studio
Jordana Martin, founder of Oak Knit Studio, is a working textile artist and designer, and received her MFA from RISD in Painting. Originally from California, Jordana and her family call Brooklyn home. In collaboration with the Textile Arts Center, Jordana co-founded our artist residency program and acts as in-house resident mentor, providing consistent guidance outside of seminar and critique time. Out of Oak Knit Studio, Jordana produces artwork, as well as “craftivism” and community charity events around the textile arts. Jordana also serves as a board member of the Craft and Folk Art Museum in Los Angeles. Jordana helped Textile Arts Center in becoming a major resource for promoting textile art and design in New York City and beyond.