Since her graduation from the California College of the Arts in Oakland in 1976, Sheila has pursued a career in textiles. She has exhibited her tapestries and taught workshops nationally and internationally. Her artwork is in numerous private and museum collections.
When Sheila moved to Lake County, California, in 2000, she started a new series of landscape tapestries inspired by the beautiful countryside. After weaving on various types of looms since 1976, she was thrilled to receive her own hand jacquard loom in 2008. She can now prepare the intricate weave files, turn on the air compressor, the loom driver computer, the control box and sit down at her loom to weave in her own studio.
In 2005 Sheila became more aware of the powerful images in photogravure prints taken by Edward Curtis in the early 1900’s when she was working on a project with Ceago Vinegarden in Lake County, CA. In 2009, Sheila started weaving these images as tapestries on her AVL hand jacquard loom to coincide with an Edward Curtis exhibition at the Grace Hudson Museum in Ukiah, CA. With a black warp and a golden weft, she was able to convey the spirit of the Native American Indians.
Right before she started to weave the first Pomo Girl, she was compelled to give thanks to those who posed for the pictures in the early 1900’s; to Edward Curtis for taking the pictures; to Dusan Peterc in Slovenia for creating the software ArahWeave; to Mim Wynne who gave her the loom; and to the cotton plants that provided the fiber to make the yarn. Then she started to weave with a different sense of purpose than she had felt before. It was like she was bringing these people to life.
As the tapestries became more and more popular, Sheila turned to a mill in North Carolina to help with production in 2011. After 4 months of sampling, the mill has been able to create custom weave structures that capture the subtle shadings in the beautiful sepia toned prints of Edward Curtis. Sheila is very pleased to make available three Edward Curtis images as tapestries on this website: The Pomo Girl, Chief of the Desert-Navaho, and A Jicarilla. She hopes that you will enjoy their company in your home or office.
Sheila’s tapestries have been exhibited nationally and internationally including the 13th International Biennial in Lausanne, Switzerland and a one person exhibition at the Center for Tapestry Arts, NY, NY. Publications include The New York Times, American Craft, Metropolis and Fiberarts Magazine.
Corporations, museums and private individuals have her artwork in their collections including AT&T, San Francisco; Lloyds Bank International, NY; the Smithsonian's Cooper-Hewitt National Museum of Design, NY; the Museum of Arts and Design, NY; The Oakland Museum, Oakland, CA and the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, CA. Her informative and entertaining lectures and workshops have been given in Canada, Europe, Australia, Egypt, and all over the United States.
For three academic years from 1996 to 1999, she taught in the textiles department at San Francisco State University. For the 1998-99 year she taught weaving at The College of Marin, Kentfield, CA. Sheila has continued to weave commissioned tapestries since her move to Lake County, CA in 2000. She has been teaching weaving classes to children and adults in her home/studio since 2001 as well as at Mendocino Community College in Ukiah, CA. She traveled to work with hand jacquard looms in Cairo in 2006 and Florence in 2007.
Sheila dedicates all exhibitions to her loving parents and teachers. For more information about Sheila’s handwoven tapestries go to: