The Bank Left Gallery is having a Textile Exhibit featuring Lewiston and Palouse area weavers, quilters and rug hookers: Edith Hostetler, Helen Bobisud, Jean Korus, Wilma Goertzen and Judy Cochran from September 8th thru September 29th. This exhibit will include hand made rugs, scarfs, table linens and more.

The reception will be on September 8th from 1:00pm - 5:00pm
with a musical performance by WSU jazz musician Geoff Allen.

I first met Edith about a year ago when a group of her friends brought her to my art gallery to see the exhibit of Sarah Swett tapestries. Edith immediately introduced herself as "Madame Hooker" (rug hooker, she meant). In that moment, I was "hooked" - I knew I could work with her. One of her friends advised me to give her a show in my gallery. Nearly a year later, my gallery will exhibit her rugs.

Edith was born over 90 years ago in Bristol, Indiana. She started hooking rugs during the Depression Era, learning the skill from her favorite aunt. For many years she did not make any rugs, being too busy raising a daughter; however, she did not forget her craft. Initially, Edith gave away her rugs as presents, until her daughter Judy gave her the very good advice, "You should try to sell your rugs." Edith listened, started selling them, and people embraced them.

Recently, I went to her apartment to choose the rugs that would be exhibited at the Bank Left Gallery. I could tell by being in her space with her daughter that her rugs project an energy and inner strength that only Edith could have. Even though her health has not been favorable, she still finds time and energy to make rugs. Lying on the floor of her apartment there was an unfinished rug waiting for Edith to get her health back and finish another nature-inspired design.

- Nelson Duran

Thank you to Carol Hill, Jeanne Leffingwell and Judy (Edith's daughter) for their contribution to this biography.

I learned to weave in 1981 at the University of Idaho from Shirley Medsker, now a teacher at the Latimer Center. Since then, weaving and textiles have been my main passion and guiding force in my life. I have followed this passion around the world to places such as India, Laos, Thailand, Kenya, and Europe. Many of my yarns, color ideas, and fabric ideas are bought in or inspired by my travels.

I weave on a 24-harness loom that is hooked up to a computer. The computer does not run the loom, but is a design tool, and helps to remember the treaddling. I like to weave mainly functional fabrics such as linen table runners, placemats, cotton or linen hand towels, scarves made out of silk, fine wool, or rayon chenille. I enjoy designing projects that have long repeats, something made possible by using a computer. The more I know about weaving, the more I feel I don’t know!

- Jean Korus

Wilma Goertzen

Wilma Goertzen was born and raised in Idaho and has made Lewiston her home for many years. Wilma and husband, Buzz, of fifty years, visited many parts of the world and this has been a significant factor in stimulating an already creative mind.

Wilma remembers drawing at five years of age and carving a bluebird from a bar of soap in the fourth grade. She has painted in oils and acrylics, knitted more than 65 sweaters from wool, silk and blended yarns, all which were her original designs. She has been sewing since early childhood, beaded doorway valances and chandeliers and in 1989 stepped into the world of quilting. Wilma is a self-taught quilter and mostly quilts her own designs. Wilma recalls that she has created and recorded at least 300 quilts and various related items. She has also created and donated 110 baby quilts to third world countries through various organizations and friends.

Mrs. Goertzen has won at least seven ribbons for her quilts and has been juried into the Annual Seaside, Oregon Craft Show. She has 11 African quilts in her collection. The African theme began when she was given an African batik fabric purchased in Paris. Most of the quilts contain various artifacts and bones purchased from local tribes by a friend who was traveling in Africa. Many of her quilts have a very unique story attached to them. For example; a childhood memory of a mercantile store owner in Helmer, Idaho is stitched into the, “Meet Mildred” quilt. Mildred Wells made a great impression on Wilma at a young age.

Many wonder what drives this woman to make so many quilts. Wilma puts it this way, “Creativity inspires and is the engine that drives me”. She refers to quilting as, “Medicine for the heart, soul and mind”. What future quilt ‘jewel’ is yet to be realized?

Wilma enjoys her family which consists of husband, Buzz and three adult children; daughter, Tammy, sons, Kelly, Darrell and several grandchildren plus one great grandchild. She also enjoys gardening, but wants to “quilt till she wilts!”

I had numerous encounters with fibers and a variety of fiber manipulation techniques during my growing up years in New Mexico, but these sparks of interest in fibers were only fanned into a flame in my early 30's when I acquired, rather by accident, a loom. At first I relied on books for instruction, but soon found the Palouse Hills Weavers’ Guild which for some 32 years has provided both instruction and inspiration through many programs and workshops.  Further additions to my knowledge have come from attendance at regional and national conferences and from workshops at the Coupeville Arts Center in Washington.

My work has appeared in Weaver’s, Handwoven, Shuttle, Spindle, and Dyepot and Complex Weavers Journal. I have had my work in juried shows at several national weaving conferences . In 1998 I won third place with a three dimensional piece in the international juried show Small Expressions 98 at the Atlanta International Museum and in 2001 I had a scarf in a juried show at the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney, Australia. In 2006 I was in the Three Palouse Weavers show at the Latimer Quilt and Textile Center in Tillamook, Oregon.

I am interested in a wide variety of techniques ranging from two-shaft warp-faced bands to twenty four shaft fancy twills. The latter I design on the computer and weave on a 24 shaft dobby loom. Many of my projects involve the exploration of the interactions between pattern and color. Scarves are a favorite item to weave as each one can be different and I can explore many different patterns and color combinations on one warp.  I have also worked a lot with the technique of differential shrinkage to produce highly textured fabrics.

For me, weaving provides evermore interesting challenges to my mind, hands, and heart. I enjoy the process at least as much as the finished product.

- Helen Bobisud


The Bank Left Gallery -- 100 South Bridge Street, Palouse, WA 99161

Gallery Hours: Wednesday - Saturday 10:00am - 5:00pm, or by appointment
Nelson Duran and Pamela Duran, 509.878.8425