This fall, a new exhibition marks the conclusion of the 50th anniversary of the Helen Louise Allen Textile Collection. Points of Departure: Inspirations from the Helen Louise Allen Textile Collection highlights the Collection’s continuing function as a vital resource and catalyst for new exploration and creativity.

Former Collection directors Jody Clowes, Martha Glowacki, and David Wells identified a pool of talented regional and national artists to participate in this exhibition project. And while many participants are textile artists, the list also includes makers in a wide variety of styles and mediums.

Artists participating in Points of Departure include Mary Bero (Madison), Craig Clifford (Appleton), Theresa Faris (Madison), Craig Grabhorn (Appleton), Christiane Grauert (Milwaukee), Emelia Haglund (Middleton), Mary Jaeger (New York City), Haichi Jihn (Whitefish Bay), Yevgeniya Kaganovich (Milwaukee), Dakota Mace (Madison), Nirmal Raja (Milwaukee), Bird Ross (Madison), Jason Ruhl (Madison), Maggie Sasso (Saint Francis), Diane Sheehan (Madison), and Michael Velliquette (Madison).

The sixteen artists have been provided access to the Collection for research, study, and inspiration. They have incorporated their discoveries into the planning and creation of new artworks exclusively for the exhibition. For the gallery installation, the new artworks and many of the inspirational sources will be displayed side-by-side.

From its beginning in 1969, the Helen Louise Allen Textile Collection has served as an archive and source of inspiration for students, makers, and designers. Professor Allen used the Collection as a teaching tool and it still serves this purpose. It is regularly utilized in classes and by researchers as a springboard for creativity.


  • Starting Wednesday, September 18th, 2019, repeats every day until Sunday, November 24, 2019 — all day


The Ruth Davis Design Gallery, School of Human Ecology

1300 Linden Drive
Madison, WI 53706