Common Threads: Perspectives on Historical Textile Arts

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Common Threads: Perspectives on Historical Textile Arts

Common Threads: Perspectives on Historical Textile Arts presentations and panel discussion featuring Maine textile experts.

By Pejepscot History Center

When and where

Date and time

Thursday, April 13 · 5:30 - 7pm EDT


Nomad Maine 14 Maine Street Brunswick, ME 04011

Refund Policy

Contact the organizer to request a refund.
Eventbrite's fee is nonrefundable.

About this event

  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Mobile eTicket

Visit the collections of any New England historic house museum and you’re guaranteed to find a spinning wheel–a physical representation of hominess. From the clacking of home looms to the hum of cotton mills, textile production has long brought people together. Despite the important place the textile arts hold in our society, the utilitarian origins of these arts often overshadows the creative expression and skill they require.

Join expert textile artists and historians Laurie LaBar (Maine State Museum Chief Curator of History and Decorative Arts), Christine Macchi (Executive Director, Maine Fiberarts), Alicia Plummer (Knitwear Designer), and Vivian Cunningham (Maine College of Art and Design Fashion & Textile Student) as they speak about the deep past of their specialties. Through illustrations and original pieces, they will address the tension between expression and utility that both advance and complicate the legacy of the fiber arts. Moderator (and knitter) Aimee Keithan will then lead a discussion into the deeper issues textile artists have historically faced–and still feel today–to have their skills valued and the resulting pieces appreciated as art, and if doing so compromises the intimacy and inclusivity the modern crafting community seeks to foster.

This program will be held at the NOMAD, in the beautiful historic Fort Andross mill building–a site of textile production for over 150 years. Pizza will be provided by NOMAD, and a cash bar will be available.

Admission is $10 for PHC Members, $15 for nonmembers, and we are offering a special $5 admission rate for those who would like to attend but find themselves in need.

Alicia Plummer is a knitwear designer living in Midcoast Maine. She is a lover of literature and storytelling in all forms. She transcribes metaphors and stories through texture and stitch, drawing inspiration from personal experiences, memories, and feelings. When she is not knitting, she is busy renovating her mid-1800s home, spending time with her family exploring the outdoors, or reading. She also loves animals and hugs. You can find her on Instagram as @Aliciaplums and she is also the co-author of Plum Dandi Knits.

Vivian Cunningham is a Textile and Fashion senior at the Maine College of Art and Design, focusing on historical garment recreations. Hailing from Alabama, Vivian came to Maine with the intent of becoming a costume designer. Previous experience volunteering in history museums led them to internships with Atlantic Black Box and Maine Historical Society and cemented their interest in historic textiles and costumes. Currently, they work within the Maine Historical Society’s textile collection as Collections Assistant and as Museum Assistant at the Tate House Museum. They can be found on Instagram @sterlingsilversmile.

Christine Macchi is Executive Director of Maine Fiberarts, a statewide arts nonprofit she founded in the year 2000. Based in Topsham, the organization promotes Maine artists through gallery exhibitions, tour maps, networking, referrals, publications and photo-illustrated stories. We maintain two websites— and—and welcome visitors to our Topsham Center/Gallery. Fiber arts include: spinning, knitting, weaving, quilting, felting, embroidery, mixed media, and other mediums. Christine is a craftswoman who spins, knits and sews and is an avid photographer.

Laurie LaBar is the Chief Curator of History and Decorative Arts at Maine’s largest history museum, the Maine State Museum. Curators tell stories in three dimensions, in Laurie’s case stories about Maine’s people and the way they lived in the past. Maine Quilts: 250 Years of Comfort and Community is Laurie’s third book. An exhibit of the same name will open when the Maine State Museum reopens in 2025, as it is currently closed for renovations. During the closure, Laurie and her colleagues are planning updates to existing exhibits, and designing new ones.

About the organizer

Pejepscot History Center is a non-profit, educational organization charged with preserving the collective heritage of Brunswick, Harpswell, and Topsham. The Society owns and operates the Joshua L. Chamberlain House Museum and the Skolfield-Whittier House, both of which are open to the public Memorial Day-Columbus Day. For further information please call the Center at 207.729.6606 or find us at

$5 – $15