Tucked away on a quiet backstreet is Emeryville's 45th Street Artists Cooperative where Ana Lisa has worked since 1976 folding, wrapping, stitching, tying, clamping, and dyeing beautiful textiles. From Indiana to Japan to India to California, Ana Lisa's journey as a fiber artist has spanned six decades and took her from a small midwestern town on a tour of the Pacific Rim to discover her influences and eventually to settle in the Bay Area.
Ana Lisa is known for her signature textiles based on contemporary adaptations of shibori. Her work can be seen in the collections of major museums like the Museum of Art and Design and the De Young Museum. I first learned about Ana Lisa's work through the books Art TO Wear and Fashion And Anti-Fashion by Melissa Leventon. I only knew of her beautiful perfectly pleated vests and jackets in the pages of my books and online; And was so surprised to find out from my friend Janet Lipkin that THE Ana Lisa lived just a short drive down the street from my studio... But maybe I shouldn't have been too surprised. After the universe shined on me in a way it rarely seems to and connected me with Janet, she soon led me into the cozy embrace of her community of pioneering fiber artists that had helped put the Bay Area on the countercultural art wear map in the late 60s/early 70s and have remained in the area ever since.
iJanet and Ana Lisa have been friends since they met at a group art show at the Richmond Art Center.
I walked through the overflowing greenery outside Ana Lisa's studio and into her beautiful, open loft space where she creates.