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ArtTalk – Armando Sosa
A person reaches for an apple in a tree. Underneath is a dog. A bird with its wings outstretched displays each feather. These can be challenging subjects for any artist who engages with detail. But for a weaver bound by the unrelenting grid of a woven cloth, they are daunting and greedy of time.
Master weaver Armando Sosa is committed to surmounting these challenges. So much so that he himself built a complex loom that he researched from his native Guatemala as well as Europe and China.
Now he weaves traditional motifs in his own combinations and colors to express his dreams, his memories, and his aspirations. The resulting works show the overlapping cultural influences that have inspired his art.
Armando Sosa was born in rural Salcaja, in the Guatemalan Highlands. The son of a weaver, his job as a young boy was guarding newly dyed threads drying on the grass of the river bank from being trampled by cows! At the age of eight he spun and dyed yarn. At fifteen, he wove shawls and garments on a simple 4-harness loom. At sixteen, he moved to Guatemala City, where he first worked with a compound-harness loom.
From 1970 until 1980, he exhibited his work in Latin America and the United States. In 1993 Armando moved to the Princeton area, where he began to weave again, building a total of 4 large complex looms from memory. Various awards he has received include the title “Artist of Exceptional Ability” from the United States Government. In Jan. 2016, Sosa was named the first Folk Art Master of the State of New Jersey by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts.