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three generations

WGR is celebrating seven decades of activity from committed fiber artists. There is an anniversary slideshow from the archives posted on www.youtube.com. Founded in May 1946, Dorothy Westgate served as its first president and is credited with the vision, persistence and hard work that got it started for those first sixty members. The guild has met in various locations---the Memorial Art Gallery, Creative Workshop and several churches.Our current home is The First Baptist Church in Pittsford. The guild's teaching legacy spans generations. This picture from 1990 shows Ruth Herron [center] who taught Ruth Holroyd [right] who taught Margaret Carr [left]. Many current members trace their weaving knowledge to these 'weaving mothers'.

The Weavers’ Guild has hosted many shows of its members’ work since the first one in 1948. Some shows have been only for the display of work, and many have been combined show-sales-demonstrations.  Our most recent exhibit was held April-May, 2011 to celebrate our 65th Anniversary.  A book was published to commerate the exhibit. See THE BOOK to order a copy.   

When the Rochester Museum and Science Center announced plans to discontinue its weaving program, a group of Guild members recognized the importance of continuing the effort. Local instruction is vital to future growth and learning is the heart and soul of the Guild. After careful planning and a lot of volunteer effort, the Weaving and Fiber Arts Center was opened in Jan of 2002. “The Center” as it is affectionately known offers an extensive schedule of classes in weaving and related fiber arts.  The Center moved in 2010 into studio classrooms at the Piano Works Mall of East Rochester.

The Guild’s legal status has changed as needs dictated. The first constitution adopted in 1946 was revised as activities grew. In May 1977 the Guild was granted status as a non-profit organization by the Internal Revenue Service. In June 1990, it was incorporated as a not-for-profit business under New York State law. After the establishment of the Weaving and Fiber Arts Center, the Guild applied for a change in our federal non-profit status. A 501(c)3 tax exempt designation was granted by the IRS in June of 2002. This allow gifts to the Guild to be tax deductible. In April 2004, the membership approved the first major revision to its bylaws in many years.

The Guild relies on the volunteer efforts of all its members to have an active, successful organization. The Guild’s purposes continue much as they began sixty years ago:
  • To foster development and appreciation of weaving and related textile arts by promoting public interest in the medium.
  • To promote weaving and fiber arts as an educational tool by providing opportunities for study and experience.
  • To hold classes, workshops, exhibitions and to promote the study of weaving and related fiber arts.
  • To encourage and promote cooperation and exchange of ideas among weavers and others engaged in weaving and fiber arts.


guild banner

The design is based on a name draft for “Weavers’ Guild of Rochester” that was developed by Lis Stark. A banner with the design was woven in blue and white overshot by Betty Almekinder and is used at our Guild meetings. In 2006, the Guild revisited the design process and held a competition for a new logo. By popular vote, the original design was affirmed for continued use.