Donna Loraine Contractor was born in Waukegan, IL and came to New Mexico to attend St. John’s College in Santa Fe. Since she moved to Albuquerque 23 years ago, she has won over 30 art competitions and commissions throughout the state and country.
Contractor was named a Local Treasure for her contribution to the Duke City’s visual art scene by the Albuquerque Art Business Association. She has won numerous art competitions and commissions such as a triptych for the City/County Building in Albuquerque and a large tapestry for the Bernalillo County Courthouse. Other accolades include the display of her tapestries at the Albuquerque Museum, MFA @ Santa Fe and an appearance on a HGTV special. Donna's work is shown and collected throughout the United States and abroad. She operates an apprenticeship program at her Nob Hill studio.
I weave for many reasons. First, I love machines. Once I walked into a loom room, saw the way it looked, the things it could do, its parts, etc., I was hooked. I now own and weave primarily on an AVL professional 8-harness rug loom with a dobby mechanism, pneumatic tensioning system and a worm gear. See how I love the parts!
Next, I love the materials. From the strong smooth cotton warp to the luster of hand-dyed wools and the sparkle of silks, I continue to be enraptured with the feel and look of textiles. Color is a source of constant joy for me and I delight in the full range of its use - bold and surprising color combinations and the subtle gradations of a single color. The colors and the unique quality of light in the Southwest, and the diverse forms of its land and sky scapes, make up a rich and diverse palette.
Finally, I love metaphor. The very act of weaving has become metaphor – the web of life, weaving a tale - and is entwined with my choice of imagery and the use of the window set within a frame, a view to another place, another reality as a motif in my work. I try to achieve a blend of the representational and the abstract and to keep a geometrical contemporary feel in the frames.
I started painting with watercolors during the pandemic to shake of a creative block concerning a commissioned tapestry.