Contractor was named a Local Treasure for her contribution to the Duke City’s visual art scene by the Albuquerque Art Business Association in 2008. In 2002 she created the Bravos Award for the Arts Alliance – a series of small weavings. She operates an apprenticeship program at her Nob Hill studio. 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, Zimmerman Library and recently the SW WOMENS CARE Center in Santa Fe Donna's work is shown and collected throughout the United States and abroad .
Why do I weave?
The answer to this has many layers. The first is probably my love of machines. I fell in love with the pottery wheel and the loom at the same time at the end of my college years. The loom won out with the coming of children ( I have 2) . I walked into a “loom room”, never having been at close proximity before,
and fell in love with the way it looked, the things it could do, it’s parts etc. 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 layer would be a love of the materials, from the strong smooth cotton warp to the luster of hand dyed wools and the sparkle of silks. In the future I hope to be using some unusual materials which I am falling in love with like stainless steels, paper and UV changing fibers.
One of the final layers would be my love of the metaphor. This is present in the very act of “Weaving” and is woven into my choice of imagery such as the use of the “Window” and in my current theme of mathematics which is the underlying balancing force of the natural world. ( Consider the phrases “ the web of life” and “things are spiraling out of control” as just a few of the many)
About the Work
The image of a window set within a frame, a view to another place, another reality is a unifying theme in my work. The colors and the unique quality of light in the southwest make up a rich and diverse palette that I naturally make use of and the diverse forms of its land and sky scapes find their way into the window “views”. I try to achieve a blend of the representational and the abstract in the landscapes and to keep a geometrical contemporary feel in the “frames” combined with a bold approach to color. Color is a source of constant joy for me and I delight in the full range of its use from the bold and surprising color combinations to the subtle gradations of a single color. My earliest childhood memories involved vivid color combinations and these continue to inspire me today.
The challenge of creating three dimensional imagery from a two dimensional plane is fascinating to me. Optical illusions and artists such as Escher inspire me to create surprising architectonic spaces which seem to change just when you feel you’ve figured them out. The placement of dark and light create the illusion of depth and the endless combinations of these placements intrigue me. I use wool as my medium because of it’s particular light reflecting characteristics that are so unique and beautiful. No pigment on paper could reproduce the texture and luminosity of the hand dyed and tightly spun wool that I use in my tapestries.