the Governor's Arts Award Winners

James Koehler

Santa Fe

2007 recipient, Fiber Arts/Weaving/Tapestry

James Koehler is a nationally acclaimed fiber artist and a tireless teacher, mentor and advocate of fiber arts in New Mexico communities and throughout the world. In 1977 Koehler moved to New Mexico from Michigan where he joined the brothers of Christ in the Desert Monastery. With the vibrant colors of the Chama River canyon as inspiration, he began to weave, eventually leaving the monastic life to focus exclusively on his artwork.

About his work, Thomas Decker, the retired director of the Taos Institute of Arts has said, "Color is to Koehler what words are to poets. He achieves such eloquence with a precise dyeing of the yarn applied with the peerless skills of a consummate weaver."

Last January, Koehler was among 12 artists selected by the U.S. Department of State to act as a cultural ambassador. Koehler’s precisely woven tapestries are represented in museum and public collections including the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Denver Art Museum, the New Mexico Museum of Art in Santa Fe, and U.S. Embassies in Reykjavik, Iceland and La Paz, Bolivia.