So – who is Janet De Boer? I first met Janet somewhere in the 1970s, when I first discovered textiles.
Well-known in the Australian textile art industry, Janet has nurtured many textile artists over the decades and became our Mentor as well. Janet was instrumental in bringing textile artists from other countries to showcase and teach their work, and together with Australian textile artists created an incredible resource of knowledge and skills to share.
Owner and Manager of Gallery 159 in Brisbane for many years, it was a sad day indeed when Janet decided it was time to close the Gallery which had been loved by so many for so long.
Here is a brief overview of Janet’s amazing life so far:
Janet De Boer came to Australia from the USA on a working holiday in 1975, fell in love with Queensland (and then with an Australian) and has remained.
While initially working as an Occupational Therapist, she also had a well-developed passion for the textile arts and gravitated towards a young not-for-profit organisation known as TAFTA (The Australian Forum for Textile Arts) which became national in 1987, with Janet as its CEO until 2015.
Over the years she created a quality magazine, Textile Fibre Forum, which became quarterly, and she developed week-long ‘FORUM’ conferences that had a focus on outstanding workshops offered by Australians and also overseas tutors.
For 13 years from 2003 to 2016, Janet was director of TAFTA’s dedicated gallery space, Gallery 159.
Having become an Australian citizen in 1995, Janet received an O.A.M. for her service to the textile arts in 2004.
Although retired now, Janet continues to produce a substantial Newsletter / “e-bulletin” as a free service for around 5,000 subscribers, and she writes for Australian and international textile magazines.
Luckily for us, Janet De Boer still loves Queensland.