Gail Harker of Gail Harker Center for Creative Arts

gail harker: a creative powerhouse

By Patricia Belyea

LA CONNER WA  Gail Harker is a petite gal with a very large mission. For a woman who could be sitting on her laurels, Gail leads a nationally recognized educational center that celebrates art and stitch.

Knowing Gail is a graduate of London CIty & Guilds Institute, I assumed she’s British. When I visited her last week, I was thrilled to learn she’s a fellow Canadian.

Gail Harker Center for Creative Arts, La Conner WA

After living in England for 20 years, Gail and her American husband could have moved anywhere. They choose our backyard—convenient for us Northwesterners although some of Gail’s students come from thousands of miles away.

Gail Harker Center for Creative Arts fills the bottom floor of a huge renovated barn outside historic La Conner. The Design Studio and Stitch Studio, each about 3,000 square feet, provide space for students to explore, experiment and express their personal voices in design and textile work. The facilities, loaded with gear, keep creative juices flowing, and if students want to take a break—there’s a patio with chairs overlooking a picturesque pond.

Gail Harker Center for Creative Arts, La Conner WA

Although the Center offers certificate and diploma classes that require hundreds of hours of coursework, I learned about a new online course in Color Studies  and really cool four-day special interest classes. How about Experimental Machine Stitch, Experimental Metal Meshworking, Surface Design with Natural Dyes, or Wire as Fiber?

Gail Harker Center for Creative Arts, La Conner WA

Right now is downtime at the Center but Gail just doesn’t stop. Tables in the Design Studio were filled with her arty endeavors—cut, torn, painted, and stitched papers—getting ready for upcoming classes.

Gail’s determined to help her students tap into themselves, not borrow ideas from others. When you see their finished artwork around the Center, you can see Gail’s accomplished this goal.

To visit the Gail Harker Center for Creative Arts website +click here