Anna Zinsmeister
Handweaver and Spinner
Instructor, Betsy Lueke Creative Arts Center

Newsletter: April 11 – April 24, 2018

Can you tell us a little bit about what you do?
I’m a handweaver and a spinner. I’ve been teaching for over ten years at the Betsy Lueke Creative Arts Center. I’ve been in instructors’ exhibits at the Betsy Lueke Creative Arts Center too. I have a Master’s Degree in textiles from Cal State Northridge and before that I got my BA from Immaculate Heart College in Hollywood. I’m a member of the Greater Los Angeles Spinning Guild, the Southern California Handweavers Guild, and Textile Arts Los Angeles. The Southern California Handweavers Guild will be having an exhibit at the Old Town Newhall Library in Santa Clarita this summer. I hope to exhibit in that show. This weekend my weaving and spinning groups will be at the Huntington Gardens demonstrating. I use a drawloom, which is a complex loom, to create woven portraits. I recently did a double self-portrait which was in the California State Fair last summer. It won First prize.

How did you first become interested in textiles?
My mother had a loom which she used when I was very young but stopped because she became too busy with raising kids. The loom was always in our house but no one ever used it. When I was at Immaculate Heart College, someone petitioned for us to have a teacher come in and teach us weaving. She was a local weaver named Momo Nagano. I loved weaving and continued after graduating. I’ve been weaving now for 45 years. I really like the process of taking a bunch of threads and turning them into a fabric that you can hold and look at. As a spinner I can go ever further back and take fluff and turn it into thread and then fabric. I now have my mother’s loom as well as the drawloom. I used my mother’s loom to weave the pieces for my graduate show at Northridge. I also love teaching weaving. I’ve been teaching weaving almost as long as I’ve been a weaver.

How do you think art can enrich our community, and what are some ways people can become engaged with art in Burbank?
My students have a real connection with each other and what they are working on. They love to share their finished projects with each other. They take my classes to learn but also to engage with each other. When my kids were small I would go into their classes and teach the students about weaving. I think there could be more publicity in Burbank so people could find out more about what’s going on in the arts. The Burbank Channel had a nice piece several years back about the Burbank Parks and Recreation Department and what’s happening at the Betsy Lueke Creative Arts Center. It would be good to do this more often. Also the Burbank Leader has had articles about the photography shows at the library and Betsy Lueke Creative Arts Center, but it would be good to have more including more photos of what people are doing. I feel people in Burbank don’t use the Parks and Recreation Department as much as they could, maybe thinking the classes are mostly for kids. There are a lot of interesting adult classes. Most of my students don’t live in Burbank.

If you could share with our community one thing about art, what would it be?
One of my favorite artists said it best: “Art is needed like sunshine.” I agree!

To find out more about Anna’s work, visit