Sylvia and her husband Ira have lived in Santa Fe since 1979. From March 1974 to July 1978 Sylvia lived in Afghanistan, building cottage industries with local craftspeople to design clothing, quilts, and together with Ira, beaded tapestries and one-of-a-kind art rugs. She and Ira built a weaving factory in Balkh, near Mazar-i-Sharif, which employed up to 60 male weavers and assistants until the early 1980′s when the war forced its closure. After moving to Santa Fe, Sylvia continued to utilize her design talents at Seret and Sons which opened in 1981, a business that works closely with handicrafts people and cottage industries in Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, and countries in Central Asia. In the mid 1980′s she began painting and firing ceramic tiles. In 1996 Sylvia began designing elaborate mosaic bathrooms at the Inn of the Five Graces on East de Vargas Street, a boutique hotel that she and Ira created. In October 2012 and again in October 2013, Condé Nast named the Inn of the Five Graces the number one hotel in the Southwest. In Jan. 2013 TripAdvisor named the Five Graces the “#1 Small Hotel in the United States.” In 2001 the Serets and a few friends started Jindhag Foundation, a nonprofit organization that aims to support and preserve the cultural diversity of traditional and indigenous peoples around the world. The first project of the Jindhag Foundation focused on providing daily support for Tibetan monks living in exile. More recently, the Foundation undertook the task of rebuilding Istalif, a small village in Afghanistan that had been devastated by years of war. In 2007, the Foundation provided the funds to bring pottery from the revitalized village of Istalif to the International Folk Art Market| Santa Fe. This was the first time that Istalif pottery was sold internationally and was a great success. Sylvia has a B.A. and an M.A. from Florida State University, 1968/69; and Columbia University Graduate School – ABD (all but dissertation) in German Literature: Fall 1969-1973 (including a fellowship to study in Vienna for six months). Throughout these years Sylvia worked as a T.A. and as an executive assistant for coordination of research in Africa in the African Studies Association. World travel experiences include Ghana, Mali, and Mexico, most of Europe, South Asia, and Central Asia.
By Gabe Gomez|2019-10-07T14:06:49-06:00January 19th, 2016|Comments Off on Sylvia Seret
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