John Paul Morabito Joins Studio Art Faculty
The School of Art is thrilled to announce the appointment of John Paul Morabito as Assistant Professor of Textiles. Morabito, who previously served as a professor of Fiber and Material Studies at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, joins the faculty succeeding the retirement of Janice Lessman-Moss. They will join the Kent State faculty in fall 2022.
“John Paul is a consummate artist craftsperson with deep knowledge and sensitivity for the language of weaving,” said Lessman-Moss. "They will bring a fresh perspective and an expanded vision to our program in Textiles, particularly in the area of digital weaving."
John Paul Morabito is a transdisciplinary weaver who engages queerness, ethnicity and the sacred through the medium of tapestry reimagined in the digital age. Their work outputs woven forms, moving images and relational actions that look toward a future-past horizon where one can exalt queer grace.
“Under the leadership of the incredible Janice Lessman-Moss, the Textiles program at Kent State has been distinguished by a rigorous weaving curriculum; I am thrilled to continue her legacy of excellence and use this platform to guide textiles into an expansive, interdisciplinary, and more inclusive future,” said Morabito. “Joining the faculty at Kent State University School of Art places me within an incredible community of artists, scholars, students and faculty at a world-class research university – I am honored to reorient my teaching, research and studio production here.”
Morabito has exhibited internationally, including at the Zhejiang Art Museum (Hangzhou City, China); CULT Aimee Friberg Exhibitions (San Francisco); Dorsky Gallery Curatorial Projects (Long Island City, New York); Document (Chicago); the Des Moines Art Center (Des Moines, Iowa); the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art (Overland Park, Kansas); the Center for Craft (Asheville, North Carolina); and the John Michael Kohler Arts Center (Sheboygan, Wisconsin). Collections include the Musée des maîtres et artisans du Québec (Montréal, Canada) and the Textile Resource Center at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (Chicago).
In tandem with studio production Morabito pursues a practice-led scholarship that positions weaving as a critical platform of cultural production. Their writing has been published in "Art China," "The Textile Reader 2 (China Academy of Art)," "The Journal of Textile Design Research and Practice," "Textile: Cloth and Culture," and Bloomsbury’s forthcoming "Encyclopedia of World Textiles." Morabito is the editor of "Weaving Beyond the Binary," a special issue of the international peer-reviewed journal, "Textile: Cloth and Culture." They hold a BFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art and an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
“We are excited to have John Paul join the faculty and are looking forward to all they bring to the School of Art,” said interim School of Art director Peter Christian Johnson.