Textiles Grad Students Receive Travel Awards for International Artist Residencies

Meagan Smith at Studio Kura
Textiles graduate students, Meagan Smith and Diana Pemberton, both received Kent State University’s International Travel Award from the Graduate Student Senate to study textiles at international artist residencies this summer. Ms. Smith was awarded a residency for the month of July 2019 through Studio Kura’s Artist in Residence Program in Fukuoka, Japan and Ms. Pemberton received the award to study backstop weaving in Oaxaca, Mexico as a resident artist with the Arquetopia Foundation in June 2019. Both students’ residencies support their MFA thesis research areas at Kent State.  

Studio Kura’s Artist in Residence Program provides a chance for domestic and international artists to experience and draw inspiration from Japan’s rural environment and culture as well as for Studio Kura’s thriving local community to meet different artists and their works.  Ms. Smith is being provided with residential facilities and an individual studio space to produce art related to her practice for the month of July. She will also teach an art workshop to younger aged students, attend a few tours to see the surroundings, and organize an exhibition with other visiting international artists near the end of her stay. 

“My research there will be interfaced with the digital jacquard loom upon my return to the Textiles department at Kent State University. My advisor, Janice Lessman-Moss, and the School of Art are supporting this international residency as it strongly relates to the foundation for my thesis research,” said Ms. Smith

Diana Pemberton at Arquetopia
Arquetopia Foundation’s Mexican Textiles Instructional Residencies are production residencies that include 3 weeks of master instruction in Mexican textiles techniques. When Ms. Pemberton was there in June, she learned how to use the traditional back-strap loom, including how to assemble it, and basic weaving techniques.  Each resident artist receives accommodations and meals along with personal workspaces in a shared studio. 

“Traveling to Mexico provided an immersion experience that I won't soon forget,” said Ms. Pemberton. “Not only was I able to learn a new skill to implement into my practice, but also explore the culture of Mexico directly. This was through tours of historical sites, viewing contemporary and historical art, language use, experiencing local cuisine and lifestyle. That has helped expand my mind not only as an artist but as a person,” she said. 

Header images: Studio Kura (left) and Arquetopia Oaxaca residency space (right)

POSTED: Wednesday, July 10, 2019 - 3:55pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, July 24, 2019 - 3:33pm