The program in textile arts fosters creative thinking, critical inquiry and the development of technical facility. The unique artistic and cultural legacy of textiles provides a strong contextual foundation, and is studied in conjunction with historic and contemporary practices.
The highly disciplined processes unique to the field provide a distinctive vocabulary for creating for creating art, and a springboard for experimentation and innovation. Traditions of textile making-built on repetition, geometry and order-provide a link with digital design and technology, which are also strong components of the programs.
The extensive undergraduate curriculum features course offerings in weaving (hand-manipulated, loom-controlled, and digital), complemented by courses in felt-making, surface design and screen-printing. The Bachelor of Arts program in textile arts offers students a more generalized course of study and the opportunity to pursue a minor. The Bachelor of Fine Arts program in textile arts is a pre-professional degree intended to prepare students for a range of opportunities in the design and production of textiles in industry, as an entrepreneurial crafter, and graduate study.
The school offers both the Master of Arts and Master of Fine Arts textile arts. Graduate students select course work in close consultation with their advisor. Program goals focus on guiding young artists from a mentor/student relationship into the world of the professionally active studio artist.
The minor in textiles allows students to focus on the craft, design and art of textile making using a variety of techniques and materials. The minor comprises 18-21 credit hours in a range of textiles courses, plus an optional three-credit course chosen from the ARTC, ARTF or ARTH sequences.
The minor in accessories offers students an opportunity to focus on the design and production of innovative and unique objects within the studio areas of jewelry/metals/enameling and textiles, leading to the development of functional, decorative and wearable forms. It comprises 21 hours of coursework in jewelry/metals/enameling and textiles.
Janice Lessman-Moss is head of the textile arts program; adjunct faculty members include Rebecca Cross, Dena Gershon and Lauren Mangeri.
- KENT STATE UNIVERSITY MUSEUM: The museum houses an impressive collection of historic textiles and garments, and mounts rotating exhibitions on decorative arts and fashion. Research of the collection is encouraged.
- SCHOOL OF FASHION DESIGN: The school maintains a Tech Style LAB that houses a range of digital output devices, such as a wide format digital textile printer, large format fabric laser cutter and digital embroidery machines. The Fashion School offers a course in Textile and Costume history.
- BLOSSOM/TEXTILE ART: Generally offered on alternate years, these two-week summer workshops focus on specialized topics with visiting artists or may include travel study. Recent guest artists include: Rowland Ricketts, Bhakti Ziek, Pauline Verbeek-Cowart, John McQueen, Warren Seelig, and Jessica Smith.