Kent State Professor Janice Lessman-Moss Wins Lifetime Achievement Award From Cleveland Arts Prize

Janice Lessman-Moss, professor of textiles in Kent State University’s School of Art, has been named Cleveland Arts Prize’s 2019 Lifetime Achievement Award winner. Cleveland Arts Prize promotes creativity in Northeast Ohio by honoring artists for artistic excellence and recognizes community leaders who help regional arts flourish. 

Lessman-Moss will be honored, along with other award recipients, during Cleveland Arts Prize’s 59th Annual Awards, which will be held Sept. 25 at the Cleveland Museum of Art.

Lessman-Moss has been a practicing and widely acclaimed artist of Northeast Ohio since arriving in 1981 to teach textiles in the School of Art at Kent State. As head of the Textile Department, she has taught for many years, and mentored and inspired several distinguished contemporary artists in our region, including Hildur Jonsson. 
 
“I have spent the entirety of my adult life living in and enjoying the culturally rich area of Northeast Ohio,” she said. “I have made every effort to share my artwork with the public through exhibitions, lectures and studio visits while supporting my artist colleagues in their professional creative pursuits. I hope that I have also contributed to the scene by mentoring student artists.”
 
As a textile artist, Lessman-Moss developed a technique to marry mathematical mapping to both the two- and three-dimensional aspects of her woven tapestry paintings. She has been a forerunner of applying digital applications to the craft of weaving beyond the jacquard, and she relies on the mathematical stochastic process of the Random Walk to generate form and procedure in her work. Lessman-Moss creates form and surface through the integration of art and science, the imaginative and the logical segments of human experience. 
 
Recent recognition of her contributions includes the United States Artist Prize in 2019, a national award for creative work of the highest order. In addition, she has won the prestigious Ohio Arts Council (OAC) Governor’s Award in Art and received the OAC Individual Artist Fellowship nine times. Academic accolades include the Distinguished Scholar Award from Kent State, the OAC/Soros Artist Exchange Grant from the Academy of Applied Arts in Prague, Czech Republic, and the Arts Midwest/National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Crafts.

Lessman-Moss was featured in the Fall 2017 Kent State Magazine article “Continuing Threads.” 

For more information about Kent State’s School of Art, visit www.kent.edu/art.

For more information about Cleveland Arts Prize, visit www.clevelandartsprize.org.