New Exhibition ‘Dancing with the Distance’ Opening Feb. 25

KENT, OHIO – The Kent State University Museum announces the opening of “Dancing with the Distance,” celebrating the past twenty years of work by Janice Lessman-Moss, head of the Textile Arts program at Kent State University and an internationally recognized artist renowned for her intricate weavings. On view Feb. 25, 2022 through Oct. 2, 2022, in her final year of teaching at Kent State, the exhibition “Dancing with the Distance” showcases more than twenty of Lessman-Moss’s works that bridge the worlds of weaving and digital technology.

“We have organized this exhibition to reflect on the intersections between her work as an artist and as a professor. She has served as a critical role model allowing her students to appreciate the career of a working artist. At the same time, the demands of her teaching practice have shaped her art,” said KSU Museum and “Dancing with the Distance” Curator, Sara Hume.

“I am so pleased to have the opportunity to share this body of digital jacquard weavings at the university museum. My tenure as a professor of Textiles at Kent State has had a profound influence on my growth as an artist/weaver and this exhibition exemplifies my extensive explorations. It is especially exciting for me as it marks the occasion of my transition from teaching into a full-time commitment to studio art practice,” shared Lessman-Moss. 

The selection of pieces in “Dancing with the Distance” display the evolution of her craft and were created on a variety of different looms from hand looms to digital jacquards and power looms. In addition to high-powered looms for weaving, Lessman-Moss uses other digital technology and software such as Adobe Photoshop to create her elaborate designs of layered circles and sinuous lines. Handwork is also a vital part of her process. Lessman-Moss hand dyes and paints the threads to apply color exactly where it is needed to create her designs and the woven patterns are programmed into the loom by the artist. “Making my weavings involves extensive drawing/designing in the virtual world of the computer in contrast to the activity of weaving which engages my body and my hands in the rhythm of construction. All the while, I maintain an intimate relationship with the slowly emerging colorful textured weaving which unfolds beneath my eyes on the loom,” explained Lessman-Moss.

A catalogue will accompany the exhibition and will be available in the KSU Museum Store and online. The book was designed by Aoife Mooney, associate professor of visual communication design at Kent State, with essay contributions by Dr. Shana Klein, art historian and assistant professor in Kent State’s School of Art, Marianne Fairbanks, artist and assistant professor of design studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Dr. Sara Hume, professor and curator at the KSU Museum. A video accompanying the exhibition was created in collaboration with Kent State University TeleProductions. “Dancing with the Distance” is made possible by the generous support of Dr. Linda L. McDonald and the Ohio Arts Council.

About the KSU Musum

The Kent State University Museum is located at 515 Hilltop Drive, at the corner of E. Main St. and S. Lincoln St. in Kent, Ohio. It features over 29,000 pieces in its collection, amassed from many generous donors. The Museum is open to the public Tuesday through Saturday from 11 A.M. – 5 P.M. and Sunday from Noon – 4 P.M. Tickets can be purchased in person at the Museum or in advance through the museum’s online ticketing service. At this time, the KSU Museum requires face coverings be worn by both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals while indoors.

Admission is $6 for adults, $5 for seniors and $4 for children aged 5 to 17. The museum is free for children under 5 and for those with a Kent State ID. Sunday admission is free for all ages. Parking is free for all museum attendees. Patrons should use the allotted Museum spaces in the Rockwell Hall parking lot. For more information please call 330-672-3450 or visit www.kent.edu/museum.

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Media Contact:
Anna Mates, College of the Arts, amates@kent.edu

POSTED: Thursday, January 20, 2022 - 12:34pm
UPDATED: Friday, January 21, 2022 - 3:38pm