The Craft Mystery Cult, 2012. (Sonja Dahl, Jovencio de la Paz, and Stacey Jo Scott).
Installation view and detail of performance in the Degree Exhibition.
Fiber is an ever-shifting practice that is grounded in the centuries old traditions, forms, and materials of textile production and manipulation. As artists, our intimate relationship with the traditional forms of fiber interacts with the expanse of contemporary practice in art, craft, and design, challenging the definitions of each. Whether the work we produce manifests itself as a sculptural form, garment, functional object, tapestry weaving, socially engaged community practice, digital output, or something else we cannot currently name, we embrace it as a mode of exploration.
The Fiber Department encompasses this exploration by questioning what is produced in each student’s studio. The process of questioning traditions, definitions, working methods, and basic assumptions about art and society challenges students to experiment, examine, and grow. The essential question being, “What is the relationship between materials, form, process, and the content explored by the artist?” Intrinsic to this process of questioning is an awareness of contemporary issues, historic precedents, and an understanding of professional practices.
The ultimate goal of graduate study is to build an individualized practice that can sustain each student’s development well beyond their time at the Academy. In order to attain this goal, students must be highly motivated, inquisitive, and open to discussion, challenge, and experimentation. Each student brings unique insights and skills. That diversity of viewpoint contributes to the opportunities available for the development of each member of the community.
Katie Phillips, 2012.
Detail of Degree Exhibition works.
The primary focus of the Fiber program is the intense individual exploration undertaken by each student within their studio. Critiques, seminar discussions, research projects, travel, lectures and meetings with visiting artists and critics, are the elements that will support and challenge each student’s exploration.
Group and individual critiques establish a dialogue among your peers that encourages in-depth examination and questioning. Seminar discussions and research projects address current issues in the arts and society in order to provide a greater awareness of the traditions and precedents from which students build their work. The context that critique, seminar and research provides helps each student to understand the traditions he or she works within and the challenges ahead.
Danielle DaLeo, 2012.
Chair Dance, 2012
White Horse, 2012. Video stills.
Visiting artists and critics provide greater opportunities for discussion within the department. Lectures at the Academy also help inspire dialog about the implications of student work in the larger world.
Questions informed by research, critiques, discussions, and a rigorous studio practice are at the foundation of the Fiber program. While attending the Academy, students are members of a community of passionate and rigorous colleagues each questioning themselves, their place in the world, and their respective fields. The purpose of one’s study here is to use those questions to challenge established paradigms, to make work that is passionately idiosyncratic, and to share that work with the world.
The Fiber Department is a mix of communal and private spaces on the top floor of the New Studios Building. On one end of this floor are individual studio spaces for each Fiber student. The central hub of the department includes a computer lab, the critique space, and the studio of the Artist in Residence. The communal work spaces on the other side of this central area include a spacious print studio with four large printing tables, a fully equipped dye kitchen, a darkroom, and our multi-process room for wet, dusty, and smelly work. All of this is served by a freight elevator for moving work and materials in and out of the studios. The Fiber Department also has floor looms, photo and video equipment, and some hand and power tools. It is suggested that students provide their own tools.
2012 Degree Exhibition. Objects and performance with objects.
2012 Degree Exhibition
2012 Degree Exhibition