Between the Lines: Mapping Meaning in Textiles
Keynote Address, Thursday Evening, June 16
The lines of weaving, the axes of warp and weft, form a logical system of intersections that can be varied to create a myriad of different relationships and patterns. Weaving establishes a framework within which the artist/designer must operate to create a cohesive or continuous cloth. Yet within those parameters are opportunities for incredible exploration: the language of structure and order provides a springboard for the imagination. And as those lines of investigation are mapped through an accumulation of connections, the fabric manifests more than the sum of the parts. The linear threads are transformed into a plane with the potential to capture and reveal beauty and abstract meaning. Drawing on historic examples of figured cloth and access to digital technology for design and output, my work is situated along the continuum of this rich and expansive field of textiles.
Janice Lessman-Moss is currently a Professor and Head of the program in Textile Art at Kent State University where she has taught for over 30 years. She received her BFA from the Tyler School of Art and her MFA from the University of Michigan. Since 1981, she has actively exhibited her woven art work throughout the United States and internationally, including solo exhibitions at the Galleria Willa in Lodz, Poland, the Museum of Fine Art and Culture in Las Cruces, New Mexico, and at the Kent State University Museum. She has also received a number of Individual Artist Fellowships from the Ohio Arts Council and an Arts Midwest/National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Crafts.
Lessman-Moss is strongly committed to education in textile art and design and maintains a vibrant studio in the School of Art at Kent State University. Students have an opportunity to learn a breadth of traditional weaving techniques and explore digital design and production using TC1 Jacquard looms and Pointcarré software.
As a member of the textile community, Lessman-Moss served as External Relations Director for the Textile Society of America from 2006-2010 and is a Founding Member of the Midwest Fiber Art Educators Network (MFAEN.) She has also served as curator for exhibitions of textiles and pattern including: “The Poetics of Pattern,” Riffe Gallery, Columbus, Ohio in 2013, and “Binary Fiction: Digital Weaving 2010,” which was mounted at the Eisentrager-Howard Gallery, University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
Her art practice revolves around an interest in the interconnection of abstract systems rooted in the common binary language of the computer and the loom. Networks of patterns composed digitally on the computer screen are informed by the architecture of the weaving process in combination with an intuitive sense of order and improvisation. Based in the geometry of the circle within the square, a relationship is orchestrated between the stability of the horizontal and vertical axes of the grid and the dynamic fluidity of the curve. The field of motifs that comprise the surface of the weavings reveals an energized complexity integrating the concrete and the lyrical.