Born too soon! When I studied for my BFA many years ago, I always tried to submit assignments in fibre whenever possible. This was not always welcomed or understood by some of the teachers. How things have changed!
Last week, four members of our text'art group toured the impressive studio facilities at my alma mater, Concordia, which offers both undergraduate and graduate degrees in "Fibres and Material Practices". We were privileged to be guided by Professor Barbara Layne, whose recent work is in clothing that incorporates wireless and LED technologies and bio-sensing devices.
The university calendar says, "Students are introduced to processes which include silkscreen printing, dyeing, weaving, digital imaging, papermaking, feltmaking, knitting, computer assisted weaving, embellishment, public interventions, sculptural and installation practices. Digital technologies are integrated into the program through digital imaging software and the use of computer assisted textile production systems." Prof. Layne said the courses are so popular that they could easily be filled twice over.
Our group has been lucky enough to visit two other textile schools in Montreal, both associated with the CEGEP de Vieux-Montréal: the CRDITM, which specializes in the design and printing of textiles, and the CTCM, which teaches weaving, knitting, embroidery and computer-assisted design. These programmes are more production-based than the university programs, which include courses in theory, history, and the place of fibre in the contemporary art scene, as well as elective courses in other studio arts (drawing, printmaking, painting, ceramics, etc.)
Do you know what's playing at your local university or college?