2017-18 Fiber Department Newsletter
Visiting Artists, Critics and Curators
At the Academy, students set their own course of study. Our studio-based program means we don’t have a standard curriculum or classes. Instead, we provide students with the resources to allow for individual exploration and growth.
The workshops and visiting artist program supported by each department allow students to hear from a variety of voices in the world of art and design, and often establish connections that extend well beyond the two years of graduate study.
Last spring, the department hosted mixed-media artist Ebony Patterson, whose work pulls the viewer in and forces them to bear witness to the violence and social injustices imposed upon those deemed invisible.
The department also welcomed former Artist-in-Residence and alumna Jane Lackey (Fiber ’79) and curator and art historianClaire Tancons, who experiments with the political aesthetics of walking, marching, second lining, masquerading and parading.
This fall, we welcomed multidisciplinary artist Angela Ellsworth, who delivered a public lecture and had one-on-one studio visits with our students, Jovencio de la Paz (Fiber ’12) who spoke about professional practices and life after Cranbrook, and Victor De La Rosa.
Follow along with life in the studio on the Fiber Instagram channel!
Current Student Exhibitions and Projects
“Every Side of Here” at DLECTRICITY™JeeYeun Lee, “Walking Detroit”
Our students are encouraged to participate in outside exhibitions and projects throughout their two years of study at the Academy.
This year, Sebastian Duncan-Portuondo (Fiber ’18) and Angela Eastman (Sculpture ’18) collaborated with sound artist Maxime Robillard to create a theatrical installation at DLECTRICITY™, the festival of art + light sculptures in Detroit. Watch this video retrospective of the project for insight into the exciting things currently happening in our city.
JeeYeun Lee (Fiber ’18) is still hard at work on her “Walking Detroit” project which involves her walking 25 miles along each of five major radial avenues that go from downtown Detroit through the city and suburbs. Visit her website for a complete project description and thoughtful analysis of the motivation for her journey.
Ash Arder (Fiber ’18) participated in the group exhibitions Queer Tropics at Pelican Bomb Gallery X in New Orleans; Millennial Pink at the Ann Arbor Art Center and Julius Eastman: That Which Is Fundamental at Bowerbird in Philadelphia. Follow her work on Instagram.
Nicole Pyles (FIber ’18) hosted the exhibitionClose to Comfort at Flop House Gallery in Royal Oak, Michigan. Flop House Gallery is a new gallery space in metro Detroit run by Holliday Martindale (Fiber ’16).
Alumni Projects and Exhibitions
Nick Cave “Until.” Courtesy MASS MoCA.Sonya Clark
Brandon Bullard at “Prime Time: Off Rack”,
#28 Rubric, 2017, clothes, steel, thread, cup hooks, wood, projections
Nick Cave (Fiber ’89) hosted the blockbuster exhibition Nick Cave: Until at MASS MoCA in Boston, calling attention to the continuing epidemic of gun violence in the United States.
William Marcellus Armstrong (Fiber ’17) was recently part of the group exhibition Objections and Connections, Fiber Artists Talk Back at The Sculpture Center in Cleveland.
Sonya Clark (Fiber ’95) is currently hosting Sonya Clark: Entanglements at the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. She was also recently promoted to the highest distinction of Commonwealth Professor at Virginia Commonwealth University. Visit her website for the most up-to-date list of her current projects.
Brandon Bullard (Fiber ’17) recently participated in the group exhibition Prime Time: Off Rack at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago.
Anita Enriquez (Fiber ’17) was recently awarded a place in a four-month residency project called The ShowRoom in Los Angeles. It is a studio, installation, performance and exhibition space taking place in a retail space on Wilshire Boulevard in Santa Monica. It’s proximity to luxury and design shops provide an opportunity for dialog about commodity, materialism, the flux of Southern California real-estate and the burgeoning business of art.
Rachel Ferber backstrap loom weaving in Oaxaca
In February, the department visited Mexico City for the Material Art Fair and visited Oaxaca to see traditional craft.
While there, they participated in a natural dye workshop, visited the studio of textile designer Carla Fernandez and worked with local artisans in Mexico City to collaborate on future designs.
Last summer, they attended the Surface Design Association Conference in Portland where they visited the studios of local alumni and met with peers to discuss current work and trends.
Mark Newport, “Mend V”, 2016
This year, Mark Newport, Artist-in-Residence and Head of the Fiber Department, opened the solo exhibition Mark Newport: Mending at form & concept in Santa Fe. The exhibition features torn muslin cloths with meticulously embroidered patches, a symbol of the scars that life etches on the body and psyche. “This series explores the idea of repair and scarring,” says Newport.
He participated in a group exhibition through Duane Reed Gallery at SOFA Chicago. He will open a solo exhibition of new work at Simone DeSousa Gallery in Detroit in January of 2018, and another at the San Jose Museum of Quilt and Textiles in October of 2018.
Newport will also teach a workshop at Haystack Mountain School of Craft in Deer Isle, Maine, in June.