UMass Dartmouth College of Visual & Performing Arts (CVPA) faculty and students are presenting their interactive Weaving with Light exhibition, recently showcased at the premier art fair SOFA CHICAGO, February 16 through March 3, at the University’s Campus Gallery. The installation pays tribute to the nearby city of New Bedford and its historical connection to the textile industry. A reception and artist talk are scheduled for Thursday, February 18 at 4 p.m. at the gallery.
The Weaving With Light exhibit was designed to be highly interactive, enticing visitors to participate in the actual production of cloth, drawing their attention to the making process used by contemporary fiber artists. Within the exhibit, several operational single-person looms are arranged in a semicircle facing the wall at the opposite side of the 24 by 24-foot space. Opposite the looms, vintage still photos of mill buildings, interiors, and workers are projected on the wall to illustrate some of the actual operations and conditions of historic mill life
“Every step of the process has involved the discovery and problem solving aspects of design and making and realizing the full potential of the project through innovative methods, research and observation, material sourcing and testing, and overarching aesthetic decisions,” Professor Hamlin said leading up to SOFA CHICAGO. “The students have extended themselves in both their intellectual and physical stamina.” side of the 24 by 24-foot space.”
The warp yarns that feed each loom rise from the front of the loom to a rattle gathering at the top of the wall. The ascending yarns create the illusion of an enclosed space to emulate the conditions of mill life. Participants are even asked to punch in at a time clock as if they were a worker showing up for a shift.
Students and faculty traveled to Chicago this past November for the prestigious art exhibition dedicated to Sculpture, Objects and Functional Art (SOFA). Working on the Weaving with Light installation includes MFA Ceramics student Hanna Vogel, MFA Graphic Design student Kate Dickinson, MFA Wood/Furniture Design student John Middleton, MFA Digital Media student Alec Andersen, BFA Textile Design/Fiber Arts student Tony Beal, Textile Design student Christopher Rogers, and CVPA Technician Shingo Furukawa . The group is being advised by Artisanry Professor James Lawton with assistance from Charlotte Hamlin, who serves as CVPA’s coordinator for graduate studies and research.
UMass Dartmouth was one of six entries selected for prestigious university art exhibition in Chicago, including Illinois Institute of Technology, Pratt Institute, San Diego State University, University of Cincinnati, and University of Iowa. SOFA CHICAGO ranked #7 in the USA TodayReader’s Choice 10 Best Art Events.
UMass Dartmouth's Campus Gallery is located on the first floor of the CVPA Building on the Main Campus (285 Old Westport Road, Dartmouth, MA 02747). Gallery hours are Monday-Thursday 10am-4pm and Friday 10am-noon.