The Fibers area at the University of Oregon is dedicated to participating in and advancing contemporary discourse in fibers through engaged studio practice, research, and critical discussion. The course curriculum addresses issues and ideas that are relevant to both fibers practices and the broader context of contemporary art, including functionality, materiality, community, gender, feminism, repetition, pattern, and decoration. Students explore the possibilities of performance, installation, and site-specificity in a conceptually rigorous environment while developing expertise in screenprinting, stitching, weaving, dyeing, and other fibers techniques. Experimenting with materials and methods is encouraged as students develop individual creative practices within a receptive community of makers. Interdisciplinary strategies of making are valued, and many students draw from areas outside of the Department of Art such as gender studies, folklore, creative writing, and dance. As part of the department’s Visiting Artist Lecture Series, the Fibers area regularly brings contemporary artists to speak on campus and conduct studio visits with students. Recent guest lecturers include Carole Frances Lung, Liz Collins, and Marie Watt.
The Fibers area is located on the Northsite, a complex of studios that also houses the Ceramics, Jewelry/Metalsmithing, Sculpture, Photography, and Digital Arts areas. Facilities include a fully equipped dye lab, weaving and textile printing studios, mixed-media studio space, printing tables, floor looms (4-8 harness), manual and computerized jacquard looms, exposure unit, portable sewing machines, small tools/equipment, and a resource library.
A shared studio is available for BFA students. MFA students are provided private or shared studios either on the Northsite or in nearby Lawrence Hall.
ARTF 270 (4R) Introduction to Fibers (formerly ARTF 268/9)
In this introductory level studio course, students develop skills and cultivate conceptual concerns related to the fibers medium, specifically pertaining to structural forms and embellished or manipulated surfaces. Traditional and experimental materials are used to explore such techniques as knitting, crochet, looping, felting, spinning, off-loom weaving, dyeing, shibori, embroidery, piecing, and appliqué. This class is a prerequisite for upper division Fibers courses.
ARTF 368 (4R) Textile Printing
In this upper-division course, students develop skills and conceptual concerns pertaining to screenprinting. Basic techniques are introduced for printing on paper, fabric, and alternative flexible substrates. In addition, fiber reactive dyes, discharge, and nontraditional inks are addressed. The relevance of screenprinting, its relationship to decoration and repetition, and what it offers the expanded contemporary art field are discussed and explored. Students are also encouraged to consider three-dimensionality, display, and installation as it relates to the printed and patterned surface. Critiques and discussion are supported by lectures, assigned readings, writing, and individual research.
ARTF 369 (4R) Woven Structures
This course introduces students to the basic skills needed to design and create a woven structure while engaging with traditional and experimental materials and methods. Lectures, readings, critiques, and discussions enable students to consider historical examples in relation to contemporary weaving practices. Students are exposed to a variety of techniques and strategies that range from traditional weaving on floor looms to the use of alternative materials and processes both on and off the loom.
ARTF410 Stitchwork Strategies
This course investigates potential uses for traditional and nontraditional stitch techniques, including embroidery, beading, applique, collage, piecing, and quilting. Both hand- and machine-stitching are utilized as students engage with ideas of embellishment, surface manipulation, and three-dimensional sculptural forms. Through collaborative exercises, individual projects, slide lectures, and discussion of critical texts, students consider the history of stitchwork, gain exposure to many contemporary artists who use sewing techniques, and pursue conceptual inquiry within their own projects.
ARTF 456/556 (4R) Advanced Fibers
The Advanced Fibers course is available for students who have some experience working in 200 and 300-level Fibers courses and who wish to continue on a more individualized path of study. This course develops independent studio practice through exploration of contemporary issues in textile-based processes and expansion of the rhetoric of craft. Self-directed projects advance students’ technical and conceptual development through research and making. The course involves discussions of critical and theoretical texts, group critiques, visiting artist lectures, and faculty mentorship, as well as professional practice skills such as creating an artist’s resume, statement, and portfolio.