Textile Framework: A New Investigation into Contemporary Textile Art

Today marks the launch of Textile Framework, an online resource dedicated to contextualizing work being done in the contemporary textile world. During my internship at TAC, I came up with the idea to create an online archive that acts to situate contemporary textile art within a larger historical, visual framework. Every week I will be highlighting a current artist working with fibers, or an organization/event related to the textile arts, and will illustrate its historical significance through related images and texts. I’m thrilled to now be launching the project!

textile framework logo for web

My inspiration for this project stemmed largely from my time as an intern at TAC. Working at TAC has introduced me to a world of textiles and to a community of artists and makers that is inspiring, bold, supportive, creative, and forward thinking. My time at TAC has also given me an extensive platform through which to explore various textile techniques, and to consider the role craft plays in the world today. About a year ago I took up embroidery and fell in love with the slow process and expressive potential of the medium. Since starting as an intern at TAC, I’ve also tried my hand at spinning, natural dyeing, screen printing, and weaving, and am excited to see what my next endeavor in textiles will be.

My hope with this project is to explore the historical, social, and political significance of the textile techniques being taught at TAC. I studied art history in college, and through my classes and research, I became acutely aware of the ways in which textiles as a whole have been excluded from the academic study of art.

Lately, it also seems like there has been a new wave of engagement with craft and textiles (if the number of truly impressive embroidery accounts I follow on Instagram is any indication). Textiles are being used to blur that gap between high art and craft. My hope with this resource is that it will work to further activate this space between art and craft, to showcase how textiles have been used as a revolutionary medium throughout history, and to act as an accessible outlet for engagement within the textile community. In the future, I hope that this collection of images and texts comes together to form a non-linear history of textile art.

Ideally, this resource can be a space for community engagement–submissions from readers are highly encouraged! Whether you are an established artist/designer, or casual textile enthusiast, we’d love to hear your ideas about artists to highlight, current textile events, historical movements, or other goings on in the textile world that you think should be featured. Please send us your ideas via the submission link on the Tumblr page, or email oliviaz@textileartscenter.com!


Check out Textile Framework here: https://textileframework.tumblr.com/

Leave a Reply