Meet the Chair

Meet Deborah Valoma

One of the oldest aesthetic traditions in the world, textile art is currently on the cutting edge of contemporary art practice and critical inquiry. Rooted in material and process, the discipline is expanding to include intellectual discourses based on the poetic nuances of the medium.

One of the preeminent fiber departments in the United States, CCA's Textiles Program advances these new paradigms, while acting as a custodian of past traditions.

Mission

Our mission is to educate students in technical, material, and conceptual issues related to the field. Through an integrated art, craft, and design curriculum, students engage in creative practice and critical dialogue on historical and contemporary issues.

Practice

A strong, skill-based curriculum builds dexterity, sensitivity to materials, and technical competence in three general areas: fiber sculpture, textile printing, and weaving.

Within those areas fall specific techniques such as netting, twining, spinning, knitting, embroidery, felt making, image transfer, hand painting and hand printing on fabrics, photo- and computer-generated imaging, chemical and natural dye technology, loom weaving, and creating computer-aided structures.

Theory

At the center of our rich curriculum is a comprehensive series of courses on the history and theory of textiles. The study of diverse traditions offers cross-cultural insights on topics such as cultural continuity, innovation, gender, domesticity, race, religion, individualism, industrialization, and colonization.

A historical and theoretical knowledge of the field provides students with an informed perspective from which conceptually strong and thoughtful work can emerge.

Interdisciplinarity

I believe textile art, by its very nature, is interdisciplinary. It involves an integration of disparate elements and a synthesis of knowledge from many fields.

Students are encouraged to move beyond conventional definitions and engage in the current multidisciplinary discourse among fine arts, craft, and design.

Many students choose to work on the boundaries of the medium -- folding fashion, video, glass, ceramics, painting, jewelry and metal arts, furniture, performance, or installation into their textile work.

History

I am very proud of our Textiles Program, which has a long history at CCA. From the very early years of the college, instruction in textile techniques were an integral component of the curriculum: weaving and embroidery were taught as early as 1911 and basketry in 1917.

In the 1950s when German-born weaver Trude Guermonprez joined the faculty of CCA, she developed the Weaving Department which eventually became the Textiles Arts Department in 1966.

In 1985, the Textiles Program, along with the other craft-based programs, were unified under the Fine Arts division.

Since then, many changes have taken place, but the Textiles Program has maintained a stellar reputation for innovation and cutting-edge work throughout the decades to stand as one of the preeminent fine arts textiles programs in the United States.