Textile Futures

CCA's Textiles Program is deeply committed to bringing diverse voices and perspectives into the curriculum at all levels.

As one of the premier fine arts-oriented departments in the country, the goal of the Textiles Program is to both forward cutting-edge practices and to incorporate traditional voices into current dialogues.

Our students have met with Mien embroiderers, French lace makers, and Tongan tapa beaters, among others. From these traditional artists, students learn more than technique; they gain understanding of diverse perspectives and respect for those whose mission is not solely individual expression, but cultural continuity.

In 2006 the Textiles Program founded Masters of Tradition, a biennial event that brings traditional textile practitioners to lecture and teach at CCA. Re-envisioned and renamed Textiles Futures in 2014, the series promotes cross-cultural and cross-generational dialogue geared toward locating and expanding the rhetoric around textile sensibilities and practices.

Goals include expanding the definition of contemporary to include artists working in traditional genres, supporting artists working to preserve culturally significant practices, strengthening students’ cultural competence.

Hand-spun wool dyed in natural indigo, cochineal, and Mexican marigold

Textile Futures 2014

Mariano Sosa Martinez and Rafaela Ruiz Guetierrez, founding members of the artist collective Centro de Arte Textil Zapoteco Bii Dauu, were the special presenters at Textile Futures 2014: Conversations Around the Dye Pot.


Masters of Tradition 2012

Widely acknowledged as the first artists in Indonesia to go beyond the boundaries of modern batik painting and extensively explore the medium of Javanese batik as contemporary textile art, Agus Ismoyo (Indonesia) and Nia Fliam (United States), taught traditional batik techniques to CCA students in 2012. 

Ismoyo’s ancestors produced batik for the royal court of Surakarta in Central Java; Fliam studied at the Pratt Institute, New York, traveling to Indonesia in 1983 to study batik, where she has lived since.

students and artists work on sequin flags as part of an exhibition

Masters of Tradition 2010

Clotaire Bazile, Vodou priest, healer, and one of Haiti's most famous flag makers, was the Master of Tradition in 2010. Bazile's sequined flags were exhibited in the Oliver Art Center and the event included a workshop for students, a slide lecture by Susan Tselos, an expert on Haitian sacred art, and a reception for the artist with Haitian music and dance.

Master Yasuo Nakajima prepares his indigo dyes

Masters of Tradition 2008

Master Yasuo Nakajima of Hanyu City, Japan, is a master indigo dyer and successor to the family business founded in the mid-19th century, Nakajima Indigo Dye Works.

Master Nakajima continues to operate the dye-works using the traditional methods of natural indigo dyes, kept alive in sunken earthenware vats.

As a designated regional Living Treasure of Japan, Master Nakajima's goal is to impart his experience, skills, and knowledge to the next generation of artisans and artists wishing to work with traditional Japanese indigo dye techniques.

Coast Miwok / Kashya Pomo backet weaver Julia Parker

Masters of Tradition 2006

Native American basket weaver Julia Florence Parker taught a one-day workshop in 2006 as part of the Masters of Tradition series.

Parker spoke of her life, told stories, and taught students traditional willow twinning with materials she had gathered in the Sierra Nevada.

Parker has been a long-time friend of CCA's Textiles Program, during which time she has taught several workshops and shared her unique perspectives on Native American textile arts.