UNT Fibers Exhibition to Showcase Students’ Latest Work

Though UNT’s Fibers Program has only a little over a semester left in its tenure, its students are proving that they have a lot left to offer. The program will debut the latest work from students at UNT on the Square from Nov. 9 through Dec. 1.

An opening reception will take place from 5 to 7 p.m. on opening day and will feature a collaborative performance called "Looming Resonance” by Visiting Assistant Professor Gabrielle Duggan and Music Composition P.h.D student Mark Vaughn, along with Clayton Davidson, Chris Poovey and Abby Sherrill.

“I’m grateful UNT on the Square has given us this opportunity to share our work with the community for the whole month,” senior Jackie Lawrence said. “There’s a lot of amazing work in this exhibit that shows all the cool things coming out of our program, and I think it really challenges the expectations of fiber as a medium.”

When the College of Visual Arts and Design Dean, Greg Watts, first announced the discontinuation of the program in August, students majoring in fibers voiced their dismay over the decision. Watts said the reason the program is closing is because “a viable financial path that would enable the college to provide the needed space for the fibers concentration was not found.” This might be more believable if the CVAD’s new 128,354-square foot facility hadn’t opened at the beginning of the semester, too.

Associate Dean Denise Baxter and Studio Arts Chair Lauren Lake talked to fibers students on campus and visited classes at the beginning of the semester to answer questions from students. Those with degree plans on file for the fibers concentration were assured that they’d be contacted directly by their academic advisors to figure out a plan to graduate with the degree for which they have a degree plan.

“The opportunities for exhibition that we have been getting this semester are so encouraging; it really just proves that people care about what we do and make,” senior Phoebe Adams said. “We’re here and we aren’t going to go down without making sure that everyone knows what they’re missing out on. This show is a representation of the wide scope of what fibers entails, since apparently the [College of Visual Arts and Design] dean doesn’t even know what fibers is.”

Though Watts expressed his heartbreak over the decision to close the program, stating “especially one that clearly holds an important and influential role in history across cultures and the lives of women,” many people expressed their doubts about how much he really values the program. Harlan W. Butt, a retired CVAD professor, wrote in the Denton Record-Chronicle that “to say this is ‘heartbreaking’ smacks of insincerity when it is prefaced with the act of closing it down without discussion, debate and a chance for fibers to make its case for continuation.”

Regardless of how you feel about the program’s discontinuation after the upcoming spring, the fibers students are still here, learning and creating. Show them your appreciation and visit the fibers exhibition - it may be your last chance to admire their hard work.

Header image by UNT Fibers Program.

Header design by Tori Falcon.