Printed, painted, sculpted and created

Laura Lofgren

Art can be found all over campus

All across campus, you can see art: graffiti, monuments, memorials, sculptures, painted rocks and chalked sidewalks. For art students, the Art Building is the headquarters for the distribution of this art. But there is more than one building on campus that produces historically and culturally significant works of art.

Lake Olson Arts: Textile Art and Graduate Painting Studios:

Located on the opposite side of Undergraduate Services conjoining Lake and Olson halls, the textile department of Kent’s art program offers students the exploration of a unique field.

Janice Lessman-Moss, professor and head of the textiles department in the School of Art, said the program, which is part of the crafts division, offers students the chance to learn a skill not often seen on many campuses in the United States.

This skill is developed on a machine called a loom. A loom is a wooden machine used for weaving thread or yarn into textiles.

The program covers everything textile, from the use of a loom to screen printing on fabric to creating felt from wool.

The program has gained tremendous support across the country for its large facility and the use of digital jacquard looms, which are looms that take a constructed computer image and transcribe it into the loom, where the artist then lays down thread or fabric in the designated pattern.

“We’re trying to think outside the box to expand the way we think about form,” Lessman-Moss said. “It’s a ‘slow art,’ perceived as unnecessary, but textiles are everywhere. “

Ceramics Lab:

A storage shed look-alike, the Ceramics Lab building is located on the corner of Summit Street and Risman Drive, across from the Michael Schwartz Center.

Kirk Mangus, professor of art and curator of the ceramics lab, does not mind his hideaway being called a storage shed. Taking pride in his ancient artwork, he said it is one of the oldest technologies and art forms known.

“Architecture, food storage, housing and writing all are principally based on clay form,” he said.

A competitive field, ceramics from Kent State has produced students who teach all over Ohio, United States and Canada.

Not only for the art student, the ceramics lab acquires students studying philosophy and psychology as well, but is open to all students who are interested in the uncommon program.

Offering beginner to graduate courses, the ceramics program and Mangus alike, “wants to keep this old form alive in the modern world.”

Glass Studio:

On the corner of Summit Street and Morris Road lies the Glass Studio, directly connected to the Michael Schwartz Center.

Davin Ebanks, a graduate student and part-time assistant professor of the arts, has been teaching glassblowing to students for the past four years.

“We teach traditional glass-blowing techniques,” he said. “It’s a chance to do something that is about 2,000 years old.”

The glass studio offers Kent students a unique opportunity to do something that is a rare and nostalgic art form.

Two sections are presented: “Hot work,” which is glassblowing with a furnace reaching up to 2,150 degrees Fahrenheit; and “warm work,” which is fusing and casting the glass. This is closer to sculpture, rather than vessels and cups in hot work.

Ebanks said this program is a unique, one-of-a-kind experience and glass is unlike any other medium.

“It’s almost a fourth state of matter,” he said.

Along with learning the ancient technique, glassblowing requires a certain amount of physical strength and endurance.

“It’s close to some kind of sport,” Ebanks said. “Like dancing or music . it’s like playing music with your entire body.”

Glassblowing is available to any student who wants to expand their knowledge of the arts. Classes tend to reach capacity at 12 students.

Van Deusen:

Located along Terrace Drive next to the Art Building, Van Deusen is originally known to be the home of the technology department. Unbeknownst to many students, Van Deusen also offers studio space and classroom space for printmaking and jewelry metals majors.

In 1998, studios were moved to the hall and offer a wide range of technical processes, according to the art school’s craft programs Web site.

Along with studio space, darkrooms are used in the printmaking process.

Printmaking studios in Van Deusen 110 feature classic print equipment in an airy industrial setting. Individual spaces for seniors completing Bachelor of Fine Arts projects and the photo darkroom are located on the second floor of the printmaking area, according to the art school’s fine arts program Web site.

Art Annex:

Behind the Art building is an enormous facility, the Art Annex, home to the sculpture program.

Formally the Terrace Drive Heating Plant, the structure has a well-equipped wood shop, metal shop, spray-painting booth, and clay and plaster studio, as well as a critique area on the second floor.

Faculty studios are located on the second floor, while graduate studios and senior project studios are located on the first floor, according to The School of Art’s Web site.

Contact School of Art reporter Laura Lofgren at [email protected].