The Tradition of Fiber Art Education in Cleveland Continues at Praxis
The idea for Praxis Fiber Workshop arose when the Cleveland Institute of Art decided to downsize the Fiber and Material Studies department, merging it with the sculpture and video departments.
A campus unification project has doubled the size of the Joseph McCullough building on Euclid Avenue, making CIA an even more impressive destination for young artists across the globe. However, in the new building, the infrastructure for the weaving and dyeing programs was eliminated.
As a technical specialist in the fiber department for three years and an adjunct faculty member at CIA, I wanted to preserve the fiber tradition CIA has upheld for decades. I proposed to take the weaving and dyeing equipment and to open a nonprofit textile arts center in Cleveland, where CIA classes in fiber could continue and a larger community demographic could be reached. The proposal was met with enthusiasm, and I set out to find a perfect location. There are many wonderful arts neighborhoods in Cleveland, but I was struck by the contagious and emerging energy in the Waterloo Arts District in North Collinwood.
We found an immense, raw space on the west end of Waterloo Road. With the generous support of building owners Erika and Cesar Ruggieri, the 7,000 square foot space has been transformed into a spectacular facility. Praxis hosts a street-facing art gallery to support the development and promotion of fiber art in our region, a full commercial dye lab, large community workspace and 5 private studios. Following successful nonprofit models like Zygote Press, artists can pay a monthly fee for 24/7 access to the Praxis facilities, and 5 smaller studios are available to rent.
Praxis will offer classes and workshops in a variety of fiber processes, as well as Continuing Education and college curriculum courses. Participants can practice weaving, textile surface design, yarn spinning, felting, and sewing. Future plans include an artist residence program and a natural dye garden.
In January, Praxis received its 501c3 status and we will celebrate our Grand Opening in June. As part of ‘Walk all Over Waterloo,’ the gallery at Praxis will open with a Textile Arts Alliance member show Friday, June 5. Neighborhood Connections and Cuyahoga Arts and Culture will support a family-friendly event on Saturday, June 6. Come experience the varied fiber processes that Praxis has to offer, and enjoy live music and refreshments! It is privilege to join the rich and vibrant art community in Cleveland. See you at Praxis soon! Please visit praxisfiberworkshop.org for more information.
Praxis Fiber Workshop
15301 Waterloo Road
Cleveland, Ohio 44110
Textile Arts Alliance Member Showcase: June 5
Opening Reception 6-8PM
Grand Opening Celebration 10AM-5PM June 6