The making of woven cloth is at the core of my artistic practice. In my work I use both the industrial Jacquard loom and the traditional hand loom in parallel research. This connective process activates both my textiles and structures to exploit their potential for sculptural surfaces and forms. My investigation into weaving and textiles is inspired by the qualities inherent in their structure, production, design, craft, and history. My work involves the reinvention of manufactured materials and familiar textiles such as corduroy. I create work that is based in place and material research using mainly recycled and repurposed materials I find or create.
I have been researching weft cut textiles including corduroy and fustian. Fustian is a fabric made by weaving two or more sets of wefts, or fillings. The word has come to represent a class of heavy cotton fabrics, some of which have pile surfaces, including moleskin, velveteen, and later renamed and rebranded as corduroy. In all fustians one of the sets of filling yarns is made up of floats (yarns that skip over two or more adjacent warp yarns). When a pile fabric is desired, the weft floats must be cut.
For me the fustian and corduroy textile structures represent an example of the early transition from home or cottage-based workshops to the consolidation to mills with industrial production and materials. As the Industrial Revolution expanded its reach both hand weaving and hand cut textiles were subverted. In England, the cutting of fustian had always tended to be a cottage industry, carried on in homes or small workshops close to weaving mills and manufacturers of the cloth. The cutting required a careful eye and a steady hand, but the fustian cutters were seen as unskilled labor.
My goal is to bring the artists hand and contemporary sensibility to the process of fustian cutting and weaving. I find inspiration in repurposing and the reinvention of a variety of industrial and machine-made materials I can integrate into my work. The ubiquitous nature of the materials I use are interesting to me because they usually defy desire and beauty: cotton, re-purposed plastic tape and gimp, recycled polyester, industrial dyed feathers, retro-reflective safety tape, phosphorescent and holographic tapes.
Michael Radyk works fluidly between art and textiles, with emphasis and expertise in the weaving and sculptural media. He explores woven textiles and the qualities inherent in their structure, production, design, craft, and history. Michael uses both the hand loom and Jacquard loom to produce his work. His work involves the reinvention of manufactured materials and familiar textile structures such as corduroy and is based in place and material research.
Michael’s work Swan Point is included in the Contemporary Textile Collection of the Cleveland Museum of Art. Michael’s recent solo exhibitions include “Reemergence” at the Main Line Art Center, Haverford, PA, and “Textiles & Textures” at the Kellner Gallery, Jenkintown, PA. Michael’s work has been part of many group exhibitions both nationally and internationally including: “Structured” at Textile Center, Joan Mondale Gallery, Minneapolis, MN; “Focus: Fiber“ at the Kent State University Art Museum, Kent, OH; “Influence and Evolution: Fiber Sculpture-Then and Now” at browngrotta arts, Wilton, CT; the Design Gallery at University of Wisconsin, Madison, the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, and the Arizona State University, Tempe. International exhibitions include the Invitational Biannual Exhibition, “International Fiber Art Fair” at the Hangaram Art Museum, Seoul, South Korea; “Fibremen 1 & 4”,at theKherson Museum, Kherson, Ukraine; and “Super Surfaces ”,at the In the Paper Gallery, Seoul, South Korea.
Michaels’ honors include the Meyer Family Award for Contemporary Art from the Main Line Art Center, the Presidents Prize, from the Textile Art Alliance, and a Gus family Foundation fellowship for research at the Clothworker's Centre for the Study of Textiles and Fashion, Archive, V & A Museum, London, UK. He has received multiple grants including an Artist Relief Grant, and an Illuminate the Arts Grant from the City of Philadelphia Office of Arts & Culture, and university travel and research grants. Michael has attended residencies at the Hambidge Artist Residency, Rabun Gap, GA, and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Amherst, VA.
An interview with Michael can be found in the January 2022 issue of Artemorbida, Textile Arts Magazine, in Italian and English. His work is featured in the books Artistry in Fiber, Vol.1: Wall, and Artistry in Fiber, Vol. 2:Sculpture, published by Schiffer Publishing Ltd. and the exhibition catalogues Influence and Evolution: Fiber Sculpture...then and now, and Blue/Green: color/code/context published by browngrotta arts. Michael received his MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design and Brown University’s Sheridan Center for Teaching and Learning. He has taught at SCAD, RISD, Kutztown University, Kent State ,and the University of Georgia in Athens, GA.
2008 Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, RI MFA, Textiles
Brown University, Sheridan Center for Teaching and Learning, Providence, RI Certificate in Collegiate Teaching
1999 Tyler School of Art, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA BFA, Fibers & Material Studies, Art History Minor
Awards & Honors
Meyer Family Award for Contemporary Art and 18th Annual Betsy Meyer Exhibition, Main Line Art Center Gallery, Haverford, PA
2015 Presidents Prize, FOCUS; Fiber, Textile Art Alliance of the Cleveland Museum of Art, Erie Art Museum, Bacon Gallery, Erie, PA
2014 Award, Ebb and Flow Yardage, Handweavers Guild of America Convergence, Providence, RI
2008 Visionary Award of Excellence, Craft Forms International, Wayne Art Center, Wayne, PA
Fellowships & Residencies
2020 Hambidge Artist Residency, Rabun Gap, GA
2019 - 2020 Clothworkers’ Center for Textiles, London, UK
2019 Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Amherst, VA
2010 Hambidge Artist Residency, Rabun Gap, GA
Oregon College of Art and Craft Residency Program, Portland, OR
Illuminate the Arts Grant, City of Philadelphia Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy, Philadelphia, PA
2020 Artist Relief Grant, Organized by United States Artists, Chicago, IL
2019 Gus Foundation Research Fellowship, Clothworkers’ Centre Archive, V & A, London, UK
2012 - 2016 College of Visual & Performing Arts Faculty Development Grant, Kutztown University, Kutztown, PA
2014 Kutztown University Foundation Grant for Engage Conference and Exhibition, Kutztown University, Kutztown, PA
2010 Ruth and Harold Chenven Foundation Grant
Textile Society of America Presenter Symposium Grant, Lincoln, NE