Fibers & Material Studies

Fibers & Material Studies practices are on the cutting edge of contemporary art and critical inquiry, while also representing one of the world’s longest and most accessible aesthetic traditions. Fibers & Material Studies at the Tyler School of Art emphasizes the exploration of materials in both their traditional and contemporary contexts, and in relation to wide-ranging issues of technological development, the transnational circulation of culture, race and multiculturalism, gender, sexuality, and class, among others. Students examine the relationships between materials, processes, and conceptual exploration, as well as the critical role that cloth and fiber play in the global economic marketplace. 

Undergraduate students are introduced to state of the art equipment, including a Jacquard Loom, multi-harness floor looms and electronic looms, knitting machines, and embroidery machines. The department also offers digital printing, a fully equipped dye kitchen, and screen-printing lab. Many Tyler students choose to work at the edges of the medium by exploring sculpture, video, performance, and installation as part of their practice. Experimenting with materials and methods is encouraged as students develop individual creative practices.

The Graduate program in Fibers & Material Studies allows for time and space to develop a rigorous studio practice. With guidance from our diverse faculty, students work independently to develop a practice grounded in a conceptual awareness of key discourses within the critical study of fibers and materials, such as labor, economy, globalization, cultural appropriation, Do-it-Yourself and sustainability, gender and feminism, and women’s global and historical role in textile production. In conjunction with a committee of advisers that students select from across the university, students meet one on one to develop their work and receive critical feedback. Students are also expected to take Art History classes and seminars that engage emerging topics in the field, the broader art world, and social and political inquiry. Students have opportunities for teaching assistantships, hosting visiting artists, and participation in our Jacquard Artist-in-Residence Program. Our program embraces a broad definition of material exploration, from more traditional ways of making, to community-based projects, to experimental performance, sound, and video work. 

Lecture Series

  • February 27, 2017
  • 3:30pm

J.J. McCracken creates messy situations where performers grovel for access to resources. They are socially disconnected and eternally h...

  • December 05, 2016
  • 6:00pm

Black Quantum Futurism (or BQF) is a new approach to living and experiencing reality by way of the manipulation of space-time in order to...


  • The Tyler Carnival is Back!

    Free food. Inflatable rides. Temporary tattoos. Cotton Candy Stand. Did I mention free food? If any of those seem appealing to you, you should make your way to Tyler...

  • Alumna Emily Erb awarded Leonore Annenberg Fellowship

    Tyler graduates continue to make major strides in their work and and forge forward in the art world. For the past 10 years, The Leonore Annenberg Fellowship Fund for t...

  • Penland Summer Scholarship Talk with Neil Patterson

    Please join Tyler Ceramics on Wednesday February 1st at 3pm in the Ceramics Piazza for a talk focused on scholarship opportunities at the Penland School of Craft. Neil...

  • Undergraduate
  • BFA in Fibers & Material Studies with Entrepreneurship

    In partnership with the Fox School of Business at Temple, Tyler School of Art offers BFA with Entrepreneurship for all BFA major disciplines. The BFA with Entrepreneurship is a 126 credit degree program integrating the disciplines of art and ... More More about BFA in Fibers & Material Studies with Entrepreneurship

  • Graduate
    Alumni Spotlight

    Angela Drakeford

    Angela's artwork

    We are excited to announce that MFA '17 Angela Drakeford has accepted a one year full-time teaching appointment at MassArt in the Fibers department! More

    More about Fibers & Material Studies
    J.J. McCracken
    Featured Event

    J.J. McCracken Visiting Artist Lecture

    February 27, 2017

    J.J. McCracken creates messy situations where performers grovel for access to resources. They are socially disconnected and eternally h

    Featured Event

    An Afternoon with Jesse Harrod: Macramé Demonstration and Exhibition Tour

    February 19, 2017

    Free with Museum Admission (Discounted for SculptureCenter Members) Demonstration: 1 to 2 pm Tour: 2 to 2:45 pm

    Black Quantum Futurism
    Featured Event

    Black Quantum Futurism Lecture

    December 05, 2016

    Black Quantum Futurism (or BQF) is a new approach to living and experiencing reality by way of the manipulation of space-time in order to

    Lesley Ware
    Featured Event

    Lesley Ware Guest Lecturer

    November 17, 2016

    Lesley Ware is an author, entrepreneur, and fashion educator. Lesley helps tweens and teens discover their personal style and talents thr

    Tanya Aguiñiga
    Featured Event

    Tanya Aguiñiga Artist Talk

    November 16, 2016

    Tanya Aguiñiga is a Los Angeles based furniture designer/maker raised inTijuana, Mexico. Tanya’s work is informed by border experiences:

    April Camlin
    Featured Event

    Jacquard Visiting Artist in Residence

    October 31, 2016

    The Fiber & Material Studies Department is pleased to announce the Jacquard Visiting Artist in Residence Program, which will take pla

    Marissa Johnson-Valenzuela
    Featured Event

    Marissa Johnson-Valenzuela Guest Lecturer

    October 10, 2016

    Marissa Johnson-Valenzuela’s poetry and prose has been recognized by The Leeway Foundation, Hedgebrook and others, and can be found in pr

    Grad student painting in his studio
    Featured Event

    Tyler MFA Open Studios

    October 22, 2016

    The graduate students at Tyler School of Art, are participating in Philadelphia Open Studio Tours, the largest tour of artist studios and

    Closing Party for Phases Exhibition
    Featured Event

    Closing Party for PHASES, featuring Fibers Faculty Crystal Gregory

    September 04, 2016

    Please join us for the closing party of the collaborative project PHASES by Alexa Williams and Crystal Gregory. During their three-week r

    Allyson Mitchell work image
    Featured Event

    Allyson Mitchell Artist Talk

    January 21, 2016

    Allyson Mitchell mixes heavy portions of pop culture and feminism to shape an autobiographical body of work out of abandoned crafts and u

    Open Studios Graphic
    Featured Event

    MFA Open Studios

    November 13, 2015

    Tyler School of Art will host its fourth annual MFA Open Studios on Friday, November 13th, 2015, from 4 - 8pm.  Graduate studios will be

    Lisa Vinebaum
    Featured Event

    Lisa Vinebaum Artist Talk

    October 26, 2015

    Lisa Vinebaum is an interdisciplinary artist, critical writer, and educator. Her art practice incorporates performance, public and site s

    Event Flyer
    Featured Event

    Material Through Maker

    October 21, 2015

    Please join us for the opening of Material Through Maker on October 21 from 5-6pm!

    Ebony Patterson
    Featured Event

    Ebony Patterson Artist Talk

    October 19, 2015

    Ebony Patterson's Artist Statement:

    Fibers & Material Studies

    Curator Danny Orendorff, Guest Lecture

    October 5, 2015

    Crafts Graduate Seminar class welcomed Curator Danny Orendorff to hear about his curatorial experience, participate in a round table disc

    Low Ropes Course
    Fibers & Material Studies

    Jesse Harrod: Low Ropes Course Opening

    September 9, 2015

    Jesse Harrod presents new work at NURTUREart. Opening on September 11, 2015 from 7-9PM.   NURTURE art Gallery 56 Bogart Street Brooklyn,

    Kristin Deady
    Featured Event

    Philadelphia Sculpture Gym: Te(a)ch Exhibition

    April 03, 2015

    First Friday in April! Come check out some amazing work Philadelphia Sculpture Gym's  Te(a)ch exhibition! They have techs representing PA

    Featured Event

    Liza Buzytsky, Overt Symbols, MFA Thesis Exhibition

    February 18, 2015

    Opening Reception: February 20th, 2015 from 6pm - 8pm

    Intestinal Anarchy
    Featured Event

    Hazel Meyer Artist Talk

    February 19, 2015

    Hazel Meyer is a visual artist based in Toronto, Canada. From the monumental to the modest her projects range from large installations, t

    Samantha Bittman
    Featured Event

    Samantha Bittman Artist Talk

    February 26, 2015

    Samantha Bittman is an artist based in Chicago, IL. She earned her B.F.A. in Textiles from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2004 and

    Featured Event

    Alternative Materials Student Work at the Tri-State Sustainability Symposium

    March 06, 2015

    Lori Glessner's Alternative Materials will be exhibiting work that coincides with the Tri-State Sustainability Symposium. On Friday Marc

    Amy O'Neill
    Featured Event

    Amy O'Neill, BFA Thesis Show Opening

    February 04, 2015

    Please join us to celebrate Amy O'Neill's BFA Thesis show, At Your Disposal.

    Anthony Romero
    Featured Event

    Anthony Romero, 6 Collaborations Lecture

    January 28, 2015

    Anthony Romero, "6 Collaborations" What constitutes a collaboration and what does it require? 6 collaborations is a performative lecture

    Gatehouse by Sam Connors
    Featured Event


    November 10, 2014

    Work by Fiber and Material Studies Students. Curated by Sam Connors.  Opening will be held on November 16, from 6 - 8pm.

    fibers and material studies
    Featured Event

    Fibers and Material Studies Undergradute Show

    November 05, 2014

    Please come to our opening on November 5th, from 5pm - 8pm in the Stella Elkins Gallery!

    Abigail Satinksy
    Featured Event

    Abigail Satinsky

    November 20, 2014

    Abigail Satinsky is a writer, curator, and organizer. She is the associate director at Threewalls in Chicago where her work includes edit

    Amanda McCavour, Flux
    Featured Event

    Amanda McCavour, Flux, MFA Thesis Exhibition.

    March 26, 2014

    Flux:  alteration, change, flow, fluidity, instability, modification, motion, mutability, transition.

    Sheila Pepe lecture postcard.
    Featured Event

    Sheila Pepe, Visiting Artist Lecture, Tuesday, April 1st, 6:30PM, Tyler Auditorium.

    April 01, 2014

    Born Morristown, NJ, Sheila Pepe lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. Since 1994 Pepe has had numerous solo exhibitions at venues throughout

    Brenna K. Murphy, Home Imagined (Dollhouse), 2013.
    Featured Event

    Brenna K. Murphy, Visiting Artist Lecture

    January 27, 2014

    Brenna K. Murphy is a Philadelphia-based artist who creates work with her own hair.  Reflecting on the objects found in domestic spaces,

    Jenny Sabin knit installation.
    Featured Event

    Jenny Sabin + Knit Lab Reception, Friday, January 31, 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM.

    January 31, 2014

    This Friday we celebrate the completion of Jenny Sabin's new work after Chreods. Sabin is an architect, laboratory researcher, and educat

    Plants used for natural dyeing
    Featured Event

    Natural Dyeing with Common Plants Workshop (2/2)

    October 22, 2013

    Please join us for a Natural Dyeing with Common Plants workshop.  We will visit the Temple Community Garden where the Fibers and Material