Why I Am a Weaver

by Philis Alvic


Editor’s Note: On August 24th, KMAC Museum opens its inaugural KMAC Triennial exhibition, showcasing and celebrating contemporary art of the Commonwealth.  The KMAC Triennial brings together twenty artists who spent formative years in Kentucky. Comprised of artworks that preserve certain traditions like weaving, crocheting, drawing, painting, and ceramics, the Triennial also includes the newer territories of conceptual photography, video, sound, installation and performance.

This post is the first in our series featuring Triennial artists. 



I am an artist.  I am a craftsperson.  I am a weaver.


I am an artist. 

I went to an art school where I majored in art, minored in art, and all of my electives were in art.  The only academic subjects that I took were those required to get a degree in the state of Illinois. Along with all the art courses, came a philosophy centered in the art world of the late ‘50s and early ‘60s.  Art was visual. Creating art was hard work. Your first idea was never your best. Understanding came in baby-steps through controlled experimenting. 


I am a craftsperson. 

While still in college, I found my craft.  When I entered school, I thought I would be a painter.   In a forced introduction to weaving, I discovered that the craft of weaving drew on specifics interests and talents of mine.  Color, pattern, texture, and creativity within a rigid format were all visual elements I wanted to explore. Acquiring knowledge and perfecting skills are essential for the craftsperson—and then dedication to that craft. 


I am a weaver.

The loom is an essential partner in the creation of my art.  Over the years, I have gained an understanding of pattern weaving and how to get the effects I desire.  Color and texture are mixed as a painter would mix paints. Besides carrying out my artistic vision, I am creating fabric.  Textiles surround us in our lives, but we are rarely forced to consider them outside of their utility. My work calls attention to all of the visual elements of fabric.   



Titles of pieces:

Top: Sitting Room Window

Middle: City Windows

Bottom: Possibilities Flag

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Louisville, Kentucky 40202

502.589.0102

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Admission to KMAC for students and children is free thanks to a generous donation from

Brook and Pam Smith. KMAC is also supported in part by our members, The Fund for the Arts, and the Kentucky Arts Council. Our exhibitions are supported by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.

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