Photo by Jessy Duque. Four Haywood Community College professional crafts fiber students have work in a national juried student textile show at the Greenville Fine Arts Center. Spotlight on Student Fiber Trends 2018 runs through November 2. Students (pictured left to right) Hannah Watson, Becky Duex and Mitsu Shimabukuro are representing the College at this event. Not pictured is student Monica Chemay who also has work in the show.

Four Haywood Community College professional crafts fiber students have work in a national juried student textile show at the Greenville Fine Arts Center. Spotlight on Student Fiber Trends 2018 runs through November 2. Second-year students Monica Chemay, Becky Duex, Mitsu Shimabukuro and Hannah Watson, are representing the College at this event.

All four of these students won awards at the show. Duex won the award sponsored by the Complex Weavers organization. Shimabukuro won the award sponsored by the Surface Design Association. Watson won the award sponsored by the Handweavers Guild of America. Chemay was awarded an honorable mention.

Duex says she grew up watching the women in her family working with fiber throughout her life. The Maryland native found out about HCC from a web search. “Finding an immersive program seemed like a beautiful fantasy,” she explains. “But I have found this program to be super intense. It is a well-structured format and it’s very beneficial to have classes such as marketing and photography.”

In addition to having artwork in the student show, Duex was awarded the national student design scholarship of $3,000 from the Handweavers Guild of America. Called the Dendel Scholarship, Duex is the sixth HCC student to win this award in the past seven years. Recipients are selected from both two-year and four-year schools based on artistic and technical excellence.

“Hopefully my finished pieces communicate the deep joy in their creation,” Duex explains. “A joy that begins in my heart and is translated by my hands on the loom.”

Before coming to HCC, Shimabukuro studied at Yale University. Most recently, she worked at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville in the printmaking studio. Growing up in Hawaii, Shimabukuro was introduced to art through a nonprofit organization.

While Watson has always been interested in cloth and fashion, she went to the College of Charleston before coming to HCC. The South Carolina native also studied weaving in Peru.

“Weaving is freedom from right and wrong,” Watson explains. “The tactility of cloth never ceases to woo me. I want to know that my textiles will live a full life. That they will tatter in the wind and fade in the sun, and then compost back into the soil when it’s time.”

HCC’s professional crafts programs provide students with a chance to develop technical expertise while inspiring creativity. It is designed to give students a well-rounded basis for becoming a recognized craft designer. For more information about these programs, please visit haywood.edu or call 7828-627-2821.