Fifteen quality mentors were nominated for the GPSO Faculty Mentor Award this year by graduate and professional students, and an independent committee of GPSO members selected Rowland Ricketts as this year’s winner. He utilizes natural materials and historical processes to create contemporary textiles that span art and design. Trained in indigo farming and dyeing in Japan, Rowland received his MFA from Cranbrook in 2005. Rowland’s interests span the relationship of materials, process to place and the role of tradition in contemporary craft. His work has been exhibited at the Textile Museum in Washington, DC, Fiberart International, and Snyderman-Works Fiber Biennials. Mr. Ricketts was named a USA fellow in 2012.
Professor Ricketts’ nomination spoke of his skills as a role model, speaker, researcher, mentor, and friend. He has done an exceptional job building up the textile department and has seen his students earn scholarships, fellowships, and other awards. Thanks to Professor Ricketts’ efforts, he and all of the program’s students received funding to travel to Japan for a week to study traditional processes and hand techniques, as well as attend a national cultural festival for which he designed the fine arts exhibition. He honors his students, department, and IU with his care and dedication, and we thank him for his hard work!