Home > Grantees > Janice Arnold

Janice Arnold

County: Thurston County




Fellowship Awards 2009
Learn About Fellowship Awards

EDGE Professional Development Program 2008
Learn About EDGE Professional Development Program

GAP Award 2010, 2013
Learn About GAP Award


Janice Arnold redefines the boundaries of handmade felt since 1999. The daughter of a cartographer, she learned scale as second sense. Janice’s virtuosity is evident in the multifaceted character of her work. She creates permanent and temporary installations, ranging from intricately executed pieces to elaborate environments incorporating her handmade textiles. The textures range from supple and luminous to dense, resilient, and complex. Her work honors an ancient tradition yet stretches it to new places with innovation, exploration, quality, and scale putting her in a league of her own as an artist and designer.

Janice received 2013 GAP Award funding to complete a documentary project which will tell and preserve the story of the creation of her installation, Palace Yurt, commissioned for the Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum. Palace Yurt was created with over 2,000 square feet of felt textiles. The pieces were created to illustrate the link between the historical origins of felt and contemporary felt art through the symbol and the actuality of the yurt. Through the video, Janice will promote and market her installation to other museums and institutions for possible future exhibition opportunities and to promote understanding and recognition of felt textile as fine art-form.

Janice received 2010 GAP Award funding for materials needed in the creation of a new site-specific installation. She was invited to create a site-specific work at the Grand Rapids Art Museum for a city-wide art celebration where she will line a 50-foot-long passageway in the museum with handmade felt designed so the viewer will experience the transition and gradation of colors from all white into blues, purples, reds, orange, and yellow gold.

As part of her Fellowship’s Meet the Artist requirements, Janice offered two presentations at the Dungeness Schoolhouse, five miles north of Sequim along the banks of the Dungeness River. The first presentation focused on traditional feltmaking, covering Janice’s travels in Central Asia and Mongolia, as well as her extensive research about nomadic cultures and the felt tradition of handmade felt, which is believed to be more than 9,000 years old. The four-hour event was open to the general public, and attended by a diverse group of people coming from around the region. They included people interested in the arts, practicing contemporary artists, fiber artists, students, and local farmers including wool growers. The second presentation was a more personal story of Janice’s life and work, covering her personal passions, how the traditional process continues to inform her work, and views into her process through a series of behind the scenes images from a variety of projects and installations. It also covered thoughts, inspirations, concepts, principles, challenges, and techniques that she developed through her artwork for a lively and inquisitive audience. After the presentations, Janice showed a wide variety of samples of fabrics from a range of projects and allowed visitors to touch the pieces to understand the structure, character, and durability of the material. It was a very hands-on group and most of the audience stayed for an hour after the presentations to ask questions. Because of the rural nature of the area and the large number of wool producers and fiber artists, it was clear that they greatly appreciated the opportunity to see a world of textile art that is usually not accessible to them. It opened up a lot of possibilities and ideas. For many it served as a springboard of inspiration to take back and incorporate into their own lives.

Featured Works

Support Artists

We work hard serving thousands of individual artists across Washington State each year, but we can’t do it without you! Learn how you can support artists year-round.

2021 Artist Trust Grants for Artists' Progress Recipient Andrew Creech

Learn More