Miami Artist to Discuss Textile Trends in Contemporary Art Oct. 20 at Florida Tech

MELBOURNE, FLA. — Florida Institute of Technology’s Ruth Funk Center for the Textile Arts will host installation artist Karen Rifas for its next Friends of Textiles Lecture Oct. 20 in the in the Denius Student Center’s Hartley Room on the Florida Tech campus.

A reception starts at 5:15 p.m. The lecture, titled “Skirting Around the Textile Arts – From Michelin Man to Site-Specific Installations,” begins at 6 p.m.

The lecture is presented in conjunction with the center’s current exhibition, Light and Shadow: Contemporary Fiber Art by Hye Shin, which remains on view through Dec. 12.

Rifas’ body of work includes site-specific installations using materials such as stitched leaves, cords, cable and household paint; content-centered exhibitions which deal with environmental, political and social issues; and conceptual drawings. She is particularly fascinated with taking ordinary materials and rearranging them into new contexts.

“I reside in a Miami home surrounded by Florida live oak trees. Nature and the environment bring an internal world of serenity, order and peace,” she said. Certain themes and concerns continually surface in my work. Generally, they reflect my thoughts about the delicate and precarious balance which I find in life and in nature, between structure and freedom and in the rhythmic and chaotic changes that occur in life.”

Rifas received her master’s degree in fine arts from the University of Miami and has taught at many institutions, including New World School of the Arts and her alma mater. She has been awarded a South Florida Cultural Consortium and two Florida Visual Arts Fellowships, and her work is in the collections of Perez Art Museum Miami, Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami, NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale, and Museo de Arte de Ponce in Ponce, Puerto Rico.

Individual tickets for the lecture are $10 for the general public and free to Friends of Textiles members and Florida Tech faculty, staff and full-time students.

For more information, call the Ruth Funk Center at 321-674-8313 or visit


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