About the Artist

Joanne Weis

Artist Biography

Joanne Weis is a mixed media textile artist in Louisville Kentucky whose work can be found in numerous private collections around the country.  After retiring from a full career as a social worker, she graduated with a Masters Degree from the University of Louisville Fine Arts program. In addition to creating fiber art, she juries and curates shows, teaches and, as past president of the Louisville Area Fiber and Textile Artists, promotes appreciation of fiber and textile art within the community.

Artist Statement

My life journey can be traced by the art I made and experienced during different periods of time. Starting in childhood, art and creating art have been part of my daily routine with my Dad being teacher and mentor.  As I moved into family and motherhood, he was a role model. He worked full time, he was very involved with my Mom in raising the four children, he volunteered at our schools, was active in church, scouts and other activities, but he always found time to make art. As a mother and wife working full time outside the home, I found myself in the same pattern – making set designs or costumes for my daughter’s drama programs, volunteering to lead art projects in my son’s school or scout troops, making banners for church – doing whatever it took to carve out time and space to be an artist. In recent years I retired from a very rewarding career in social services, enrolled and got a Masters Degree at the University of Louisville Fine Arts Department and now see myself as a professional artist.  At this point, my art serves to record the stories I find important and to do that by creating art, exhibiting it and having it hang on someone else’s wall.

As a textile artist, I start with white fabric and cord, then develop the piece using a variety of dyeing and printing techniques.  The final layer is typically stitched with dyed cords, adding detail and texture.  I get excited about every phase of the creative process – choosing and researching the subject matter, selecting the fiber, experimenting with techniques to achieve the look I want, handling, even smelling the silk, linen, hemp or other fabric, discovering new colors with dye, making composition and design decisions as the work grows, stitching into the cloth, touching the embroidered textures of the finished piece – all of these are thrilling and fulfilling.  Most rewarding is when this art graces someone’s wall.

I am very conscious of my place in the continuum of life cycles, my position between ancestors and grand children.  My recent work demonstrates that awareness by portraying my view of the links between the earth’s environment and the spiritual.   From the beginning of recorded time, humans have used earthly elements to explore and express their spirituality.  We harvest foods for ritual, use raw materials to depict the invisible, mark and protect the sacred places we discover or build, display or wear pieces of the earth to shield us from harm.  With this in mind, respect for and celebration of the world we were given is the story I want to record.


Selected invitational and juried exhibitions


A Lively Experiment, Handweaver’s Guild of American Convergence Conference, RI Convention Center, Providence, RI

Governor’s Derby Exhibit, State Capital, Frankfort, KY

LAFTA in Lace, Gallery 104, LaGrange, KY

Bluegrass Biennial, Claypool Young Gallery, Morehead, KY

Harvest Moon, Art League of Oldham County, LaGrange KY (Awarded first place)

Fabulous Fibers II, John James Audubon State Park, Henderson, KY

A Thread Runs Through It, Polvino Family Gallery, Nicholasville, KY

Got Jazz, Janet Carson Gallery, Eau Claire WI


These Thy Gifts, Textile Art Inspired by Wendell Berry. Solo Show, St. Catharine College, Springfield, Kentucky

7Stitch: Contemporary Textiles from Kentucky and Surrounding States, Claypool Young Art Gallery, Morehead, Kentucky

Artists in our Midst, Kaviar Forge Gallery, Louisville, KY

LAFTA Exhibition at the Carnegie Center for Art and History, New Albany IN


Making it Now, Cressman Center for Visual Arts, University of Louisville, KY

About Face, Kentucky Artisan Center, Berea, KY

Rooted in the Earth, Huff Gallery, Spalding University, Louisville, KY

LAFTA at the Water Tower, Louisville Visual Art Association Gallery, Louisville, KY


Psalms as Ancient Poetry, St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church, Louisville Kentucky

Surface Design Association Kentucky Chapter – Invitational Show, Morehead KY

The Psalms, Olive Tree Arts, Evansville IN

Textiles in a Tube, Riverworks Gallery, Greenville SC

Louisville Area Fiber and Textile Artists show, The Patio Gallery, Louisville, KY.

Fiber Invitational, Berea Arts Council, Berea, KY


Holy Ground, Thesis show, Cressman Center, Louisville, KY

Louisville Area Fiber and Textile Artists show, Actors Theater of Louisville, Louisville, KY


Earthworks, Carnegie Center for Art and History, New Albany IN

Off the Grid, Student Show, Exhibition sponsored by SDA as part of its annual conference, Kansas City, MO. Selected for “Award of Excellence”.

Louisville Area Fiber and Textile Artists show, Embroiderer’s Guild of America, Museum and Resource Center, Louisville, KY.


At the River’s Edge, Louisville Visual Art Association, Water Tower, Louisville, KY.

Louisville Area Fiber and Textile Artists show, The Patio Gallery, Louisville, KY.


The Dinner Works, Louisville Visual Art Association, Water Tower, Louisville, KY.

Louisville Area Fiber and Textile Artists show, Strider Gallery, Morehead, KY.

Material Witness, Physical Presence, Living Arts and Science Center, Lexington, KY.

New Lessons – New Work, Hite Institute, University of Louisville, Louisville, KY.


River City Fiber Artists show, The Patio Gallery, Louisville, KY.

Louisville Area Fiber and Textile Artists show, Actors Theater of Louisville, Louisville KY.

Fiberworks, Kentucky Artisan Center, Berea, KY.

Spiritual Expression, Exhibition sponsored by HGA as part of Convergence 2006, Grand Rapids, MI.


Louisville Area Fiber and Textile Artists show, Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft. Louisville, KY.


Woven Together – Art & Community, Nazareth Arts Gallery, Nazareth, KY.


Quilts, a Spectrum of Styles and Techniques, Appalachian Center for Crafts, Cookeville, TN.

Hook, Line and Singer, Carnegie Center for Art and History, New Albany, IN.


Women in the Arts, Ball State University, Muncie, IN.


Images of Ireland, Lionheart Gallery, Louisville, KY.

Sacred in the Home, Inspiration Gallery, Louisville, KY.

Sacred Threads, Columbus, Ohio.


  • MA, Fine Arts, focus on fiber; University of Louisville, KY; graduation anticipated May 2010.
  • Art Cloth Mastery Program, with Jane Dunnewold, 2009, ArtCloth Studio, San Antonio, TX.
  • MSW,, Washington University St. Louis, MO.
  • BA English and Education, Salve Regina University, Newport, RI.


  • Louisville Area Fiber and Textile Artists, Past President
  • Surface Design Association of America
  • Studio Art Quilt Associates
  • Kentucky Museum for Art and Craft
  • Louisville Visual Art Association
  • Art Beyond the Surface