Marianne Fairbanks

Assistant Professor
Design Studies Department; Textiles & Fashion Design Major
Office 3220
Creating is the most intense excitement one can come to know.

–Anni Albers

After graduating from The University of Michigan with a BFA in Fibers, Marianne Fairbanks went on to study textiles at The Kyoto Seika University in Japan before returning to the U.S. to pursue an MFA in Fibers and Material Studies at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. There she began working collaboratively with Jane Palmer under the moniker of JAM. JAM’s work has been included in exhibitions such as Beyond Green: Toward a Sustainable Art, which originated at the Smart Museum of Art, Chicago.

Marianne was a cofounder of Mess Hall, an experimental cultural space in the Rogers Park neighborhood of Chicago that sought to cultivate community through workshops, symposia, and exhibitions. She was also cofounder of Noon Solar, a small business that created sustainable bags and totes that incorporate flexible thin film solar panels to charge cell phones and mp3 players, a business that grew out of one of JAM’s projects. For over 10 years Marianne has also maintained an active roll as co-curator of a space in Chicago called Lula Café.

In her current work Marianne seeks to explore intersections between the materiality and processes associated with textiles, sustainable design, community, collaboration and entrepreneurship. She brings this mash up of passions to her students in classes like weaving and off loom structures.

Mash-Up meets Students

My work spans the fields of art, design, and social practice, seeking to chart new material and conceptual territories, to innovate solution-based design, and to foster fresh modes of cultural production.
click and discover
  • Textile Technology- pre and post industrial
  • Jacquard weaving
  • Alternative Energy
  • Geometry and woven structures
  • Sustainability
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Natural and synthetic dyes
  • 2013 Rooting: Regional Networks, Global Concerns, Sullivan Galleries, SAIC, Chicago, IL
  • 2009 Fast Forward, Northeastern Illinois University, Chicago, IL Artist Run Chicago, Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago, IL 2008 Public Address, Phaiz, Chicago, Illinois
  • 2005-08 Beyond Green: Toward a Sustainable Art, Curated by Stephanie Smith and Independent Curators International: Museum London: London, Ontario; Joseloff Gallery, Hartford Art School; University of Hartford, Hartford, CN; The Ronna and Eric Hoffman Gallery of Contemporary Art, Lewis & Clark College, Portland; Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati, OH; Smith College Museum of Art, Northampton, MA; Richard E. Peeler Art Center, DePauw University, Greencastle, IN; University Art Museum, California State University Long Beach, CA; Museum of Arts and Design, New York; Toward a Sustainable Art, Smart Museum of Art, Chicago, IL
  • 2007 Mapping the Self, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL Just Space(s), Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions, Los Angeles, CA Domestic Struggle Part Two, Roots and Culture, Chicago, IL Look Out! A Month of Mess Hall, Wysing Art Centre, Cambridge, England 2006 Negotiated Localities, Betty Rhymer Gallery, Chicago, IL Etorno: Grass Grows Greener on the Other Side, Polvo, Chicago, IL
  • 2004 PR.Project:Puerto Rico 04 [Tribute to the Messenger], Rincon, Puerto Rico 76 Cents, C33 Columbia College Gallery, Chicago, IL 2003 I’ve got Answer/I’ve got an Anthem: The International Arts Group Exhibition Portland, OR United Net-Works Mobile Archive Tour, Stockholm, Sweden Version Festival, Open End Gallery, Chicago, IL Three Acres on the Lake: DuSable Park Proposal Project, Gallery 312, Chicago 2002 Public Planning, Experimental Station, Chicago, IL Dispensing with Formalities, Acme Gallery, Columbus, OH

DS: 101 Introduction To Textiles
DS:226 Off Loom Constructions
DS:229 Weaving 1
DS:429 Weaving 2
DS: 501 Wearable Technology