Alison Heryer, Art + Design faculty, selected for new named professorship in textile arts and costume design

Costume Design by Alison Heryer for "Our Town"
Alison Heryer

Alison Heryer, Associate Professor in the School of Art + Design, has been selected as the Sue Horn-Caskey and Charles F. Caskey Professor in Textile Arts and Costume Design. 

A gift from College of the Arts Dean’s Council member Sue Horn-Caskey and her husband Charles F. Caskey has established this professorship. Sue’s personal interest in needlework, textiles and costume arts, and in the growth and potential of the School of Art + Design’s Textile Arts program, have led to this impactful investment in the future of the school. 

PSU’s Textile Arts program was launched in 2019 as an elective track for students pursuing a BFA in Art Practice after the Oregon College of Art and Craft made a significant donation of numerous looms and other weaving equipment to the university upon its closure. Led by Heryer, the Textile Arts program offers immersive instruction in the techniques of weaving, surface design and sewn construction in the realms of fashion, costume design and contemporary art. Students in the program pursue a critical investigation of clothing and textiles in the context of craft, culture, global history, community and sustainability. The goals for the program include offering focused weekend workshops around surface design and digital weaving techniques with visiting artists, launching a certificate program in conjunction with the School of Business and creating a pre-college program for high school students interested in apparel and textile design. Ultimately, Textile Arts and the School of Art + Design want their facilities and programmatic offerings to be a resource for artists and technicians across cultures, viewpoints, and generations to exchange ideas, knowledge, experiences and practices--a goal that is embraced by both Heryer and Horn-Caskey.

“It is such an honor to receive the Sue Horn-Caskey and Charles F. Caskey Professorship in Textile Arts and Costume Design,” said Heryer. “Sue and I share a passion for both the craft and social significance of textiles in our region.” 

“This generous gift will ensure that critical conversations around textiles and dress continue in Portland for years to come,” continued Heryer. “I look forward to using this investment to continue building sustainable and inclusive pedagogy around fiber processes for contemporary art, performance and design.” 

Heryer’s work is rooted in textile arts, pushing the boundaries of costume design, scenic design, theatrical direction, installations and film. Her substantial contributions to the world of costume design include productions at Steppenwolf Theatre Company, 59E59 Theaters, La MaMa, The New Victory Theater, Portland Center Stage, Portland Opera, Kansas City Repertory Theatre, Indiana Repertory Theatre, Artists Repertory Theatre, ZACH Theatre, The Hypocrites and Redmoon. Her work has been featured in exhibitions at the Nelson Atkins Museum of Art, World Stage Design, and The Prague Quadrennial of Performance Design and Space. Awards include a Drammy Award, the Austin Critics Table Award for Costume Design, and the ArtsKC Inspiration Grant.  

Heryer holds a BFA in Studio Art/History from Washington University in St. Louis, and an MFA in Theatrical Design from University of Texas at Austin. She joined the faculty at Portland State University in 2013 as assistant professor of costume design, after teaching at Kansas City Art Institute, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, University of Texas at Austin and other institutions.

“The Textile Arts program, under Alison Heryer’s leadership, is growing and flourishing,” said Dr. Leroy Bynum, Jr., Dean of the College of the Arts. “We are excited about our ability to offer this area of study for our students, and for the future of the program. Sue Horn-Caskey and Charles Caskey’s support of Textile Arts through this professorship is an investment both in that future, and in an innovative and illustrious faculty member.”

To make or discuss an impactful gift supporting PSU art faculty, students or programs, contact:

Jaymee Jacoby, Assistant Vice President for Development
503-890-4962 |
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