I come from a family of entrepreneuers and knew from an early age that I wanted to follow the same career path. I opened LaVerne Kemps Studios after graduating from California University of Pennsylvania in 1980, where I studied both Education and Art. While at California University I studied Fiber Arts and instantly knew I’d found my calling- taking a weaving course ended up being a life changing decision.
Over the years my work has evolved into an art form rather than just traditional weaving. I’ve experimented with different weaving techniques, felting, shibori dying, beadwork and quilting. Using these various techniques, I’ve developed produict lines that empasize one-of-a-kind statement pieces, wearable art and accessories that are colorful and textural.
LaVerne’s award winning textiles have been a fixture of Pittsburgh’s fiber art community for the past 4 decades. She is known for her bold use of color, texture and patterns in her textiles and jeweled accessories. Her works also include wall sculptures and home decor which has been featured extensively across the United States in various art exhibits. In her larger sculptural pieces, she is know for her large tree themed works which have been featured in the African American Art Exhibition at Actors Theater in Louisville Kentucky , The Carroll Harris SImms National Black Art Exhibition in Dallas Texas and The National African American Museum in Wilberforce Ohio LaVerne’s central focus has been on wearable art and accessories including, shawls, jackets, ponchos, and hats. She also incorporates dying, felting and spinning into her work. Over the years her work has evolved into an art form beyond traditional weaving techniques. She has explored and incorporated on and off loom weaving, batik, hand made felt, traditional and Japanese Shibori dying, beading, photo transfer and quilting.
LaVerne has been a committed teaching artist for children and adults for over 25 years through the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts where she provides fiber art residencies.
LaVerne is a member of Women of Visions, Inc , Fiberarts Guild of Pittsburgh and the Craftsmens Guild of Pittsburgh. Most recently LaVerne has joined the MonMade team of artist and designers and is currently a part of the new focus of “Origins,” the African American team of artists supported through Monmade who recently had an exhibit at Concept Art Gallery.