I have been invited to be the guest speaker for this year's Festival of Quilts, a fundraising event for Cunningham Children's Home in Urbana, IL. I will be presenting my 25 min video "A Piece of Me" followed by a question/answer period during which I will show three of my quilts. Talks will be at 10:30A and 2:30P in the Administration Lounge.
Cunningham Children's Home, 1301 North Cunningham Avenue, Urbana, IL
Cunningham Children’s Home’s Festival of Quilts joins the Boneyard Arts Festival this spring as one of more than 90 galleries showcasing the arts in Central Illinois. This year Cunningham is excited to present a collection of show quilts that creatively blur the lines between conventional quilt making and fine art.
I have the pleasure of working with curator Britney Hansen on my first solo show. I'm planning to title the exhibit "Rerum Novarum" (meaning: of new things). I am hoping to include up to 12 quilts of mine, including the debut of at least two pieces, "Face of a Stranger" (6'x8' self-portrait made of over 7,000 1" pieces) and "Cross-Quarter Embrace" (8'x24' colossal-scale quilt).
I was recently thumbing through a book about weaving when I came across a design that really excited me as a potential quilt idea. I wouldn't make the quilt in black and red, but this is just a simple way of remembering that basic concept so that I can later have the fun of choosing colors. One thing I love about this design is that it holds together no matter how it is oriented.
July 11, 2015
I'm advancing the inspiration of this found design (weaving pattern) toward one of my latest creative goals: colossal quilts. I want to make large-scale (~8' x 25') work inspired by my fascination with the patina of industrial objects (boxcars that pass by my window each day, and the fishing boats recently encountered in Bayfield, WI)
July 20, 2015
Cross Quarter Embrace as imagined completed and on exhibit (projected size 8.5x24 feet):
It's early December 2015 and Iowa City's had its first snowfall. I've embarked on creating this colossal quilt, Cross Quarter Embrace, but have struggled to get it off the ground. My typical use of a variety of tones and fabrics of similar color to create one overall color isn't working for a piece of this scale. So, I am exploring new options. As I start down this path, I am reminded of how inspiration comes from so many places - including Keith Haring's iconic Act Up imagery engaged to educate the public about the HIV/AIDS crisis during the mid-80's. The AIDS crisis was concurrent with my own coming out process and permanently shaped me spiritually, sexually and artistically. It's funny how experiences, some barely even memories, linger and seep into present-day experience and into that which I feel so deeply compelled to express. It is through the expression and creation of quilt objects that I come to a deeper understanding of why I need to do so - through the recall of all that has shaped me and brought me to this present moment.
My progress is slower than I would've liked or projected, but I am happy with the results so far. Life has a way of intruding on studio time. I'm having some structural problems with the piece being 100% square, but I am hoping that it will "quilt out" in the hand-quilting process. I will quickly run out of room in my small studio/home to view the quilt in total as I make it. This will present a new creative challenge for me which I'm determined to find a way around, as it is critical to step back and view the piece in total to make sure it's working as a whole. I plan to have the top completed by the end of April 2016 at the latest.
Drawn from the recent book, Art Quilts of the Midwest, by Linzee Kull McCray, the quilts selected for this exhibition hint at the ways in which the Midwest’s geography, weather, people, and culture influence the work of quilt artists from the region. The exhibition will be presented in two rotations between January 5 and May 8, 2016. Venus Transit will be exhibited in the first rotation (January 5-March 5, 2016).
Thanks to the generous loan of collectors Stephen Kotsines and John Hecht, the IQSC will be exhibiting Venus Transit, one of two quilts of mine featured in Art Quilts of the Midwest.
Iowa City Public Library
Meeting Room A (1st floor)
123 S. Linn Street, Iowa City, IA
Art Quilts of the Midwest author Linzee Kull McCray, foreword contributor and fiber artist Astrid Bennett and I will each participate in this Prairie Lights bookstore-sponsored event. Linzee will talk about the genesis of the book, as well as featured artists' motivations and inspirations.
The evening will conclude with a large-screen full screening of my video "A Piece of Me."
with longtime friend, Suzanne Koury
introductions by Maeve Clark, ICPL librarian
Linzee Kull McCray presents
This is my latest, and most ambitious project to-date. It is a large-scale (6' x 8') self portrait quilt made of 1" squares. When finished, the quilt will contain more than 7,000 pieces - all scraps from my fabric collection. This is my progress as of February 27, 2015.
July 11, 2015:
Back at work in the studio after a 4 month hiatus.
Added a few neutrals to my palette I found on a recent trip to Lake Superior.
(Orchard's Edge Quilt Shop, Bayfield, WI and Hannah Johnson Fabrics, Duluth, MN)
Getting rid of the former 8'x8' design board is a sacrifice, but have gained so much more space and sanity as a result of karate chopping it into oblivion.
July 12, 2015:
July 19, 2015:
The top is finished in late September 2015 and on its way to my Amish hand-quilter. I expect it back sometime in the spring of 2016. This piece has been an incredible journey for me, taking over a year to complete (the top) - and one of the most significant events of my adult life occurred during its creation - the return of my mother after a 22 year absence.