Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Shortly after moving into my [former] studio at Prentiss & Burlington Streets in Iowa City, I started tuning into the pirate radio station broadcasting from the space across the hall. It featured everything from raw urban rap, to stories read by a gentle-voiced young woman. Without enough DJ’s for 24/7 programming, the station often resorted to long stretches of prerecorded sets and large doses of dead air.
I rarely saw any of the other artists, musicians (including Iris Dement - how did I miss her?), or DJ’s that worked in the building. When I did, we exchanged little more than a terse, under-the-breath “hull-oh.” Eventually, I passed a young woman in the hall who offered me a flier advertising her radio show. It revealed she was the storytelling DJ I’d heard. She was authentically funky, far beyond the usual Iowa City fare, softened by her intoxicating smile.
The daily walk from my parking spot to the studio led me under a concrete railroad bridge-cum-unsanctioned gallery of local guerilla art. Much of it was posted with stencils and spray paint, some with wheat paste. There was one particularly engaging image of an upright man, limbs akimbo, titled: “Le Somnambule,” the sleepwalker. I began to notice similar images in increasingly out of the way places (alleys, dumpsters, transformers, etc) throughout Iowa City. I imagined the work was likely conceived by one person and executed under the cover of darkness. The stencils were mostly single images with one-word French descriptors, a kind of visually sophisticated vocabulary flashcard.
When my beloved sleepwalker was suddenly obliterated overnight, by little more than the cappuccino-colored paint that already covered the concrete underpass, I was crushed. I realized the urgency of an earnest search for the source of this ephemeral work.
I inquired around town among friends I suspected might know and be willing to reveal the identity (under promise of strict confidentiality) of this elusive artist. After she was revealed to me, I invited her to meet me at my studio, only to discover that she was the same young storytelling DJ I’d previously met in the hall. I was instantly enamored. She told me more about the stencil work including her public service goal of teaching Iowa City French one word at a time, and how in return, she was sentenced with public service after being arrested for criminal mischief for posting her stencils publicly.
Eventually, our acquaintance translated into an internationally distributed line of fabric for her wide ranging and truly original artistic expressions. I am honored to have supported her in this way. She generously gave me permission to incorporate her publicly posted stencils into a future quilt project, which I hope to do, once I learn to screen print.
This summer began a trend of people using the Home Ec Workshop, co-owned by two friends of mine, as a means to contact me. One of these contacts turned into an important quilt sale. Another, netted a mysterious package that arrived only after being returned to the sender, who initially mailed the package to my first address in Iowa (eight addresses and ten years ago). I was thrilled to open it and find an original stencil made just for me. It was cut out of a peanut butter Captain Crunch cereal box. It features a tuxedo-wearing man sewing a quilt which gracefully cascades off a sewing machine to his feet where the piece is titled “Le Couturier.” The artist included a note written on stationary that she hand-painted, now housed in a special pocket on the back of the framed stencil.
Thank you MG. You are so dear to me!
Tuesday, August 9, 2011
Sunday, August 7, 2011
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
Remembering a dear teacher and mentor a year after his passing. Joe's work is on par with the greatest landscape photographers that come to mind. I was thrilled to be able to view an online exhibition of some of his work at the Robert Mann Gallery website. Along with David Hockney, I would site Joe Deal as one of my biggest artistic influences. Deal became dean of the Washington University School of Fine Arts my junior year. He was the crowning jewel and saving grace of my Wash U experience. He once described a large-print photographic portrait series I did my senior year (1989/90) as being like "maps of faces." Being that Deal was one of the pioneers in the New Topographic movement, I guess such an assessment comes as no surprise, but high praise, indeed.
Saturday, July 16, 2011
Friday, July 15, 2011
Why you should know him: Erick Wolfmeyer, 44, is a professional quilter living in Iowa City. The Quincy, Ill., native moved to Iowa City to expand his quilting practice after living out West and has been here ever since. Wolfmeyer has made more than 70 quilts in his career, each of which takes about six months to create, he said. Wolfmeyer will be hosting a quilt design class at Home Ec. Workshop at noon July 23 and 24.
I got started in quilting when: I was living in California and my then-boyfriend and I went on vacation to see friends in Sisters, Ore. They have a huge outdoor quilt show there. We were there a week after it happened, but it was still in the atmosphere. Our friends just had a baby and I always liked quilts, so I bought my first pattern and (made a baby quilt). After I finished that, I just went crazy.
I sell my quilts: In Kalona at the annual Quilt Show & Sale and at a store in south Amana. But I'm happy to say that I'm doing more direct selling to people.
When I was little, I wanted to be _______ when I grew up: I initially wanted to be an architect. I always say I am a frustrated architect; I have this urge to put things together.
My favorite quilt I've ever made is: That's like asking if I have a favorite child.
I'm inspired by: Almost everything. I'll take drives and look at old buildings and the rust patterns. Architecture, literature, music, current events lately. I feel like a vessel.
Something I never want to do again is: Touch a snake. There's no need to, but I was forced to as a kid (and hated it).
Something I've always wanted to do is: Go to Europe.
If I weren't quilting, I'd be: Having a fabulous social life. Quilting is a very solitary thing.
Words I live by: You don't have to suffer to make art, but making art is worth suffering for.
Wednesday, July 6, 2011
Thursday, June 23, 2011
Sunday, June 19, 2011
This piece began when I bought a quilt book at a used book store here in Iowa City. So focused on the images, I didn't pay much attention to the written content. I later realized it was the catalog for the premiere exhibit at the International Quilt Study Center in Lincoln, Nebraska. (I visited the IQSC for the first time summer 2010). Of all the quilts featured, I was particularly drawn to (see above) "Sea of Japan in Winter," 1983, by Shizuko Kuroha (this link will take you to IQSC database search page for more detailed info).
I planned to make my own iteration with some of the Japanese daiwabo fabrics in my collection, but wasn't quite sure of the exact angle to cut the pieces for the block construction. Later, a co-worker gave me a book that chronicled quilt blocks from the 1930's. There I stumbled upon the block design; it was called Arabic Lattice. The name seemed particularly timely with events in the Middle East this spring, 2011. More quilt sychronicity.
Saturday, June 11, 2011
Join me 12-4pm on Saturday July 23 & Sunday July 24 for a quilt design class at Home Ec Workshop. Together we'll explore working from a basic block idea, then making that block your own either through color choices and/or design modifications. There are no expectations of finished projects, rather this class is meant to provide a healthy start to a project of your own design, increasing comfort levels with breaking away from patterns and making meaningful color choices. Selection from Home Ec's marvelous array of fabric is encouraged, but also ok to bring a variety of small cuts of fabric from your home stash as well. This is about play and exploration to see where it leads you...
This class was really enjoyable - thanks to my great students - Amber, Gerri, Kirsten and Nancy! They all produced totally original ideas based on an inspiration. It was so exciting to see how each student's project was a reflection of her own individuailty.
Kirsten's Creations: Quilt Inspiration: "I've been wanting to post about an inspiring experience I had a couple weekends ago. I took a class at Home Ec Workshop with Erik Wolfmeye..."
Monday, June 6, 2011
First Unity Church of St. Louis, 4753 Butler Hill Road, St. Louis, Missouri
John O'Donohue is one of my new favorite writers. Sadly, he is no longer with us, but his beautiful, thought-provoking work lives on. Here is a piece from his book Beauty I find very meaningful, particularly in my relationship with quilting.
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
Thanks to all who attended! Another full house! Special surprise guest - my cousin Randy Wolfmeyer (Platteville, Wisconsin). Was also thrilled to meet Patti Zwick, celebrated Iowa City quilter and fellow former Quincy, Illinois resident. Also met the parents of one of my favorite (formerly local) artists, Meera Gessner. I was very honored when another audience member showed me the quilt her late daughter made, stitched together and quilted with dental floss. An all-around wonderful night - only wish I'd had more time to visit personally with everyone.
Tuesday, May 3, 2011
I was honored for the Hannibal, Missouri Piecemakers Quilt Guild to be my first official launch site for "The Road Home". About 70 members were in attendance, including extra special guests: Hallye Bone (St. Louis, MO), Susan Scholz (Quincy, IL), and her mother/my aunt Alice Lee Solter (LaGrange, MO).
Tuesday, March 1, 2011
Saturday, January 1, 2011
2010-2011 | 2008-2009 | 2006-2007
2004-2005 | 2002-2003 | 1999-2001
90 x 90
Forget Me Not
88 x 88
87 x 87
90 x 90
Lincoln Log Cabin
93 x 93