about

Artist Statement

To me, successful art works in any medium are a balance of complex forms. I juxtapose active forms with quiet, inward ones, motion with stillness. In music, the silence between notes is just as important as the notes themselves.

I’m happiest with a brush in my hand, and art quilts allow me a large-scale, exuberant canvas. Although visually abstract, my work constantly mines the daily life experiences of family, society and the natural world, with a hefty dose of music to guide the hand. Painterly quilts are abstract, expressionistic arrangements of color.

I tend to abstract natural imagery into lyrical compositions. As a violinist, painting and printing fabrics is a bit like improvising, or playing an instrument. There’s an immediacy, a give and take with the process. I may have an idea when I start but I always end up with something different. And I am always listening to music. For me, some composers really inspire color, like Shostakovich, whose music matches the way I like to paint. I think about the crazy and very troubling times in which he was working and realize how powerful the tool was that he used to express his world.

Trained as a printmaker, my interest in fiber art began in childhood, and art quilts are the natural synthesis. I have a family heritage in music, printmaking (Goltzius, Kalckreuth), as well as business. I received my BFA in printmaking from Indiana University and have exhibited and taught at various locations throughout the country. I’ve also been a cultural activist, serving as longtime manager and now marketing director & Co-owner of Iowa Artisans Gallery in Iowa City. I also currently serve as President of the Surface Design Association and on local nonprofit boards.

EXHIBITION PROPOSALS

I am developing exhibition proposals for smaller gallery venues. Both of these bodies of work are ongoing. Please contact me if you’d like more information. In addition to my usual work, I am now working in mixed media, constructed works using my own fabrics. Another “concept” example is this:

  • The Drawing Sessions starts with drawings of botanical and other daily items on paper, then the same with dye on fabric. From that, I develop small mixed media pieces and screen prints using those drawings, as well as finished large pieces incorporating elements from those drawing investigations. Any installation could involve finished pieces, informal drawings and a props showing drawings in process. Workshops on doing the same are a possibility.

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MEDIA COVERAGE & TEACHING
Quilting Arts Magazine profiled me as their featured artist in their February/March 2010 issue. Read about the 25th Anniversary of Iowa Artisans Gallery iThe Iowa Source Magazine.
In previous years, I was a Visiting Instructor in Fiber Arts, University of Iowa (1990-91) and also taught workshops in a number of places, including  Penland School of Crafts, Earlham College, Iowa Wesleyan College, Cedar Rapids Fiber Artists, Midwest Weavers Conference, Arts Iowa City, plus historical & hands-on workshops on Japanese textile techniques and projects suitable for classroom teachers through the Iowa/Japan Cultural Alliance. After “teaching” customers at Iowa Artisans Gallery for fifteen years, I am currently giving presentations to quilt guilds as well as teaching an assortment of fiber arts classes both locally and regionally. Having served on local nonprofit and business-related Boards, I  also give presentations on community art & economic development, running an art retail business, marketing & PR, and small business entrepreneurship.