Piecing it Together
I had my first solo exhibition at the Rosalie ‘Roz’ Steiner Art Gallery in November 2022. This show brought together several bodies of work that I created over the course of twelve years. Appliqué portraits, books, costumes, embroideries, cast-paper sculptures, prints, and a quilt adorned the walls and pedestals of the gallery.
This was the first time some of the artwork had ever been exhibited, and it was an incredible experience to visually express how one project had led to another. Although each body of work stands on its own, a common thread connects them all. Evident throughout the gallery is my love of vibrant colors and funky patterns, and my continued interest in storytelling.
Piecing it Together is an exhibition that brings together several bodies of work that I made over the course of twelve years. It is a visual representation of my journey working with fibers—one that I feel has only just begun. My interest in textiles started in 2010 when I pieced together my first quilt top. I really had no idea what on earth I was doing, but I was so entranced by the vibrant colors and funky patterns of each piece of fabric, that I threw caution to the wind and dove right in. I absolutely loved every part of working with textiles and found creative freedom while embarking on this new artistic path.
My excitement grew quickly and I was already dreaming of new fiber projects. So my quilt top was set aside to be finished later. I began experimenting with appliqué techniques, focusing on portraiture and a series of fabric and thread illustrations for a book. For eight years I toiled away in my studio, quilting and collaging fabric, and meticulously hand-stitching details into each piece. I learned to use colors, patterns, and textures to reflect the personality or mood of the subject matter, and tried out different stitching techniques and acrylic paint to accentuate details.
Looking to push myself creatively and step outside of my comfort zone, I pursued my MFA at the University of Missouri-Columbia. This experience opened up a whole new realm of fiber art, and I spent three years delving into many different processes while embracing an interdisciplinary approach to making art. In addition to papermaking, bookmaking, and dyeing fabric; I began to use fibers as a sculptural medium. I created costumes, performances, and immersive installations with the intention of using materials to tell a story.
The artwork in Piecing it Together showcases the trajectory of my fiber art journey, from the very first quilt to the more recent sculptural installation. It shows the development of different styles and problem-solving within the creative process, yet also points to similarities throughout the various bodies of work. Vibrant colors, funky patterns, and a sense of whimsy act as a common thread, tying all of the pieces together. And as a wonderful little bookend to the past twelve years of artmaking, this exhibition inspired me to finally finish that very first quilt.