My name is Andrea Alonge and I’m a fiber artist based in Seattle, Washington. My medium is quilt making and surface embellishment, and I’m currently working on a series of pieces inspired by the natural environment around me, through shapes, patterns, and color. I approach my works in an intuitive way- thinking about a particular moment, searching out materials that speak to architectural form, natural environments or lived experiences from my own history. My past work was figural, delving into relationships with technology and cell phone communication, but currently I find myself drawn to abstraction and line as a way to express moments in time and space. Quilters are abstract artists, sometimes separated from the “fine art” world by class, education, exposure, access, and yet even beginner quilters draw on geometry, 2D design, and color theory to create their works. I love it when I see a quilt and think it is a painting, only to find out that I can wrap it around my body and be cradled by art.
There are a ton of awesome artists who make these kinds of soft paintings, but if you live in New York, there are few you can see next week! The annual Piecework Collective show for 2018 will run from Thursday, September 20th to Sunday, September 23rd, and features some excellent abstract modern quilters. Give their Instagram some love, it’s @pieceworkcollective and they’ve got all the details up as well! You can also visit their website, www.pieceworkcollective.com
First up- aceandjig, whose amazing quilted and woven textiles I can spot from a mile away. Their luscious colors and visual textures are easy to pick out from a crowd, and their mission is even more remarkable. They work with weavers in India one-on-one to produce the textiles for their clothing collections, and have dedicated their company to a No-Waste mission. They recently started a community quilt project, where they gave their scraps to community members to who each made a square using their yarn-dyed textiles.
You can check out their work at @aceandjig on Instagram, and also on their website, ace&jig.com.
Next, Lorena Maranon, a Cuban artist whose improvisational quilts weave together color, shape, and pattern to create unique quilts that are beautiful as well as functional. Her work vibrates with energy, and her colors play a big role in that energy. I also love these small details of her handwork. One of my favorite parts of quilting is that it is a soft process, but also a process where our personal mark and the perfect mark of our machines is intertwined.
Check out her work at @maranoni for more sneak peeks and beautiful details of her quilts, including the one she’s sending off to the show!
Maura Ambrose is another artist I already was following @folkfibers but whose name I was excited to see pop up on the show list. Her abstract quilts are hypnotic and engaging, and she dyes all of her own fabrics! This quilt in particular is one of my favorites. Her use of color and shape combine to create a soft geometry that is engaging and comforting at the same time.
Another artist whose work you’ll be able to see at the Piecework Collective show is Lindsey Degen. I became familiar with Degen through her fashion practice Instagram, @degen.us a few years ago, where you can see her amazing colorful and funky knitted clothing collection.
Her quilts echo her knits but in a more subtle (although still terrifically bright) way. Check out a couple of my favorites- I can’t decide which one I like better, but I definitely know I admire her careful quilt-top planning and piecing.
I can also see her work easily sitting next to Ruby Hoppen’s work. Hoppen’s bright quilts bring digital glitch qualities to a tactile medium, using prints and geometry to create visual distortion reminiscent of technology gone wrong.
Some of the artists featured by Piecework Collective take a more minimalistic approach to their work, such as Season Evans, a fellow Seattle-ite whose careful arrangements suggest movement and leave room for contemplation.
Also bringing a subtlety through shape, the artist Abigail Booth, whose quilts are mathematical in their arrangement, suggesting columns, rows, checkboxes, or graphs.
Lindsay Stead’s work has a quality that suggests movement, and her quilts remind me of unfinished paths or mazes. Using just a couple of colors, she intertwines them in a reinterpretation of traditional quilt patterns, reminding me of log cabin quilts or flying geese.
Emily Fischer’s work, however, uses quilting (both hand and machine quilting processes) to create haptic maps for the visually impaired, while also making beautiful landscapes for seeing eyes to explore. This one, a map of the constellations in the sky, uses a singular piece of gorgeous dyed fabric, quilted with dots and lines to suggest the Earth below and sky above, and the curve of the atmosphere.
The images I’ve included here are all images of the artists’ former work, and may not be the specific quilts included in the show, but several of the artists I’ve mentioned are working on new quilts just for this opening, which means brand spanking new work to discover!
Though I don’t quite have room to talk about all of the artists included in this show, here’s a list of the participants, and I recommend checking out www.pieceworkcollective.com for more images of the artists’ practices and more information about the show!
You can see all of these awesome quilt artists at 40 Ludlow St, New York, NY. The gallery opening will be Thursday, September 20th, from 6-10pm, and will be open Fri. September 21- Sun. Sept 23 from 11am- 6pm. See you all next month!
Andrea Alonge is a Seattle-based artist who works with fabric. She received her MFA in Fiber from Cranbrook Academy of Art in 2015, and her BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2013. Her current work explores movement through space and time using textiles as a drawing tool, creating labor-intensive meditative works that recall natural wonders, landscape, and psychedelic visions. Find out more about her practice via her website www.andreaalonge.com and her Instagram @andreaalonge