Joe Cunningham has been making quilts, writing about quilts, talking about quilts, and teaching quiltmaking since 1979. He has been widely published and has had his quilts shown and acquired by major museums. Building from an understanding of traditional quilts, Cunningham has found a way to express his ideas in original quilt terms. He has been featured on the PBS program Craft in America, and continues to travel widely to teach and lecture.
San Francisco, CA
I am obsessed with light and color, and love the rich contrasts resulting from the juxtaposition of cottons, silks, velvets, brocade, and sheers. I love traditional quilts, but want my quilts to say something about their time and place in history and come directly from my life. As a teacher and artist, my aim is to fill my students with confidence and the excitement I feel about creating art in fabric and fiber. I aim to guide them in the direction of their interest in a non-threatening, supportive environment so that they create more than they thought possible.
Durban, South Africa
Classes: 9. Looking In and Looking Out1. Line Dance
Jeannette DeNicolis Meyer
Jeannette DeNicolis Meyer is a textile artist whose work has shown internationally in solo and juried exhibits and is represented in numerous public and corporate collections. A resident of Portland, Oregon, she taught design and quilt construction for 10 years in the Studio School of the Oregon College of Art and Craft, was awarded a residency at the Christchurch Arts Centre in New Zealand, and now leads workshops at international art and quilt conferences. She has written for fiber publications in the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand, and is the co-editor of Speaking in Cloth: 6 Quilters, 6 Voices.
Classes: 2. Finding the Flow: Working Toward a Series
Valerie is an architect and college professor educated at Yale University and Washington University in St. Louis. She became very interested in designing and making quilts in 1998 as an outgrowth of her architectural background. It began as part of an investigation in the design classes that she teaches at Florida A&M University’s School of Architecture. Students were asked to investigate parallels between architecture and quilting. They studied issues related to composition, ordering systems, color, and pattern. As a result, she felt compelled to gain actual experience with this medium. To her surprise, she found the design and making of quilts as engaging as the design and study of architecture.
Classes: 3. Studio: Create at Your Own Pace
Kerr Grabowski is a fiber artist known for her elegantly whimsical fabrics, art wear and mixed media work. A studio artist since 1976, Kerr moves seamlessly between "art and craft" mediums, incorporating her dyed and printed textiles into both functional wearables and nonfunctional pieces. In 2011, after a 22-year hiatus in rural New Jersey, Kerr returned to her Mississippi roots and influences. Kerr teaches workshops on surface design and exhibits internationally. She is a 2013 Mississippi Council on the Arts Fellowship Recipient and a New Jersey Arts Fellowship Recipient. Kerr is widely published, including Textiles Now, Ornament, Fiber Arts, Surface Design Journal, Fiber Arts Design Book Six, Silk Painting for Fashion and Fine Art, and an instructional DVD, Adventures in Surface Design. In her search for a painterly way to print fabric, Kerr created Deconstructed Screen Printing, and produced the DVD Deconstructed Screen Printing about her technique.
Bay St. Louis, MS
Classes: 4. Matisse as Muse
Paula Kovarik is based in midtown Memphis. A degree in graphic design and 30 years of work as the head of her own firm informs her approach to art. She was a featured artist at the Grand Rapids Museum of Art during ArtPrize 2015 and was profiled in American Craft magazine in June 2015 and Art Quilting Studio magazine in 2016. Her art has been selected and recognized in Quilt National, Quilts=Art=Quilts, Delta Arts Exhibition, and ArtQuilt Elements.
Classes: 12. Follow the Thread: A New Approach to Free-motion Quilting
Denise creates art quilt portraits of Celtic megalithic stones and monoliths (think Stonehenge) and more recent but still centuries old monastic ruins. Her quilts are known for their surprising emotionality and, technically, for her hand-painted fabric, surprising and assertive textures, shadowing, perspective-based movement, craftsmanship, and technique precision. Denise has been a featured exhibiting artist and instructor at national exhibitions and related venues in the United States, France, Italy, China, South Korea, Luxembourg, Germany, The Netherlands, and Spain. She is a multiple Quilt National award winner – both People’s Choice and the McCarthy Award for Overall Craftsmanship – and has been an invited landscape and contemporary art quilting instructor at Georgia O’Keefe’s Ghost Ranch.
Leisa Rich is an experimental artist who creates visceral, tactile, and interactive art works and installations that tap the senses. She uses fiber art-based techniques, 3D printing, experimental methods on common materials, and works unusual materials in new directions. Rich holds MFA & BFA degrees in Fiber and a BEd in Art. She exhibits internationally, and her work is included in private and public collections, including Delta Inc., Emory Healthcare, Dallas Museum of Art, University of Texas-Pan American, University of North Texas, and the Kamm Foundation. Her work has been featured in several books, magazines, blogs, and on PBS. Rich has 45 years’ experience teaching at arts centers in the United States and Canada. She has written for Fiber Art Now, Felt, Arts ATL, Burnaway, blogs, and more, and published her first children’s book, Animal Alphabet Traveling Twisters, in 2015. Rich sells her work in Signature Gallery, Atlanta; online at www.saatchiart.com/leisar, and on her website.
Classes: 5. Unexpected Inspiration, Extraordinary Surfaces
Jane began quilting in 1980. Since then, her graphic quilts have been shown in many national and international exhibits. Her quilt Willow was named as one of the 100 Best American Quilts of the 20th Century. Jane is also the author of The Quilted Garden, Patchwork Sassaman Style, and Color My Garden. Jane’s love for historic decorative arts can be seen in all facets of her work, but it is especially evident in the exuberant fabric she is currently designing for FreeSpirit. Most of her appliquéd art quilts are symbolic statements about the cycles and spiritual forces of life. By using colorful fabrics cut into dramatic shapes, she tries to express the energy and mystery of our amazing universe, from the miraculous beauty of a single blossom to the complicated powers of the soul. Her intent is to remind us that we are part of a bigger cosmic picture.
Classes: 6. Shape Shifting
Wonju Seo is a geometric abstract textile artist and visual artist based in New York and New Jersey. Seo was born and raised in Seoul, South Korea, where she received her BFA in Fine Arts Painting from Hong-Ik University. After graduation, she worked for over four years as a commercial textile designer. In 1998, she moved to the United States to continue her career as an artist. Her work is inspired and rooted by Korean traditional patchwork wrapping cloth called Pojagi and has been nationally and internationally exhibiting in galleries and museums. Seo is an award-winning artist and has taught workshops through the United States and Korea since 2014. Seo’s works are in the permanent collections of the Newark Museum and the Charles B. Wang Center of Stony Brook University, NY.
Englewood Cliffs, NJ
An artist and educator for 25 years, Carol’s curiosity about the range of color derived from yellow, red, and blue dyes led to her creation of her Color Mixing system for dyers. Carol encourages the freedom of mixing color by eye with results-based samples to guide the student. A former high school teacher, Carol was nominated for Teacher of the Year in 2013 and again in 2015 by the International Association of Creative Arts Professionals. Carol is co-author of Playful Fabric Printing with Melanie Testa. She has shown her quilts in juried venues across the country, winning awards including Best of Show at the International Quilt Festival in Houston, Texas.