Press Release 8/17/16
(Kent, Connecticut) – Kent fiber artist, Karen Eckmeier will be exhibiting her work in an exhibit titled, Happy Villages and Accidental Landscapes, at the Kent Memorial Library beginning September 1 until October 31, 2016.
Eckmeier, also known as The Quilted Lizard, is an award-winning art quilter, international teacher, author, and pattern designer. This exhibit is a retrospective of her smaller Happy Villages(TM) and Accidental Landscapes(TM) pieces dating back to 2002. These pieces showcase the two different fabric techniques Karen has developed: “layered topstitching” for landscapes/abstract art/wearables and fabric collage to “build” villages. Her books of the same name describe her playful approaches to creating with fabric.
With a background in drawing, pen & ink, wood sculpture, photography and watercolor, but no sewing experience Karen taught herself how to sew in order to make her first quilt. That was 30 years ago and she’s been hooked on fabric ever since. Her hobby became a business in 2002, when she started designing patterns, writing books, presenting lectures and teaching workshops on the new techniques that she had developed. She teaches nationally and internationally for quilt guilds and quilt symposiums, with her journeys taking her as far away as New Zealand on two occasions.
Her work has been juried into international shows since 1996 and winning top awards ever since. Some highlights include the Katonah Museum of Art (NY), Schweinfurth Memorial Art Center (NY), Brigham City Museum of Art & History (UT), International Quilt Festivals (TX), Tactile Architecture Traveling exhibits, Pacific International Quilt Festival (CA) and the American Quilter’s Society National Shows (KY).
Nature often inspires her work, and she shows the viewer what she feels in lines and colors. Her art is happy and upbeat, concentrating on the positive and whimsical side of life, as you can tell from the titles of her books and patterns: Happy Villages, Accidental Landscapes, Layered Waves, Wearable Waves, the Lucky Lizard series and the Circle of Friends series.
“Imagine paper collage, but with fabric. That’s how my Happy Villages are made. The fabric shapes are cut and lightly glued. It’s like being in Kindergarten again. Time to play! Tulle, a very fine netting is then placed over the entire piece and then the whole piece is quilted using a sewing machine. I love creating these villages and it appears that others enjoy the process too. I have received photos of villages made from my book Happy Villages, from Japan, Turkey, Scotland, New Zealand and Africa, just to name a few places!”
“How can a landscape be accidental? These little scenes are based on many strips of fabric that go together accidentally! I’ve already done the planning ahead of time and figured out the colors, values, lines, measurements and proportions, so the only thing left to do is ‘play!’ One edge of each strip is pressed toward the back with an iron and then layered, topstitched and quilted. There are literally hundreds of combinations for the strips to go together, so the end result is always a pleasant surprise. Theses little landscapes are fun to make and are one of my most popular workshops. The pieces in this exhibit are variations from my book Accidental Landscapes and/or samples from the pattern series of the same title.”
“Fabric is my medium of choice because I love the feel and texture of it. Nature often inspires my work and I try to show the viewer what I feel in lines and colors instead of reproducing what I see. My art is happy and upbeat, concentrating on the positive and whimsical side of life. I was so excited to make two new Happy Villages for this exhibit: ‘Meet Me at the Library’ and ‘New England Village.’ Both villages are inspired by the buildings and scenery of Kent, CT. Although you may recognize several buildings, most buildings are simply a figment of my imagination.” says Eickmeier about her art.
Please join us on Saturday afternoon, September 10 from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. for an exhibit opening. Beginning at 4:00 p.m. there will be a demonstration by the artist followed by a reception to meet the artist. It is free and open to the public. Please register. For more information, call 860-927-3761 or go to kentmemoriallibrary.
You may visit the artist’s website www.kareneckmeier.com for more information on Karen’s art quilts.