Fisher/Wall Art Gallery

Fisher/Wall Art Gallery will re-open on July 20 (12PM - 4PM)

Studio Art Quilt Associates, Inc. (SAQA) presents Circles and Cycles

This Studio Art Quilt Associates regional show was created to share the creativity and skill of artists who express themselves in the unique medium of fiber with a wider audience. The theme Circles and Cycles was chosen because circles are an archetypical form and cycles are a universal way to view processes of the world.

 

Juror: Ellen M. Blalock

Ellen M. Blalock, originally from Philadelphia, has made Syracuse, New York her home for several decades. As a narrative artist she wants to share the stories of joy, strength, and perseverance of her ancestors, family and community. The main mediums she works in are quilting, drawing, photography and video. Blalock started quilting to symbolically replace the quilts that have been stolen from her family almost a century ago. This was the birth of The Quilt Project which illustrates her family’s oral history. Her latest quilts focus on trauma and mental illness in the lives of African American. Blalock has a BFA from Temple University and MFA from Syracuse University. She has exhibited her work in many one woman shows and group shows throughout the nation.

Photo of Ms. Blalock by Dennis Nett

Juror Statement

While Circle and Cycles exhibition interprets a basic theme, it opens many dialogues of quilts as art. These quilts move beyond the utilitarian construct as bed coverings to art objects, inform us in many different ways from the formal presentation of color, composition, form and execution to social and current issues, and scientific themes, such as, life cycles and metamorphosis. The power of this exhibition is its diversity of quilts which reflects a guild that welcomes, supports and nurtures individuality and excellence. 

Click on the image of the quilt or the "More Info" button to see a larger image. All captions are statements from the artists and have not been edited in any way. 

Common Threads (the Diversity Quilt)

Artist: ELIZABETH BAUMAN

This work celebrates diversity, and features a quote from poet Maya Angelou. There are 638 different fabrics in the quilt, ranging from cotton to silk, wool, and linen. The fabrics are from Africa, Indonesia, Australia, Japan, France, Scotland, and more. The circles are “perfectly imperfect” and individual, as are each of us. It was inspired by an antique quilt from 1830, and the quote reads:  “We all should know that diversity makes for a rich tapestry and that all the threads of the tapestry are equal in value no matter what their color.”

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Eggs to Empty Nest

Artist: SUSAN BREWER

I have been experimenting with using eclectic background fabric to make quilts that tell a story. This story follows the circle of life for cardinal mates through the seasons from their eggs in the spring to their empty winter nest. My favorite scene is the fledglings expressing their endless need for attention. Do you see fledgling number three?

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I Don’t Recall

Artist: M. C. BUNTE

Items in my memory have a way of coming and going and coming back again. The cycle can vary, depending on the triggers. I often feel like there’s a half-way space between conscious and unconscious where my memories perpetually float, coming to the surface and then sinking inward. Because I am such a visual person, I’m reasonably good at recognizing faces and places, but I have always struggled to remember names. Over time, the situation has not improved.  Names will come to mind later than when they would be most useful to know. I blame this on having limited space for names in my brain—and most of that is used up!   

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Summer’s End

Artist: M. C. BUNTE

As summer begins to ebb in the Midwest, hints of autumn color start to appear.  Gold, soft orange, and rusty reds replace the bright greens and yellows of June and July.  Plants that have bloomed during summer start to fade and their seeds silently slip from stems to earth. There they lie dormant until Spring arrives and the cycle of plant life begins again.

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Stepping Stones Through Life

Artist: PAMELA BURNS

The circles in my quilt represent stepping stones across a flowing river and how they symbolize the cycle of life.  The fluid movement of the water and stepping across the river on different sized stones symbolize the journey through life.  Sometimes you have to take small steps to keep from falling in the water, or before you make big life decisions.   Smaller circles in the open circle represent people that provide advice along life’s pathway to great achievements.  The large solid circles represent significant decisions made on your own.  Whether a river crossing or crossroads in life, each step you take impacts the cycle of life towards success.

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Dancing Through the Storm

Artist: CYNTHIA CATLIN

We must challenge ourselves to closely examine the layers and chapters of a woman's life. As she travels on her journey as a wife, mother, daughter, friend, and a provider she is forever grateful for the lessons she has learned and the wisdom she has acquired. She is able to juggle many things and achieve great things in her life, yet her spirit may be overburdened because so many people drain her energy away. Our challenge as women is learning how to live with the parts of ourselves we feel are imperfect and not be overwhelmed or terrorized by them. 

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In The Circle Of Friendship

Artist: CYNTHIA CATLIN

This free expression using lots of color was invigorating. The three figures represent my two dear friends and myself and our 30 year relationship. The circles symbolize the fundamentals of our friendship like honesty, trust and respect.

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Gates of Evening

Artist: SHANNON DION

The Gates of Evening was inspired by a prayer in Jewish evening services called Ma’ariv Aravim. The prayer thanks the Creator for bringing on the evening, for the arrangement of the stars and planets, for the cycle of the seasons and the rotation of the days. I have long had the desire to turn this prayer into a quilt and this exhibit seemed like the perfect push to make it happen. The prayer on the back of the quilt is in Hebrew and English and is taken from the 2007 Edition of the Mishkan T’filah Reform Siddur. It can be found on either page 6 or page 148 of the Siddur.

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Dandelion Metamorphosis

Artist: LISA DODSON

From sunny yellow flowers to fluffy white seeds, dandelions produce a speedy and abundant show of a life cycle.  The final stage rewards us with white balls of puff to blow wishes in to the wind.

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Gathered In 2

Artist: HELEN GEGLIO

Gathered In is a reflection on the countless generations of women who have made useful and lovely things by hand.  Thousands of stitches honor the cloth keepers, the ones who save and gather in the textile legacy of their lives and the lives of all the women who stitched before them.

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Speed Queen

Artist: HELEN GEGLIO

A dozen white  shirts,  found wadded in a basement box, forgotten for many years.  So many stolen hours, a cycle of toil, bound in this abandoned bundle of cotton.  I have dedicated this series to Dr. Ruth Benerito, the USDA chemist who discovered and developed permanent press.

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Winter Solstice

Artist: DIANE GLOS

The winter solstice is an annual event which has been celebrated in cultures around the world since Neolithic times.  Though it lasts only a moment, it symbolically represents death and rebirth when nature's powers are renewed.  The winter solstice marks the shortest days and longest nights in the northern hemisphere.

This piece represents that moment when the sun emerges through the darkness and the promise of earth is fulfilled.

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Every Drop Counts

Artist: SUSAN GOODMAN

Water is essential for life.  All living things must have water to survive. In some areas potable water is difficult to obtain.  This piece shows one solution being tried to help people in remote areas to obtain potable water.

This is a depiction of the Warka Water Tower.  These towers are built with local materials and workers.  Water is gleaned from the atmosphere in forms of rain, fog and dew. It uses gravity, condensation, and evaporation to harvest 10 - 20 gallons per day. No electricity is needed to obtain the water.  These towers provide life-giving water and a place for community members to gather under the canopy and can be maintained by local people. 10-20 gallons per day doesn’t seem like much, but it is lif

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Monarch Butterfly Cycle

Artist: SUSAN GRIFFIN

This quilt shows the cycle of the monarch butterfly from caterpillar to butterfly. The 3-dimensional pieces are loosely tied to the quilt, reflecting their temporary nature. The background is a meadow with the cycle of the milkweed plant, the only food source for the monarch butterfly. Monarchs are an endangered species, and they are very vulnerable to climate change in all their habitats. 

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Caught in Bureaucratic Red Tape

Artist: MAUDE WALLACE HAEGER

Caught in Bureaucratic Red Tape discusses the breaking up of the family circle. Immigrant parents were being deported back to Mexico but their children who were legally U. S. citizens had to stay in the U. S. One fabric with hands was used to represent family members reaching out. Artist-designed- and-created faces of despairing family members overwhelmed by the separation from and loss of their children are shown.

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Affirmation

Artist: TERRY HARTZELL

"Affirmation" is about encouraging oneself through positive self-talk as one navigates a world that contains both predictable structure and uncontrollable random events. The circles with symmetrical designs represent what is predictable, self-directed, or controllable. The red mesh and curving lines represent life’s randomness and lack of control. The repeated “yes” is how we deal with both. “Yes” suggests the thoughts: “I’ve got this. I can do this. I am good enough. I can cope. I can endure.”

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Hello Bufo

Artist: TERRY HARTZELL

Hello Bufo describes my relationship to the American toad. A green ring encircling the main drawing contains depictions of the stages of the toad’s life cycle. Stream of consciousness text on the red-orange background relates how I nurture and protect my backyard friend with references to the toad's life cycle and his name.

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Circles around the globe

Artist: BARBARA HUFF

I have a collection of African fabric bits left from other projects. One day, I started cutting them into strips of different lengths and widths for making a modern style strip quilt with lots of negative space. Then the call for ‘Circles and Cycles’ came out. I love geometric shapes and thought that making circles from rectangles would be interesting. The final product has much less background space than I had originally envisioned because once I started adding the circles I couldn’t stop. It seemed that the quilt kept asking for more, so I even added a few that were ‘whole cloth’ rather than pieced strips together. The finished quilt reminds me of my travels around the globe to all the places that I collected the fabric from.

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Golden Cheeked Warbler

Artist: LAUREL IZARD

This quilt is from a series I am working on that depicts endangered North American birds.  In this case the warbler stares into an orb of light symbolizing the threshold of viability verses extinction.  The vintage quilt top used in this piece symbolizes the comfort and warmth quilts represent as well as their ephemeral nature.  When this quilt was made 50 or so years ago, these birds were not on the edge of extinction and I have repurposed an abandoned quilt top to call attention to the fragility of their existence.  The circle of light, and the circular patterns of the quilting are a reference to the cycles of nature which have been disrupted though human intrusion.

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Equinox

Artist: MARTY KOTTER

Although humans see time as linear, the earth runs in cycles:   the annual cycle of seasons as the earth follows its orbit around the sun and the daily cycle of the earth spinning around its axis. The spinning action also causes the circulation patterns of the winds and ocean currents which in turn causes the daily weather. 

I began work on this quilt during the 2020 spring equinox.  I was inspired by a NASA photo (public domain) of the earth. This is also the time of the 2020 Corona Virus Pandemic when there are so many uncertainties for our health, and our economy. Meanwhile, medical researchers are trying to find the patterns and cycles of this disease to develop treatments and a vaccine.  I find comfort in the cycles of the earth.

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Not All Black and White

Artist: JOANNA MACK

I have long been captivated by a Rex Ray design with teardrop shapes, which inspired my interpretation in fabric. I livened up my black and white fabrics with cayenne, brick red, and chartreuse solids. The gray and black background fabrics have subtle patterning in homage to the textured backgrounds Ray used. 

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Bullseye Bubbles

Artist: JOANNA MACK

A few years ago SAQA Ohio had a bullseye quilt challenge based on the “Circular Abstractions” exhibit. I created this quilt in response from fabric scraps and silk organza.  The ethereal organza pieces float among the more substantive five and six sided figures, and remind me of bubbles. The quilting drifts around the floating shapes, and creates bubbles in the central area.

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Renew, Refresh

Artist: SONIA MARTIN

The circle...universal, basic, simplistic and yet so beautiful.  But consider a circle broken pouring out it’s beauty renewing, refreshing the human spirit.  Such is the Japanese art form of Wabi Sabi.   Here is my first attempt at creating Wabi Sabi circles, broken and yet refreshingly beautiful. 

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Avenging Angel

Artist: FRAUKE PALMER

On the border between Arizona and Utah wind-driven erosion cycling over eons of time has carved deep sensual curves as of a furrowed field into ancient sand dunes. I photographed these sandstone etchings under a harsh midday light that beautifully exposes the original ridges. I then extracted elements from many photographs of these ancient grooves and reassembled them using rotations and partially broken symmetries to create my own composition. I strove for a creative tension between the scenic and representational on the one hand and the geometric and abstract on the other.  The effect, I hope, recreates the inner enchantment of the trekker when she first encounters this magnificent area of nature’s terrible beauty.

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Breakers

Artist: FRAUKE PALMER

Tidal pools at the edge of the ocean depend on the periodic inundation of seawater to replenish the nutrients and sustain the multitude of creatures that thrive there. This composition, although it uses images of rocks as its base, creates a similar rich environment of shapes and colors that entice us in for closer examination. Through the power of the computer to manipulate images, along with some hand stitching, I have created my own world, one which I hope evokes the richness of the word we live in and the cycles of life that inhabit it. 

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Ocean’s Edge

Artist: BETH SCHILLIG

Dreams, thoughts and ideas float like bubbles through my mind & spirit and are constantly being influenced and interrupted by the outside world.   This ebb & flow of thoughts can be challenging yet exhilarating. 

I love many aspects of traditional quilting and enjoy the challenge of incorporating them into more contemporary art for the wall.  Working on my “Connections series” has allowed me to expand my dyeing, piecing and freehand quilting skills as well as pushing all my various machines to their highest potential.   

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Circling Back

Artist: BARBARA SFERRA

The two complementary quilts of individual quilt circles (made from hand-dyed cotton dress shirts) are the second in a series depicting our life journey.   We grow, expand, but return to where we feel comfortable.  Complementary forces take us in opposite directions, but interconnection pulls us back in.  The juxtaposed circles reference our interdependence as we stabilize contrary forces and circle back to calm; to our safe place.  

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C-19 Storm

Artist: DEBRA SHAW

Storms create chaos. They shake up our lives and challenge us to be brave.  Previous storms have taught us to hold on and keep moving forward, because we know it will end… and this one will too.  When this storm has finished its cycle of life, we can circle back to our everyday lives with a renewed spirit and the knowledge we are courageous.

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PMSing Around #1

Artist: MELISSA SMITH

Encouragement from friends to participate in the "Circle and Cycle" exhibit was what I needed to widen my circle of experiences. PMSing Around #1 and #2 came about by using material from my friend Pat and my own stash. The simplicity of the traditional log cabin became more interesting by using a variety of fabric motifs, cutting some blocks into circles, using simple hand embroidery and quilting stitches to secure the layers. The use of old buttons was a nice way to embellish plus cycle items again. The title of this piece came about by putting Pat and my initials together  and remembering how that cycle of a woman's life could maybe get a giggle becoming a fiber art piece.

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I Am A Natural Woman

Artist: CAROLE STAPLES

The pandemic stopped me in my tracks, and the world around me shutdown, and suddenly I was surrounded by massive amounts of information which had my mind spinning. During this time of shut down, and dizzying information spinning around in my head, I bloomed as a natural woman. A natural woman with natural hair, natural nails, and makeup less-natural skin.  A woman, pure and natural.

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Circular Serendipity

Artist: MAXINE THOMAS

This piece grew out of an experiment with pieced half-circles. It was an effort to take this simple block and combine it in several ways to create additional interest. Additional circles, swirls and beading add to the feeling of serendipity

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Life’s Paths: Curve Ball

Artist: BARBARA TRISCARI

Life’s Paths: Curve Ball is a sheer two-sided quilt that is three layers where circles are overlapped and stretching our idea of what a quilt is.  I worked on the hand stitching in public for many hours and in one place a young boy began to join me and he asked to stitch.  I let him anticipating taking out his large rudimentary stitches but after many hours spent together, I decided the paths we were on intersected in those moments and we both affected the other’s disparate life which spoke to the theme and should remain.  Thus, he threw me a curve ball and then we played with it.  My series, Life’s Paths, examines the circle of life and the paths for which we and others expect and hope our paths will take.

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Fading Reminiscences

Artist: CYNTHIA TURNBULL

The beautiful irrigation circles that are seen when flying over Nebraska became a large part of my life during 2018 and 2019. I flew west once a month to assist my sisters in caring for my terminally ill mother.  I witnessed the cycle of the seasons and the change in the circles from growing crops to barren in the winter.  This abstract interpretation of irrigation circles was inspired by the textures of the land as well as the memories of life that are at times clear and sharp and begin to fade away through the cycle of life. This was created with cotton fabric, hand stitching and handmade cording with additional machine stitching.

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Fractured Circles

Artist: MARCIA TUZNIK

As an artist, I am intuitively drawn to color. As a quilter, I am often drawn to new interpretations of traditional patterns, particularly the 9 patch quilt block. This “Fractured Circle” quilt has a 9 patch framework holding together the many pieces of the “fractured” circles. The circles are created and then cut apart into pie like wedges and then put back together again. My favorite part of the process is deciding what colors to place next to each other. I am interested in the tension between solids and patterns, darks and lights, as well as warm and cool colors. I also enjoy the secondary design elements of the quilting, which creates diamond like shapes. This piece is fused and machine quilted. 
 

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Empty Nests

Artist: KRISTEN WALENGA

I was fortunate to take a class from Rosalie Dace where she helped me begin to view myself as a fabric artist. This piece emerged from the theme she presented called  “Dizzy Circles “. My interpretation began with  the idea of nests. I see my work as both a representation of the natural world and human cycles of growth. While my nests appear empty, occupants are hinted at throughout the piece. An empty nest means an end and a beginning, a loss and a gain and presents us with the question of whether one should move on or try to stay. Finally the colors mirror the theme of repeated cycles with a palette that is suggestive of both an early spring and a golden autumn. 

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