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Academic Curriculum Vita, Fall 2017

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Brief artist statement

Through the cultivation of cotton in rural Alabama, some of my ancestors (unwillingly) participated in the building of the United States. Cotton has been central in the lives of the women of my family–from picking to ginning to sewing, with quilting emerging as the main mode of self-expression available. Patchwork was sewn from worn denim and calico clothing and layered with the discarded cottonseed and fluff from the gin houses for insulation to make quilts.

Inspired by these quilts made by these ancestors in the late 1800s, I interpret traditional forms in an improvisational style using vibrant modern colors of commercially available American-farmed, processed and woven cotton. Some of the designs are geometric romps that emphasize the complex forms of negative space that naturally arise, while others utilize unusually small scaling to exaggerate shapes and tonal sequences. Using the quilt medium to respond to current race-related social justice issues, I also make minimal two-tone appliquéd self-portraits in a street art style.

Public Museum Acquisitions

The One for Eric G (2015), acquired by the Michigan State University Museum (a Smithsonian affiliate), 2016

Invited Art Exhibitions

• Unbound: Artists Redefine Quilts, Hollister Gallery, Babson College, Boston, MA, Sept-Nov 2013.
• Crease, Fold and Bend, Williams Center Gallery, Lafayette College, Easton, PA, Sept-Nov, 2013
• Quilts: Pushing at the Seams, Highfield Hall, Falmouth, MA, Sept-Oct 2014.
• Motives and Materials, Tallgrass Art Gallery, Park Forest, IL, June-July 2015.
• Colorforms, Seattle Pacific University Arts Center, Seattle, WA, Oct-Nov 2015.
• The Engaged Object, Foothills Art Gallery, Golden, CO, Jan-Mar 2016.
• Modern Quilts, Squam Arts Festival, New Hampshire, September 2016
• Quilted Conversations: Materializing Civil and Human Rights, Michigan State University Museum, Jan-Jul 2017
• In Tall Cotton: Visions of My Self, Lauren Kindle Gallery, Easton, PA, May 2017
• Quilts and Human Rights, Pick Museum for Anthropology, Northern Illinois University, Sept-Dec 2017
• When the Cotton is High, Paul Mellon Arts Center, Choate Rosemary Hall, Wallingford, CT, Jan-Feb 2018

Juried Art Exhibitions

• Stitch Fetish, The Hive Gallery, Los Angeles, CA, February-March 2013.
• HMQS, Salt Lake City, UT, May 2013
• Sisters Outdoors, Sisters, OR, July 2013
• International Quilt Festival, Houston, TX, Oct-Nov 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017
• Bridges Mathematical Art Exhibition, Joint Mathematics Meetings, Baltimore, MD, January 2014
• Mathematical Fiber Art Exhibition, Joint Mathematics Meetings, Baltimore, MD, January 2014
• Identity Interpreted and Assumed: Self Portrait, Tallgrass Art Gallery, Park Forest, IL, May-July 2014.
• QuiltCon, Modern Quilt Guild, Austin, TX, February 2014, 2015,
• QuiltCon, Modern Quilt Guild, Los Angeles, CA, February 2016
• QuiltCon, Modern Quilt Guild, Savannah, GA, February 2017

Art Presentations

• Invited Address and Roundtable discussion, Diversity Matters: Who I think you think I am, Babson College, Boston, MA, September 12, 2013.
• Invited Address and Discussant, Unbound: Artists Redefine Quilts, Hollister Gallery, Babson College, Boston, MA, September 18, 2013.
• Diversity in the Quilt World, QuiltCon, Los Angeles, CA, Feb 2016
• Art Quilts in the Modern Aesthetic, SAQA Conference, Philadephia, PA, April 2016
• In Tall Cotton, Artist Lecture for Quilts and Human Rights, Northern Illinois University, Oct 2017
• Lab and/versus Studio, Women’s Studies Graduate Colloquium, Northern Illinois University, Oct 2017
• When the Cotton is High, Artist Lecture, Paul Mellon Arts Center, Choate Rosemary Hall, Wallingford, CT, Jan 2018

Art Publications

o Artwork recently featured in several publications including:
o Profiled in Quilting Arts Magazine, Oct/Nov 2017
o Profiled in The Field Guide to Log Cabins, Sept 2017
o Profiled in the Chicago Tribune, April 2017
o Featured in PBS show Fresh Quilting, debuted February 2017
o Artist profile on front page of Los Angeles Times, 2016
o Artist profile in Quilting with a Modern Slant, 2014
o Mention of Give a F*ck in Wall Street Journal, 2013
o Artist profile in Craft Activism, 2011

o Primary source for scholarly book chapter: Constructing Quilts, Online Communities, and Quilter Legacies: A Narrative Case Study by Jessica Haak in Educational, Psychological, and Behavioral Considerations in Niche Online Communities, IGI Global, 2014, 51-66.