Liberated Quilter (Not her Day job)
Showing December 4th 2017, through March 4th, 2018
I began quilting with my mother around the age of twelve, and for me it’s an art form I seem to always return to after dabbling in almost everything else I can play with. Over the years I have made quilts to celebrate births, marriages, graduations, retirements, birthdays and just being. I have made quilts with prayers sewn into them for friends with cancer, and those dealing with loss. Quilts made from a friend are the most healing of all blankets.
I myself went through Chemotherapy wrapped in a quilt made for me by a dear friend, and then and now it brings me great comfort when I am in pain.
I am currently working on two different styles of quilts. One series is based on the Lincoln Log pattern. Sometimes it is also referred to as courthouse steps. Traditionally the smallest, center square is red, and that tradition comes from the role it played with the Underground Railroad. Women involved with the Railroad would make a Lincoln Log quilt and hang it on a clothing line in their yards. The quilt would show slaves running for freedom that the house was a safe house. It was a sign hidden in plain sight, and a very successful one at that.
In today’s strange political climate, I find myself turning to these quilts, and to the work, once again of women for a passageway to freedom. A different kind yes, but still very prevalent. This series of quilts are made with a liberated bent, with out the edges meeting perfectly. The fabric is torn not cut with tools of precision. They are sewn with no more thought that what is pleasing and what gives me a sense of freedom.
The second series is completed by a technique known as paper piecing. Paper piecing became a very popular form of quilting over a hundred years ago. Women would receive the patterns in magazines, and then, use the sheets of the magazines themselves to make the paper templates. Paper Piecing, to this day is almost entirely hand sewn. This form of quilting was and still is very popular because it made excellent use of old clothing scraps. The final products are stunning, economical and quite possibly the most personal quilts made.
My Paper Pieced quilts, are hand sewn, and very much inspired by my garden. Traditionally these quilts follow a tight pattern of colors. I let my colors do what they will, much like flowers in a garden, and very much in a humble admiration of the Impressionist Monet.
JULIE BECKER POLT
'Observing Contrasts, Finding Balance' was exhibited August 20th through November 19th 2017
Julie Becker Polt is an experimental printmaker at Montpelier Arts Center in Laurel, MD. Julie enjoys the challenge of working with new and experimental materials and inks and is inspired when creating gestural marks in her prints. She is motivated to marry a painterly brush style with the more delicate line work of traditional printmaking. Her work is often inspired by observations of life, both from the natural world and the urban landscape. This juxtaposition of urban and natural, hurried and calm, happy and sad, peaceful and chaotic is seen throughout the body of her artwork. Through her exploration of these contrasts, she seeks to find congruity and the common thread that invariably weaves its way through the most unlikely circumstances. By observing natural contrasts, she seeks to find an overall balance in the natural world.
Her most current work, “Observing Contrasts, Finding Balance,” draws inspiration from these juxtapositions. She has found her muse in the shifting of natural light, and in the way it carries the innate ability to change the emotion of a scene.
Julie works as a graphic designer in Washington, DC and resides in Laurel, MD with her husband, daughter, and 3 furry feline children – all are models for her artwork.
Follow her on Instagram.
MOVEMENT IN A TRAVEL DIARY - was exhibited May 11th through August 4th 2017
Regina Miele, a classically trained painter with a highly disciplined ethic for realizing representational scenes, explores the fundamental tenets of order and place. Working closely within cityscapes, she draws out beauty in the often overlooked. Alleys, rooftops, and glimpses into places of sublime desolation, form an intricate urban tapestry. Her work takes notice of modern structure and the often overwhelming feeling that accompanies a dense urban surrounding. For the past decade, Miele’s principle subject has been the physicality of an ever-changing and gentrifying District of Columbia, the blighted and transitional areas where artists often find themselves living and working.
Regina attended the Catholic University of America and, in her Junior year, studied abroad at the Scuolo Lorenzo Di Medici in Florence, Italy. The experience of intensive studio concentration in painting, drawing, sculpture, and theory, in the birth place of the Renaissance, solidified a commitment and passion for a career as an artist.
Miele has exhibited both nationally and internationally at such venues as: The Florence Biennale, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Newington Cropsey Museum, Second Street Gallery, Baltimore’s Artscape as well as Caelum, Agora and Broadway in New York. Her work is included in public and private collections in Jerusalem, Miami, New York, Puerto Rico, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Tel Aviv, and Washington, DC.
Capitol File Magazine, Summer 2016, includes her in their portfolio of A-list artists across America. In a review of Miele’s Agora Gallery, Soho exhibit, Maureen Flynn writes, “Space and light conspire in Miele’s exquisitely refined oils on linen to create the sense of genuine epiphany in a way that few other artists are capable of doing who work only with the subject at hand do not distort for emotional effect.” Miele works extensively with traditional mediums: oil, watercolor, graphite and charcoal. For her, these practices provide a limitless journey into the possibilities of fine art. She currently resides and maintains a studio in Washington, DC.