Using improvisational variations of common patchwork quilt forms, Chawne Kimber engages viewers in conversation about issues of identity, difference, and social justice.
Summer hours: Wed-Sat, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
Exhibition Reception, Friday, June 28, 5 – 8 p.m., An Easton Out Loud Event
Artist’s talk, Tuesday, July 9, 7:30 p.m., Media Room 2, 248 North Third Street, Easton , “When the Cotton is High: Social Justice and Textiles.”
For centuries women have used their utilitarian and decorative textile work to express their politics and opinions on issues of the day. We’ll take a look at some historical examples and then romp through my own work. My quilts use the lens of identity and difference to confront social conflicts like campus rape culture, Black Lives Matter, and censorship.
Chawne Kimber is a celebrated textile artist who exhibits quilts and embroidery in museums, galleries, and festivals all over the United States. Aimée Littlewood Allen, in a 2017 Modern Quilt Guild blog article, describes Kimber as “a growing force in modern quilting, known for her award-winning work, her popular blog Completely Cauchy,and as an expert on such challenging techniques as small piecing…. But perhaps the most significant reason her audience is growing is because of [her] belief that quilts can express complicated ideas.”
Through cultivation of cotton in rural Alabama, some of her ancestors (unwillingly) participated in building the United States. Cotton has been central in the lives of the women of Chawne’s 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 quilts made by these ancestors in the late 1800s, Chawne interprets traditional patchwork forms in an improvisational style using vibrant modern colors of commercially available all-American farmed, processed and woven cotton. Some of her 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, Chawne also indulges in political confrontations in quilt form.
When not manipulating cotton, Chawne Kimber is a professor of mathematics at Lafayette.
Header image: The One for Eric G, 2015, detail. Collection of Michigan State University Museum.
Yarn Bombing on the Karl Stirner Arts Trail & Preliminary Workshops
“Stitch in” workshops at Grossman Gallery, June 28, 5-8 p.m. during exhibition reception; July 9, 6-7:30 p.m. before artist’s talk. Yarn, knitting needles, and crochet hooks will be available.
Yarn bombing, July 13, meet at 11 a.m. at the “Blue Bridge” at the Karl Stirner Arts Trail. The exhibition is copresented with the Karl Stirner Arts Trail
The talk is cosposnored with the Arts Community of Easton, ACE, and is presented during ACE’s monthly member’s meeting, which begins at 7 p.m