REVELations 2005: Quilt Art & Fiber Sculpture from Faultline Studio Artists


Date Thursday February 3rd 2005
Time 4:00-5:00pm
Venue George E. Pake Auditorium

PARC Forum

Many of us know the beautiful look of traditional 19th Century American quilts. But what does 21st Century quilt art look like?

Faultline Studio Artists, a studio art group in the San Francisco Bay Area, have installed their largest collection of quilt art and fiber sculpture in one venue at PARC, for showing from January through March, 2005. The artists make contemporary quilts and fiber art incorporating hand-dyed and painted fabrics, silk embossing, complex threadwork, and many other surface design techniques in their unique work.

The artists are the subjects of a documentary film entitled Woman’s Work: Making Quilts-Creating Art by Emmy award-winning film editor and Faultline Studio Artist Charlotte Grossman. The film premiered during Women’s History Month on KQED television in March 2004 and is currently showing on public television stations nationwide.

Exhibiting together since 2001, the artists were invited to open the first fiber art show at the Museo de America, in Madrid, Spain, in 2003, cosponsored by the US Embassy. Called The Art of Sewing Art, the show continued on to the Cultural Arts Center de Santa Cruz de Tenerife, in the Canary Islands. It has just returned from its invitational US premier at the International Quilt Festival in Houston, Texas.

The nine individuals came together in 1998 to support one another’s artistic and professional development. They arrived at fiber art from professions as diverse biology, film, architecture, law, mathematics, human resources, costume design, and the arts.

Excerpts from Woman’s Work: Making Quilts-Creating Art will be shown. The artists will be present for discussion and to answer your questions about their work. A full-length DVD or VHS version of the documentary is available for purchase from

A reception in the exhibit areas to follow the forum 5:00-6:30 pm.


Claudia Comay, a native of Colombia and a resident of Oakland, California, has been working with fabric since 1994. In her approach to quilts, Ms. Comay is concerned with using fabric in a painterly way and with depicting form and substance three dimensionally in a minimalist way, thus creating a new lexicon that bridges the world of textiles with the world of fine art and sculpture. She was co-curator of the Faultline Studio Artists exhibit at the Museo de America in Madrid, Spain. Ms. Comay has also exhibited her textiles in France, Japan, Pakistan, and throughout the United States. Her work has been published in the book "America from the Heart – Quilters Remember September 11, 2001", in the magazine Quilting Quarterly, Fall 2002, the Contra Costa Times Knight Ridder Newspaper, September 2002, and most recently in the Roots Racism: Ignorance & Fear, catalog published by the Art in the Embassies Program, U.S. State Department, documenting a traveling exhibit now on view at the American Embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan.

Marilyn Merkt Felber was raised in Northern Wisconsin and received her degree in philosophy from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. She worked as a paralegal in Washington, D.C., American Samoa, and San Francisco before turning fulltime fiber art in 1988.

She designed and holds the copyright for a unique line of fiber art greeting cards and is known for her elegant presentation of quilts as contemporary art. She sells her work in contemporary craft and art markets, through galleries and through Guild.Com. The work has won awards, been featured in book cover art, and is owned by private collectors, businesses, and public institutions. It appears in Thinking Outside the Block, a C&T Publication by Sandi Cummings & Karen Flamme; in The Roots of Racism: Ignorance & Fear, published by the U.S. State Department's Art in Embassies Program; and in The Artful Home by Guild Sourcebooks. Besides showing her work in venues around the country, her work was the subject of a one- woman show in Northern California where she teaches art design and contemporary quilting.

Sue Fox grew up in a wild and rugged corner of Maine that provided her with a deep appreciation for the forces of nature and the changing seasons and cycles of life. In early years, she spent hours observing the tiny elements that made up small worlds in forest and along seashore.

A move to the west coast in the mid – 1970's put a different spin on her world. Three decades spent working in theater and with architectural designers allowed the artist to explore broad gestures of color, motion, and collaboration. Her involvement in making environments in which actors engaged with audience, or individuals engaged with one another, actors engaged with audience, or individuals engaged with one another, provided Fox with a new kind of curiosity and perception.

In 1998, she initiated a gradual return to working with and observing a smaller stage- using sometimes miniscule elements to create works that can be held in the hand, worlds that can be draped on a wall. Fox now works full time in the arena of mixed media textile art and quilt making.

Charlotte Grossman is an Emmy Award and Oscar winning film editor. A native New Yorker, she moved to the Bay Area 17 years ago. She edits at her home in Tiburon, California in her own Post Production Video facility. She has been interested in fiber arts for most of her life, but quilting has become her main love for the last several years. Her quilting life and professional life overlap in interesting ways. For over 30 years she has been a documentary film editor, first putting pieces of film and now video together to form story and pattern, to transmit a visual impression. Composition, color, shape, and intensity are elements she deals with every workday either in her quilts or in her films.

Ms. Grossman has produced, edited and directed a full-length documentary film about Faultline Studio Artists called "Woman's Work: Making Quilts Creating Art" which is distributed and shown nationwide.

Karen Lusnak, originally from Pennsylvania, studied biology as an undergraduate. She was a Research Associate in the fungal genetics and molecular biology laboratories at the University of California from 1971 until 1998. She has continuously pursued her interest in various textile art forms since 1976 when she became a student at Pacific Basin School of Textile Arts. In 1994, she received her MFA in textiles from California College of Arts and Crafts. She is one of fifty invited artists whose quilt appears in Woman of Taste: A Collaboration Celebrating Quilt Artists and Chefs a C&T Publication in association with Girls Incorporated.

Nancy Pagani has been using a needle since the age of four. In the late 1980's she began making intricately pieced coats and jackets for the other people. She credits a year at Pacific Basic School of Textile Arts with changing her focus to concentrate more on art than utility. She now dyes and paints much of the fabric that she uses in her wall hangings. Ms. Pagani, also a member of the AMBUS in Jacksonville, Oregon, has exhibited in two solo quilt shows in San Francisco Bay Area, and shown her work in Oregon and national quilt shows.

Gerri Mann Peterson, is a fourth generation native Californian whose interest in all the fiber arts was nurtured by her large Marin County family. As an active partner in her husband's Santa Rosa based historic architecture firm, she became a recognized Architectural Historian and certified Interior Designer. She also formed her own business, Architectural Preservation Associates, editing and publishing books on local historic architecture.

In 1987, she discovered a community of art quilters that encouraged her development in this exciting evolution of a traditional art form. After attending many technique workshops, she began to merge her architecture interest and quilting interest to develop her own signature of architectural based art quilts. Her art quilts have been shown individually in the San Francisco Bay Area, and at national quilt shows. Mrs. Peterson was curator for the Faultline Studio Artists inaugural exhibit at the Los Banos Art Council Center.

Nina Shortridge is a native of Colorado, and a Marin County textile artist, whose award winning art work has been displayed in juried exhibits and galleries throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, the State of California, and numerous venues across the United States and aboard. Her work is displayed in corporate buildings and owned in several private collections. She is a graduate of California State University at Fullerton, where she obtained her Bachelor's of Fine Arts degree. She began exploring quilting in 1993. Over the years her work encompasses textiles from different nations, print making on cloth, painting and dyeing of fabric and threads, as well as the creations of her own original designs.

Alexandra Von Burg was born in Long Island, New York, to Swiss and Hungarian immigrant parents. Alexandra's earliest recollections are of creating art, playing alone in her room for hours, and spending summers in Europe with distant relatives. These memories played a clear role in shaping a career in art.

Her Bachelor of Science education came from Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, New York, where she double majored in Graphic Design and Print making. After a short hiatus of one year as a professional printer in the Andy Warhol print shop, Alexandra went on to receive her Masters degree in printmaking from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York. She then attended the Tamarind

Professional Printer program at the University of New Mexico.

She began exploring quilt making as a media in 1991. Ms. Von Burg combines her love of printmaking with her willingness to try anything in fabric to achieve her vision. Ms Von Burg has exhibited extensively throughout the United States and internationally including the Triton Museum in Santa Clara, CA. Her work is held in private collections.

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