Friday, February 24, 2012

Contact: 323-951-0610,

Joe the Quilter: Modern Musings

On view at the Craft in America Study Center from March 31- June 2, 2012

Opening reception and artist talk on Saturday March 31, 2012 at 6PM

“By origin, quilts are blankets that are meant to be useful. You can use them to

wrap yourself up, in case of the apocalypse.” -Joe Cunningham

(Los Angeles, CA) Joe Cunningham, rebel quilter with a cause, defies common perceptions of what quilts and their makers are. He creates art quilts that chart new territory in technique, composition and expressiveness. Utilizing the historic medium of quilting, Cunningham crafts thoroughly modern works of art. His quilts, which are intended to hang like tapestries on walls rather than to drape over beds, overturn traditional art hierarchies that have excluded textiles with functional origins from the category of so-called fine art.

Joe the Quilter’s creations prove that quilts can speak as powerfully and effectively as the painter’s canvas. His quilts carry a multi-layered allure that is much deeper than the transfixing colors, patterns, and designs he scribbles across the cloth. Using landmarks of 20th century art as reference points in much of his work - Franz Kline, Abstract Expressionism and John Cage have entered into Cunningham’s approach - he pushes the craft into new realms.

Originally a rock and roll musician, Cunningham found his voice as a quilt artist when he learned and started experimenting in 1979. He soon poured his uncovered passion into researching, teaching and writing about quilts. Typically a female world, rare is the man who has ventured into these waters. Somewhere along his way, Cunningham learned about an 18th century male English quilter named Joe who inspired Cunningham to create a one-man musical quilt show which he will perform at the Study Center when the exhibition is on view.

Craft in America is a Los Angeles-based non-profit organization dedicated to promoting and advancing original handcrafted work, through educational programs in all media, accessible to all. The Craft in America project includes a national primetime PBS documentary series, a 300-page companion book, traveling exhibitions, and an extensive website with teachers’ guides and video clips of artists at work. The Study Center is an extensive craft-focused library, an archive of video footage, and a gallery space with rotating exhibitions featuring the work of contemporary artists who work in craft media. For more information:

The Craft in America Study Center is located at 8415 West Third Street, 2 blocks East of La Cienega. The Study Center is open Thursday - Saturday from 12:00 - 6:00 pm. For more information and to RSVP: or (323) 951-0610.

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