Because Art Quilt Exhibit March 6 - April 30

Opening Reception
Sunday, March 26
4 pm - 5:30 pm

Gallery Hours
Tuesday - Saturday
Noon - 4 pm

Because is an art quilt exhibit featuring ten quilters, many of whom are nationally known and three of whom are part of a 30-year retrospective currently hanging at the New England Quilt Museum in Lowell, MA. Each quilter has her own approach, and the hanging quilts feature a wide range of styles and techniques.

Ann Brauer

Since I can remember, I have always loved working with color and fabric. I am a self-taught quilt maker who creates abstract landscapes by piecing and sewing thin strips of cotton fabric through the cotton batting onto the back. My work is in numerous museums, institutions and private collections including the American Museum of Art + Design, the Lodge at Turning Stone in Verona, NY, the Federal District Courthouse in Springfield, MA and Pat Metheny.  Publications:  2015 Art Quilting Studio, 2016 Abstracts and Geometry, 2012 Machine Quilting Unlimited, 2012 Quilting Arts

Judy Becker

When I first started quilting, my life was full of small children both at home and at work. Within that chaos, quilting provided an ordered universe that I could manipulate and control. Over 40 years have passed, my children are adults, I've retired from teaching, yet I still love to quilt.

My original artist’s statement said that my work was about simple things, events in my life, places I travel. But the world is not simple, nor is any life. While I continued to draw themes from my everyday life, I feel the actual quilts have become more complex.

I started the series called “Fragments” 12 years ago, intending to make 100 of them. To date I am on number 548. Why? If you are approaching your 65th birthday, which I was, you think about the aging process, the discarded, the invisibility. That was the genesis of “Fragments,” incorporating discarded unseen objects into miniature textiles. I think of them as little haiku--random poems expressed in cloth.

I enjoy quilting as a medium for its endless possibilities, in spite of its technical demands. I did not, unlike so many quilters, grow up lovingly making doll clothes and extravagant Halloween costumes. I hated sewing, but was drawn to quilts because of their connection with anonymous women of the past, who produced wonderful works with needle and thread.

Nancy Crasco

After obtaining my BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design, I began creating works in fiber in 1968 and have been actively exhibiting them since 1975.  I successfully explored the American quilting tradition over the next twenty years, and was included in multiple Quilt Nationals, Quilt Visions, and other national and international venues, including Japan, South America, and Europe.  In 1998 I attended a two-week session at the Haystack Mountain School of Crafts with Chunghie Lee, a Korean fiber artist.  I was ready for a path toward significant change in my work, and had already been studying some fiber construction techniques from Asia. Chunghie introduced me to the construction of silk pojagi, a Korean wrapping cloth, and soon afterwards I began the exclusive use of silk organza in my works. The translucent organza allowed me to explore the layering of various materials including feathers, seeds, and paper between layers of silk. The resultant works are transparent and light, and move in the slightest current of air. 

In search of a non-toxic, simple method to imprint my own imagery onto the organza, I attended a second Haystack Session in 2005 to study gelatin plate printmaking with Susan Webster.  Later, I added other printing processes including direct printing, the computer and/or copier, and linoleum blocks to obtain the desired imagery on the silk.  Most of my work involves pre-printing the organza, layering it, hand or machine stitching it, and cutting it into pieces before composing the larger piece.  I have exhibited these pojagi based works nationally and internationally, since 2000 and they have been included in many books including the Lark Publication 500 Art Quilts and Textiles: The Art of Mankind by Mary Schoeser.

Dr. Michele David

Haitian-born Dr. Michele David creates fiber arts through which she explores her cultural interests as well as her personal love of pattern and color. Like many from the incredibly vibrant island nation of Haiti, Dr. Michele David possesses a rich creativity that is shared through her art even though her work as a doctor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge MA makes tremendous demands on her time. Dr. David finds that making quilts connects the many facets of her life as a scientist and artist. Long considered women ‘s work, there is a feminine aesthetic to textile art. She finds that her art balances the demands of medicine. She is inspired by African and Haitian influences. So her pieces have a lot of color and symbolism related to her upbringing in Haiti.

She has exhibited her works in galleries, museums, and cultural centers throughout the United States and The Hague, Netherlands, including solo shows at the Museum of the National Center of Afro-American Artists in Boston, MA and the Fort Smith Art Center in Arkansas and group shows at the New England Quilt Museum in Lowell, MA and the Museum of Biblical Arts in NYC. In addition, Michele's works are in numerous private national and international collections. She has won numerous local, regional and national awards for her unique works. In her work, Michele often uses contemporary ideas combined with strong traditional techniques.

Michele's works have been featured in magazines such as UU World and in books such as Threads of Faith: Recent Works from the Women of Color Quilters Network by Carolyn Mazloomi, I Remember Mama, and Creative Quilting, The Journal Quilt Project by Karey Patterson Bresenhan.

She has appeared many times on HGTV's Simply Quilts, hosted by Alex Anderson and on Nancy Corner, Sewing with Nancy hosted by Nancy Zieman on PBS produced by the Wisconsin Public Television.

She is currently a Board Member of the Museum of Afro-American Artists. She was a Juror for 3 years for  the Marion Barr Stanfield Art Scholarships of the Unitarian Universalist Foundation.

Mary-Ellen Latino 
Color Affects Austin, TX airport, Jan.-April 2018 Material View, Miami Internat’l airport, July-Oct., 2017
Color Affects Warren Cult.Center Greenfield, IA May 2017
Anything Goes Kirkland art Center, Upstate N.Y. March, 2017
Because, Mother Brook Arts & Community Center Dedham,MA 3/6-4/30/17
Brush Gallery Members Juried Show, Lowell, MA 12/2016
Fiber…Tense SlaterMills,SDAReg. Pawtucket,RI, 12/16-1/17
Anything Goes! San Jose Museum of Art, S.J. CA, 11/16-1/17
International juried show, La Conner Textile Museum, La Conner, WA, 9/2016
Lasting Impressions:Art Quilts,Whistler Museum, Lowell, MA 08/2016
FiberInThePresentTense(SDA Reg) ArsenalCenterfortheArts,Watertown,MA08/16
Currents(SAQA MA/RI Regional) Brush Gallery, Lowell, MA 08/2016
Material View, Lakeside Legacy Arts Park, Illinois, 8/2016
Chaos, Arc Gallery, San Francisco, CA, 5/7-6/25/16
Urban Murmurs, Times Square Gallery, Rochester, NY, 5/1-5/31/16
Two x Twenty, SAQA International Exhibit (Netherlands,Belgium,Germany, France)2015-16
Mindful Project, Seton Hill Univ., Greensburg,PA, 1/21-2/18/2016
Houses & Homes, Brush Gallery,  Lowell, MA, 12/12/15-1/24/16

Fiber Arts Instructor, Worcester Center for Crafts 2002-2011
Southborough Arts Center 2006-2010 

Art Cloth Network (ACN)  Studio Art Quilt Associates  Surface Design Association Arlington Quilters Guild 

Art Quilt Tahoe 2015
RISD- Providence, RI 2012 Fiber Arts 2 Year Full-Time
WCC   2000-2002 Worcester, MA BS and MA, UMD1974-75 

Beatriz Grayson

Born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Ms. Grayson studied at the School of Fine Arts, then at the Arts Students League in New York City and Interior Design and Graphic Design at Pratt  Institute, Brooklyn, NY.

In the last twenty five years she has worked primarily with fabric, producing a great number of art quilts. She has written articles for fiber arts trade magazines, has taught and lectured to different quilting associations and is currently teaching master classes in Fabric Collage at her home studio. 

Her work has been collected nationally and internationally and has been shown in group and solo shows, in private galleries and in museums.  The New England Quilt Museum, Lowell, MA, has recently acquired one of her quilts for their permanent contemporary quilt collection.

Carol Anne Grotrian

For over thirty years, I’ve combined traditional American quilting and Japanese shibori dyeing, an ancient form of tie-dye. Shibori’s many techniques, whether stitched, knotted, clamped, pleated or pole wrapped, created organic patterns that helped me find my voice in landscape quilts. Since 1989, landscape has provided abundant inspiration and challenges, giving me more ideas for quilts than I have time to make them. My quilts are usually portraits of specific places and times and often create memories of the “breathing spaces” I’ve experienced.

For me, as a subject, landscape quietly voices layers of meanings. 

 Like much contemporary art, my quilts are a careful abstract balance of shape and color, which is overlaid with line—the quilted stitches. I'm grateful that the struggle to make art decisions is balanced by the physical labor of fabric dyeing and the calm of stitching. 

My quilts begin with white cotton that I dye using fiber reactive dyes. Indigo often colors my work as well. A measured, calm handling of the indigo vat not only prolongs its life, but also helps center me in a meditative way. My indigo quilts are often whole cloth, with the tops made of one piece of dyed fabric. Occasionally a design has me using potato dextrin resist to create crackly patterns reminiscent of waxed batik.

 My current work has me shifting from traditionally sewing pieces of fabric together with finished seams Reminiscent of mending and inspired by Japanese boro textiles,  I’m using a raw edge approach, where the fabrics are layered and stitched directly to batting and backing. I love stitching and quilting by hand, especially in an era that moves too fast. 

My sense of place emerged in the northeastern part of the U.S., where I’ve lived since 1979. My quilts are in corporate, private and museum collections. They have been exhibited nationally and internationally and have appeared in various publications, most recently in Mary Schoesser’s Textiles: The Art of Mankind.

 My best critics are my husband of nearly 50 years and members of my crit group, who have given me good advice for over 25 years. I’m a member of the Surface Design Association and the Studio Art Quilt Association. I’ve made my living from my quilts, from shibori dyed wearable art, from teaching and from bookkeeping. My studio is in my home in Cambridge, MA. My quilts can be seen at

Amy Ropple

Amy Ropple is a textile artist who combines her love of  fabric art techniques with a serious bead addiction to create unique, highly 
embellished, expressive works of art.  She has both Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Studio Art Education (combining personal artistic development and production with a full art education program) from Massachusetts College of Art in Boston, Mass. Her quilted work has been exhibited in local, national, and international exhibits, including "On the Surface" at the New England Quilt Museum in Lowell, Mass.  Several publications have included her work, including Quilting Arts Magazine and Quilters' Newsletter Magazine. Her work contains images of people, places, and things she finds meaningful and important in her world, embellished to the hilt!  Additionally, Amy explores drawing, painting, mixed media, and digital embroidery as part of living the creative life. 

Amy lives in Reading, Massachusetts with a wonderful assortment of critters that include dogs, cats, and parrots, some of which have appeared in her artwork.  She teaches Visual Art to the best, most creative and fun middle schoolers in the world at W.S. Parker Middle School, also in 
Reading.  She teaches textile workshops to adults and has taught a course in Art Quilting at Massachusetts College of Art.  Since the age of 35 she as fought an ongoing battle with RA (rheumatoid arthritis) and sees creativity, both her own and that of her students, as a way to elevate the soul out of the continual discomfort that this disease brings.  

Ethel Shulam

I’ve had a needle and pair of scissors in my hand since I was 6.  The first thing I remember was cutting my sister’s hair.  Then I had dolls that needed to be stitched up.  Later in life I did a lot of traveling and took classes in quilting and stitchery all over the place, including Europe and Canada.  I’m inspired by my many teachers, including a professor from Tempe Arizona who taught at Haystack in Deer Isle Maine one summer.  I used to work as a lab technician in pathology where I used a lot of dyes to make slides for the doctors, and I think that’s where I developed a love for color and dyeing, which I do to this day.

I’ve given workshops and classes around the world and in the North Shore area for over 30 years. I’ve done a lot of work with my quilt guild and the NE Quilt Museum, which has “Melon Sorbet” as part of its permanent collection.  I have quilts in 3 books and several magazines, and many of my pieces have traveled the world in international quilt festivals. 

Iris Sonnenschein

I was first introduced to quilting when my not-yet-husband Eugene, worked for a year in Winooski.  There I met the ultimate Vermonter: Susy and her husband built their own house with their own hands.  She had a wood stove in the middle of the main room and on it was an always-simmering fabulous stew made of vegetables from her garden.  There were sheep in the yard, whose wool would be sheared, carded, spun and knitted.  In her free time Susy quilted.  By hand.  From beginning to end.  Before then, the only “quilting” I knew about was on a Sears bedspread. Flash forward to 1990 when one of my Eugene’s ultimate-Frisbee teammates asked if anyone knew anyone who might be interested in learning to quilt.  With thoughts of Susy’s incredible tiny scraps delicately pieced and lovingly quilted, I jumped in.  Our fearless leader, Jane, led our little group each month with a different block design.  I loved my new friends.  I hated the quilting.  I was the only non-engineer in the group and while they effortlessly counted and measured and precisely cut and sewed pieces together, I grew increasingly frustrated with my inability to make corners meet and edges remain straight.  At some point I decided to try to make a picture out of fabric.  I used my children’s arts & crafts felt scraps and made a piece that hangs on the back of my studio door to remind me of where I began.  I loved the freedom of touching the fabric while moving it around, of cutting shapes that looked like an arm, or a violin, or a mountain and of creating compositions that spoke to me and to viewers of the quilt.  Very slowly, with the constant support and encouragement of that early quilting group – which continues to this day - I tried different techniques, read a lot of quilting books, took classes (with Carol Anne Grotrian and Beatriz Grayson most notably) and started shooting photos of everything I thought I might use as a basis for a quilt, or inspiration for one.  Coming in to the Mother Brook studios allowed me to practice my art and work consistently. My quilting has changed quite a bit over the years and happily, continues to evolve.  Best of all, I never – ever – have to make any corners meet.