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Schumacher Wins Art Guild Award

Quilt featured in Cultivating Ground Exhibit

Prof. Sheri Schumacher’s creative work is informed by the reconciliation of design and everyday life, prioritizing the transformation and cultivation of ones environment and the search for a system of connections.  The work, including furniture design, photography and presently textile collage, is characterized by finding the extraordinary in the ordinary everyday and working as a ‘bricoleur’ using a collection of leftover oddments and upcycled resources with ingenuity.

The series of textile works titled “Cultivated Ground” respond to the definition of cultivation in terms of design inspiration, piecing varying thickness of wool, linen and cotton fabric, and the technique of hand quilting.  Cultivation is dependent on applying oneself with sustained interest for the purpose of improving, tending and developing.  The work is inspired by aerial photography, ground conditions, topography and terrain.  Combinations of textiles, including reclaimed linens, upcycled clothing and wool rag rug remnants, are arranged and rearranged through engaged logical and systematic thinking in combination with improvisation during the process of cutting, piecing and sewing.

Tabebuia Rosea was the first quilt endeavor, completed in 2012 in support of the Healing Quilts initiative sponsored by the AU Women’s Resource Center.  The quilt is one of a group located in the EAMC Cancer Center that aim to have a positive impact on the wellbeing of cancer patients and their families in our community.  The quilt is dedicated to my father who is a cancer survivor and inspired by the Tabebuia Rosea, commonly known as the Pink Trumpet Tree, native to Central and South America.  Traditionally the bark and trunk wood has been used for medical treatment and in the 1960’s was used for the treatment of cancers.  The microscopic view of traverse and tangential sections of the Tabebuia Rosea bark and trunk wood inspired the healing quilt design made from reclaimed vintage tablecloths and Scandinavian modern textiles.  The piecing and sewing techniques used are skills learned from two mentors, Mary Ann Pettway, Gee’s Bend quilter and Natalie Chanin, founder of Alabama Chanin.

Uppercase Magazine recently published the modern quilt Margins in a curated section about how design thinking informs quilt making and the creative potential in using scrap materials.  The quilt is machine pieced and hand quilted with linen fabric from reclaimed clothing and a vintage tablecloth.  The clothing includes a shirt, jacket, pants, and skirt purchased at a consignment store, worn for a few years and upcycled into the quilt.  The fabric materials have a history of multiple lives of use, improve with age and provide a guide for the proportions of the individual pieces that are assembled to create the quilt composition

Learning through doing coupled with the hours of practice required to perfect ones skill and craft in a new medium lead to the making of objects of use/functional art in the form of pillows. This series of pieced collages combine modern and vintage fabrics to explore bold and refined variations of color, texture and pattern.  The work allows for multiple custom handcrafted original works of design, six units in eight series explore principles of unity, spontaneity and simplicity.  The work is on display and for sale at the Montgomery Museum of Fine Art Store.  These works and others can be viewed at behance.net/sherischumacher