Denise Konicek - quilt artist
Although I do not have a formal art degree, I consider myself to have had an equivalent education both in art and working with fiber. I note sometimes other artists describing themselves as 'self-taught.' This has always struck me as a bit disingenuous, as I have yet to meet an accomplished studio artist who has sprung fully formed from the head of Zeus. Learning comes from a multitude of sources, and should be acknowledged.
As a form of curriculum vitae, I decided to outline how and where I acquired my education. This is grouped into education, on-the-job learning, and a bibliography of the books that I feel have taught me the most as I worked through their presented exercises. At the end is a list of my memberships and exhibitions to date.
CLASSROOM AND GROUP SETTINGS, greater than 1 year:
4-H classes, projects, age 9 through 14, Tomah, Wisconsin
Sewing skills, pattern-making, clothing design - made my own dresses.
Really an excellent foundation for my future activities!
John Marshall High School, Junior and Senior years, Rochester, Minnesota; Art summer camps through Mankato State University
I was fortunate enough to attend one of the top public high schools and qualify for
'advanced placement' art classes. I received scholarships for two summer art camps.
1985 - 1990 Claudio Gerbi, NYC, award winning painter and in-law of my husband's family.
Claudio received his formal art training in his native Italy. Knowing of my interest in art,
he would talk me through entire wings of major NYC art museums, analyzing each artist's
strengths and weaknesses in terms of color use and composition on our visits
2001 - 2008 Susan Carlson, Quilt Educator, monthly class, Fabric Place, Woburn MA
Quilting skills, fabric selection, quilt design basics - completed over 35 quilts.
2009-2014 Self-study group, monthly meetings, Lexington and Burlington, MA
After Fabric Place closed in 2008, our longstanding group decided to continue meeting
and sharing/discussing our work. Activities now include group weekend sewing retreats
several times per year (group is still ongoing)!
2005 - 2016 Beatriz Grayson, monthly FabriCollage Master Classes, Winchester MA
As described in the Quilt Gallery with various works, Bea provided a rich exposure to
the concepts of both traditional art and graphic design. She holds masters degrees in
both disciplines. Bea was a founding member of Quilters Connection contemporary quilt guild in the Boston area, and one of the 1990s MA critique group of art quilt luminaries that included Ruth McDowell, Sylvia Einstein, Rhoda Cohen, and Nancy Halpern.
INDIVIDUAL CLASSES (one to five days' length):
Ruth McDowell, 'Symmetry in Design' (see Ruth's Windmill in Gallery)
Dianne Hire, 'Circles and Spinners'
Katie Pasquini Masopust, 'Abstracting from Photos'
Sylvia Einstein, 'Divide and Conquer - Landscape and Perspective'
Sharon Schamber, ' My Applique Techniques '
Joe Cunningham, Three separate improvisational quilting seminars - AKA 'Fun With Joe'
In both high school and college, I found myself designing and sewing costumes, both for theater productions, and for performing groups including:
'Is There a Mystery Here?' At the Foot of the Mountain Theater, Mpls, MN
'Carousel' and 'Annie Get Your Gun,' University Community Theater, Mpls, MN
Fourte Vocal Quartet, Mpls, MN - designed and made Renaissance-era costumes for the
group, used for several seasons of performing at the MN Renaissance Festival.
After moving to Boston, MA I had a unique opportunity to perform as the vocal soloist for an 18 piece group named 'Eclectic Heritage Orchestra.' I was able to adapt a commercially made concert gown for the early-20th-century repertoire, but elected to make a custom, fully-lined Victorian dress based on a historic design from 'Past Patterns' for the turn-of-the-century portion of the concerts.
I hereby express my profound gratitude to the many seasoned artists and teachers who have taken the time to pen instructional books for those of us who are traveling the same path towards artistic mastery and ultimately finding our own 'voice.' Below is a list of the books from which I have learned the most.
Molly Bang, 'How Pictures Work,'
Harriet Hargrave, 'Heirloom Machine Quilting,'
Ruth McDowell, 'Piecing - Expanding the Basics,' 'R.McDowell's Design Workshop,'
Katie Pasquini-Masopust - 'Design Explorations for the Creative Quilter,' 'Inspirations in Design for the Creative Quilter'
Dianne Hire - 'Quilter's Playtime'
Quilters Connection Guild, Boston MA
Winchester Artists Network, Winchester MA
American Quilters Society, Paducah, KY
Visions Quilt Museum, San Diego CA
New England Quilt Museum, Lowell MA
Cambridge Artists Association, Cambridge MA
Studio Art Quilt Associates, Hebron CT