2017 by Denise Konicek. Created with Wix

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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.

EDUCATION

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.

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

            to NYC from 1985 through the year of his passing in 1990.

 

Susan Carlson, Quilt Educator, monthly class, Fabric Place, Woburn MA 2001 - 2008

             Quilting skills, fabric selection, quilt design basics - completed over 35 quilts.

Self-study group, monthly meetings, Lexington and Burlington, 2009 - 2014

             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)!

Beatriz Grayson, monthly FabriCollage Master Classes, Winchester MA 2005 - 2016

             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.

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'
 

ON-THE-JOB LEARNING

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.

BOOK LEARNING

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'

Memberships, Exhibits

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