Curator Nancy Crow
"I am happy to announce and can clearly state that Color Improvisations 2 is one of the most important exhibitions to come along in years.
The 50 works of the 43 artists included in this exhibition are solidly strong and wonderfully exciting!
This has been my dream for some time. Let the public see and witness an exhibition of machine-pieced compositions that is excellent and which is clearly all about ART."
Nancy Crow, who has been making quilts for nearly forty years, has been a pioneer in moving quilts from a traditional handcraft to an art medium, from the bed to the wall. She was the driving force behind Quilt National, a biennial juried exhibition of innovative contemporary quilts held since 1979, and, with fellow artist Linda Fowler, co-founded the Art Quilt Network in 1987 and the Quilt/Surface Design Symposium in 1990. She was elected a fellow of the American Crafts Council in 1999 and received The National Living Treasure Award from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington in 1996.
Crow’s work is represented in the collections of the Renwick Gallery at the National Museum of American Art, Smithsonian; the Museum of Art and Design and the Museum of American Folk Art in New York City; the Indianapolis Museum of Art; and the International Quilt Study Center & Museum at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln.
"As an activist, teacher, and curator, Nancy Crow was a catalyst and prime mover of the art quilt movement... Today, she stands at the forefront of innovative quiltmaking, and she is one of the premier colorists in contemporary American art, no matter what medium one surveys."
—Jean Robertson, Professor of Art History, the Herron School of Art and Design and adjunct professor in Women’s Studies, Indiana University-Perdue University, Indianapolis
Crow has also been a highly influential teacher. She maintains a large studio and teaching facility on her 110-acre farm east of Columbus, Ohio, where she offers a wide array of classes for intermediate and advanced students, and also has taught quilts as an art form in Austria, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, England, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Japan, New Zealand, South Africa, Spain, and Switzerland, as well as at many US museums, craft schools, and quilt gatherings.
In addition to participating in group shows around the world, she has had major solo exhibitions at the Renwick Gallery; the Museum of Arts & Design; the Cultural Arts Museum in Konstanz, Germany; the Auckland Art Museum and the Hawke’s Bay Exhibition Centre in New Zealand; the International Quilt Study Center & Museum; Carnegie Mellon University’s Regina Miller Gouger Galleries in Pittsburgh; the Fuller Craft Museum in Brockton, MA; the Schweinfurth Memorial Art Center in Auburn, NY; and Vermont’s Shelburne Museum.
"Nancy Crow shows a kind of courage in her working procedures that few artists are able to sustain past youth or the first flush of recognition. That she still enters her workspace with her head full of questions and the nerve to keep experimenting and exposing herself to potential failure, marks her seriousness as an artist and her quality as an example."
—David Hornung, Professor and chair, Department of Art and Art History, Adelphi University, New York and author of Color: A Workshop for Artists and Designers
Crow is the subject of the book Nancy Crow (Breckling Press, 2006), and the Snyderman Gallery exhibition catalogue Crossroads: Constructions, Markings, and Structures (Breckling Press, 2007, and the author of Nancy Crow: Quilts and Influences (American Quilters’ Society, 1989), Nancy Crow: Work in Transition (American Quilters’ Society, 1992), Nancy Crow: Improvisational Quilts (C & T Publishing, 1995), and Gradations: From the Studio of Nancy Crow (Quilt House Publishing, 1995). Her quilts also have appeared on the cover of two books by Maya Angelou: Wouldn't Take Nothing For My Journey Now (Random House, 1993), and The Complete Collected Poems of Maya Angelou (Random House, 1994).