Art Quilts by Denise Roberts
January 16 - April 11, 2021
Award-winning quilt artist Denise Roberts credits the curved landscapes that surround the winding roads of her home state of West Virginia as a major influence on her work. Through the meandering arcs and bold shapes and colors that appear in her quilts, she achieves a brooding sense of energy and character. She reaps the bounty of the thousands of hours she has invested in studying and perfecting the technical side of her artistry, utilizing a masterful grasp of free and improvisational cutting, fabric dyeing and surface design to create textiles that stretch far beyond the historical bounds that often limit the quilter’s art. Though rooted in timeless craft traditions, her work is more akin to that of abstract painters, connected with them through a bold use of color and form in their purest manifestations.
A West Virginia resident since the age of nine, Roberts has lived in several locations around the state, including a stretch in the mid-1980s when she settled in Huntington. After she and her husband welcomed their first daughter, they moved to the Morgantown area, and in 2008 they bought a farm in Albright, West Virginia (Preston County), where she set up her professional studio and still resides. She spent many years following a traditional quilter’s path, but in 2005 she began studying with some of the leaders in the improvisational quilting field, especially Ohio-based artist Nancy Crow. Her work has been featured in many national and international exhibits, including Color Improvisations 2, which was shown at the Huntington Museum of Art in 2019.
This will be Roberts’ first solo show and will highlight selections from three thematic series that have occupied her attention over much of the past five years. All the quilts feature the energetic lines and striking colors that have become characteristic of the artist’s mature work. After many shows with a limited number of her work, the prospect of seeing a large selection together in one gallery will provide a tantalizing treat to museum visitors.
Presented with support from The Isabelle Gwynn and Robert Daine Exhibition Endowment.
This program is presented with financial assistance from the West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture and History, and the National Endowment for the Arts, with approval from the West Virginia Commission on the Arts.
Denise Roberts, MITOTE #16, 2020. Hand dyed cotton fabric, cotton batting, and cotton thread; 75” h x 34” w. Improvisational cuts, machine pieced, and machine quilted. Image courtesy of the artist.