Kate Gorman, who has college degrees in both illustration and English literature, is a quiltmaker who since 1997 has also conducted energetic artist-in-residence projects sponsored by the Ohio Arts Council throughout the state. Her local 2010 residency with Minford eighth-graders produced the Alice in Wonderland quilt now hanging in the pediatrics unit at Southern Ohio Medical Center. To make her art, Gorman manipulates the colors, shapes and patterns of various fabrics into collaged forms, which she arranges and appliques into quilted stories on another larger layer of background fabric.
Renee Harris, who spent a year at the Corcoran School of Art before graduating from the Cincinnati Art Academy with a minor in illustration and majors in painting and printmaking, has a long record of group exhibitions and premier juried crafts fairs to her credit. She is a recipient of the Ohio Arts Council’s Individual Artist Fellowship. For her art she creates original background material from hand-felted, hand-dyed wool and then embroiders it, using richly textured cotton thread to to “draw” her images on the felted canvas.
Besides their shared medium of fabric, or fiber, Gorman and Harris also share an interest in casting birds as major characters in their narrative dramas.
“I have admired Renee Harris’s work for years,” said Sara Johnson, the exhibition’s curator, “and when Kate Gorman’s quilts came to my attention during an artist’s residency with the museum last fall, it was a eureka moment. These two women are a perfect combination for an exciting, informative exhibition.” Johnson observed that in spite of their obvious similarities, the artists have “such distinctive styles and voices that there is zero chance of confusing their work.”
The artists will meet each other for the first time during a SmARTtalk in the gallery at noon Nov. 30, when they will discuss their methods as well as their motivations. The discussion is free and open to the public. “Birds of a Feather” will continue until the end of the year.
Source: Southern Ohio Museum