Kate Lenkowsky has been interested in contemporary art and textiles for over 30 years. A professional social worker, she began making quilts while at home with children in the 1990s. Her early work followed traditional formats, and won awards in several Indiana state fairs.
Her quilt, The Call to Service (2003), which was exhibited for 10 years at the headquarters of the Corporation for National and Community Service in Washington DC, was recently donated to Indiana University. It is now permanently installed there at the Briscoe Civic Leaders Center. For Everything There is a Season (2001), is installed at Congregation Shaarey Tefilla, Carmel, Indiana.
Lenkowsky’s book, Contemporary Quilt Art: An Introduction and Guide, is published by Indiana University Press (2008), and won a Gold Prize as Book of the Year in Art from ForeWord Magazine. She has also written about textile art and artists for Surface Design Journal and Fiber Arts and about conservation and collecting for the online edition of AmericanStyle, and the website of the Studio Art Quilt Associates (SAQA).
In 2009, Lenkowsky taught in the Textile Area in the School of Fine Arts at Indiana University, and for several years was part of a professional group studying pre-Columbian Peruvian textiles at the University’s Mathers Museum of World Cultures. She has lectured on textile traditions in contemporary quilts at the Textile Museum in Washington, DC, and at Baylor University in Waco, Texas.
In 2011, Lenkowsky was invited to give the Indiana University Art History Department’s prestigious Burke Lecture. She has served as a juror for national and regional contemporary quilt art exhibits including “Form Not Function,” in New Albany, Indiana (2011) and “Quilt Visions” (2012) in San Diego, California.
In 2016, she has curated two Studio Art Quilt Associates (SAQA) exhibitions. “Dialogues: Contemporary Responses to Marie Webster Quilts” is on display at the Waller Community Gallery at the Indianapolis Museum of Art from June 24 to September 4, 2016.
Lenkowsky’s current work is influenced by the textile traditions she discovered in the examination of historical textile art from around the world. She uses weave structures, embroidery, and traditional patterning as well as formal elements of color and line to create compositions evoking a sense of place or emotion. One series she is currently working on embodies a personal experience of music. Another involves relief printing on linen. Some of these printed images are worked into quilts; others stand alone.
Studio Art Quilt Associates
Surface Design Association
Art Quilters of Bloomington
Charm Club Quiltmakers
2016 Quilts Inspired by Mathers Museum Artifacts, Mathers Museum of World Cultures, Indiana University, Bloomington
2016 Surface Design Members Show, Blueline Gallery, Bloomington
2015 Eight Bloomington Printmakers, The Vault at Gallery Mortgage, Bloomington
2014 Surface Design Members Show, Creative Arts and Events Center, Greenfield, IN
2013 Notable Arts Exhibit, Indianapolis
2010 Studio Art Quilt Associates, Indianapolis
2011 Surface Design Association, Indianapolis
2000-2016 Biennial Exhibition, Charm Club, Sullivan Munce Cultural Center, Zionsville, IN
2012 Quilt Visions 2012, Visions Art Museum, San Diego
2012 Form not Function, Carnegie Center for Art and History, New Albany, IN
2011 Burke Lecture, Art History Department, Indiana University, Bloomington
2009 Invitational Lecture, Martin Museum of Art, Baylor University, Waco, TX
2009 Thursday Evening Lecture Series: The Textile Museum, Washington DC
2008 Sullivan Munce Cultural Center, Zionsville, IN
2008 City Quilter, New York
2008 Fiber Art Study Guild of Metropolitan Washington DC
2008 Keynote Address, Quilt Surface Design Symposium, Columbus, OH
2008 Textile Studies Seminar, Indiana University, Bloomington