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


Artist and author Kate Lenkowsky