Drawing lessons with artist Ben Pines

I have taken time off from quilt and printmaking since the close of the Dialogues exhibit at the Indianapolis Museum of Art in September.  Over time, I realized that better drawing skills are what is required now.  In October, I resumed lessons begun years ago and am studying now with Ben Pines, a Bloomington painter who studied at the Boston Museum School of Art and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art in Philadelphia. http://benpines.com/

The kind of printmaking I have done so far has been largely about line.  Ben’s paintings, although representational, have very little to do with line.  They have quite a lot to do, however, with how he feels about what he sees.  I am learning new ways of looking at things and have been introduced to artists whose paintings had only rarely attracted me or were altogether unknown.  We are beginning with tonal drawing and some anatomy study.  Here are some recent studies.  I have no doubt the lessons will work their way into both my prints and quilts, although it may be a while before I realize how.


Still Life, drawing by Kate Lenkowsky


Shopping Bag with Packages, drawing by Kate Lenkowsky

Contemporary Quilts at the Indianapolis Museum of Art

Karen Hampton's Fritillaria Fulcrum at entryway to gallery

“Fritillaria Fulcrum” by Karen Hampton greets viewers at the gallery entrance.

Dialogues: Contemporary Responses to Marie Webster Quilts opened June 23 at the Indianapolis Museum of Art. This is the second studio quilt exhibition I have curated and I’ve been fortunate to have guidance both times from experienced professionals. “Dialogues” was juried and installed by Niloo Paydar, Curator of Textile and Fashion Arts at the IMA.  Quilts were selected from those submitted by mid-western members of the Studio Art Quilt Associates. The concept was to create an exhibition of quilts inspired by the bed quilts of Marie Webster, an Indiana quilt maker, designer and entrepreneur whose quilt designs were ground-breaking when first published in the early 1900s.

The IMA has its collection of Webster bed quilts on exhibit now through January 8, 2017. http://www.imamuseum.org/exhibition/joy-forever-marie-webster-quilts  If you scroll down to View Collections, you will find a link to the quilts in the contemporary exhibition.

Dialogues installation in the Waller Gallery, IMA

Whether quilts are objects of interest to you or not, both of these exhibitions are well worth seeing. Webster introduced the ideals of Arts and Crafts into all of her designs.  They are notable for their clean lines and simplicity, resulting in a quiet elegance which is enhanced by a stunning installation.

The quilts in Dialogues  inspired by Webster are not limited by the need to fit a bed.  The artists freely experimented with her design elements.  Some manipulated these elements in Photoshop to create their compositions; others manipulated the fabric itself or drew and painted with needles and thread.  Some years ago, Paul J. Smith, the Director of the American Craft Museum (now the Museum of Arts and Design), spoke of what he called the craft aesthetic. It is that unique character of the object resulting from the artist’s intense involvement with materials and process. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_J._Smith_(arts_administrator). This aesthetic is apparent in every one of these quilts and makes for a fascinating exhibition.

The Indianapolis Museum of Art should be recognized for opening its doors to this artwork.  With the exception of quilts made by artists already well known for work in other media, contemporary studio quilts are not often exhibited in major museums. I am grateful to the IMA for giving them this opportunity.

For a glimpse of artist Karen Hampton’s work, go to http://www.hamptonartstudios.com

“Dialogues” opening at IMA June 24

Just finished the announcement. The gallery guide goes to print tomorrow. Card designed by Karen Hampton:








“Dialogues: Contemporary Responses to Marie Webster Quilts” at Indianapolis Museum of Art

Still working on the gallery guide and publicity for “Dialogues,” the SAQA exhibition scheduled to open June 24 at the Waller Community Gallery in the Indianapolis Museum of Art. This is the second exhibition I’ve curated and am fortunate to have Niloo Paydar, the Curator of Textiles and Fashion Arts at the IMA working with me.