Our SAQA Profile this month is:
From Oak Park, Michigan
How long have you been sewing and when did you begin making art quilts?
I started quilting in 1992. I begin my first art quilt 'Goldie' in 1998 and finished in 2001. It did not take me 3 years to make the quilt, but the project scarred me so much that I set the project aside and totally stopped quilting for 3 years.
Describe your art and its inspiration.
I have always been fascinated by people and their faces and I've always loved to draw portraits, but my quilting inspiration comes from old family photos. Fabric portraits are not like any other quilts, they are truly a labor of love.
I have yet to have a student that brought a photo of some pretty face that came in their new wallet. Instead people bring photos of a loved one, some living and some who have passed away, often wanting to make a memorial to a mother or father that they loved and lost or a grandchild they never get to see. It is a therapeutic experience for them. It seems like an ultimate gesture of love and dedication that they exercise when they do these portraits. They are trying to capture the essence of a person, so much the same way that I been doing since the first time I started drawing.
Where do you do most of your artwork?
I have a basement studio where I can work without messing up the house and where I occasionally teach.
What are your goals?
My goal is to let people know that they can do quilt portraits. They should not to be afraid to give it a try and not waste time on fears like I did. I teach very simple skills that anybody can do, peppered with a lot of good advice and a little hand holding.
Do you teach, lecture, curate or have a business of your artwork?
I started my business 'Quilts by Aniko' this spring. I have also been lecturing and teaching. Lately people started to ask me about the portrait class I teach and could they purchase the pattern without taking my class. I started to develop a series of 4 patterns which will be available in a few months. The first one "Nadiia" is ready for printing, but I want to complete all four patterns before I release them for sale.
Where can your work be seen?
I have a website where all my quilts are displayed. It also shows what lecture and workshops I offer and my schedule. When the patterns are published, they will be available for sale on my website. www.quiltsbyaniko.com
What are your interests outside of art?
When I took up quilting most of my other interests fell by the wayside. A few things I could not give up are reading and watching movies. When I quilt there is always a movie or book on tape playing in the background, but the eyes and hands stay focused on my quilting.
Some background on the making of 'Survivors'This 2"x 3" group photo was taken in 1945 in sepia tones that faded with time. It was a photo that was part of Aniko's family history and pictures both Aniko's mother and 4 other survivors of the Holocaust. It was taken somewhere on the road several months after the liberation as they were traveling, mostly walking back home to Hungary, from the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. This picture became Aniko's inspiration for Survivors.
Because some areas of the photo were totally dark, Aniko came up with the idea of combining her mother’s last photo as she looked before she passed away. Aniko took great care to trace her mother’s features and then placed the enlarged face over the knee area of the photo that was faded, creating her own double exposure and the eerie affect everyone senses when they see this quilt. Aniko feels this quilt turned out to be the best piece she has ever done. Aniko strongly feels that "if the picture is important enough you will use it and all will be well".
41" x 43"
'Kati' is a quilting friend of Aniko's and was made using a photo of her friend when she was 7 years old, 50 years ago.
Be sure to visit Aniko's web site for a look at more of her wonderful art work and for a schedule of her workshops and lectures (http://www.quiltsbyaniko.com/).