Thursday, September 30, 2010

October SAQA Michigan Profile

Our October SAQA Michigan Profile is:

Marilyn M. Prucka
Monroe, Michigan

How long have you been sewing and when did you begin making art quilts? I’ve been drawing, painting, sewing and making fiber things ever since I can remember. My paternal grandmother was a tremendous influence. She made and did about everything. My grandfather only had to mow lawn. I can still hear the clickety-clack of her treadle sewing machine. I’ve always had the notion that ‘hey, I think I can make that.’ Under the direction of my mother I started using a sewing machine when I was 14. I started formal quilting classes in 1998 and making art quilts in 2002 while in graduate school. In 2001, I was studying printmaking and by chance took a dye and fibers class as an elective. I fell in love with the possibilities of fibers as an art medium. I now have an MFA in Textiles from Eastern Michigan University, 2005.

Describe your art and its inspiration. My work is abstract expressionist. I love to dye and do any kind of surface design technique. I’m particularly interested in texture both real and implied. For many years Monroe’s River Raisin and its surrounding landscape has been the seed for my art. I’m fascinated by the colors of fleeting light whether early morning or late day. Where do you do most of your artwork? A year ago I found a unique little house along the river and have since converted it into a fiber studio. I weave as well and between my sewing tools, looms and related paraphernalia I had really crowded my family. It took me 23 years to get through art school. I have a lot of supplies! The only thing about a studio away from home is that now I have to set a timer to remind myself to go home. I have two etching presses but those are at home in the basement. I still do print sessions a few weeks a year.

What are your goals? The first and already in motion is to spend more time in studio. So, I’m cutting back on being active in local fiberart groups. The second is to finally get my website going. I took a couple website classes from Ypsilanti artist, Dee Overly, last fall. I want to be able to make my own site and maintain it. I’m considering taking more web classes at my local community college. The next is to apply for exhibition venues outside of the state of Michigan and to find a gallery to represent me.

Do you teach, lecture, curate or have a business of your artwork? Yes to all of the above. I’ve been a guest lecturer at Wayne State University, Adrian College and Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia. I’ve taught workshops in indigo, textile paints, chemical resist, potato and corn dextrin, collagraph printmaking and polymer clay. I’ve coordinated several local fine art and fiber exhibitions mostly as an officer of various groups. That started in graduate school. I find that it gives one confidence and a good idea of organization. It’s also a great way to meet all kinds of artists and patrons. My art has been a part-time business for a long time. With graduation 5 years ago and the new studio it’s now fulltime.

Where can your work be seen? I try to schedule at least one solo show every year. Plymouth Community Arts Council in Plymouth, MI, the latest was September 1-30, 2010. “Confluence” Of 18 quilts on display, I had 8 new little quilts from a series I called River meets Land. It reflects the area around my new studio. I’ll have two quilts in a show sponsored by the River Gallery of Chelsea, MI, and curator assisted by Ann Arbor fiber artist, Susan Moran. The show “From Tradition to Innovation” will be September 27 – December 6, 2010 at the University of Michigan, Rackham Building. I enter several local competitions a year. I recently had a quilt that won an honorable mention at the Birmingham Bloomfield Art Center’s Michigan Fine Arts Competition. I think it’s important to enter general fine arts competitions. I’ve gotten into the Toledo Museum of Art’s, Toledo Area Artists several times as well, with a quilt and prints.

What are your interests outside of art? 1st, is my family: Bob, my hubby of 40 years, and I now have grandchildren. We are blessed with one grand baby from each of our three sons and their spouses. 2nd, I always have something crafty that I’m working on. I learned to spin 2 ½ years ago and so now I’m incorporating that into my crochet, knitting and weaving. And of course I love to dye those fibers. I like to collect old crochet patterns, especially anything baby or doily or thread crochet related and older than 1950. My weaving is getting more intense. I’m in my 5th year of membership in Cross Border Weavers, a weave study group, with members from across southern Michigan and two in Ontario, Canada. I’ve met some fabulous artisans and made grand friends through my various fiber group affiliations. That dye and fiber class in 2001 and the late EMU professor Pat Williams, opened the doors to something really exciting.

Waterbug Wake


Technique: the cloth is a linen-like heavy textured cotton, the piece uses textile paints for the shibori work. there's devore to 'cut' out holes and pieces for rough-edge applique' the 'bugs' are hand-dyed rayon, hand embroidery -- that rya rug influence of fields, reeds and bug wings. 56" x 42" machine quilted, whole cloth with machine rough-edge applique.

Glacial Tracts
60" x 45"

Technique: From the River Mudflats Series: originally black Kona cotton. Heavily discharged shibori work, over dyed with indigo and walnut hull dye, hulls gathered from the river’s edge. Devore’ reveals walnut dyed cotton batting. The binding was left off to reveal the walnut dyed batting on the edges as well. Machine quilted, appliqué’. I was inspired by the islands revealed by a period of little rainfall. I imagined the mud scoured and marred by the spring ice break-up. **There’s a detail picture in the lower right hand corner.

Floral Reflections
14” x 14”

Technique: Background is textile paint on white Kona cotton, the binding is a black and white commercial fabric that I stained with textile paints. The yoyos are white cotton with textile paints. The ‘foliage’ and French knot ‘water spots’ is hand embroidery, hand dyed 5/2 rayon. Machine quilted. I was inspired the by the order of the fields across the road from the studio, seed heads and flower colors. They reflect into the sky lit waters. I see rya rugs (A rya is a traditional Scandinavian rug) everywhere in the fields and reeds in the river. It’s my new inspiration for this coming year.

This is one of Marilyn's 'inspiration' pictures! Images from the river and land – rya rug influence.

We hope you enjoyed getting to know Marilyn and make sure to look for her work at exhibits in and out of state. Marilyn is in the process of getting her website up and running, until that time you can reach her at:

Fine Arts and Design Studio
8923 North Custer Road
Monroe, MI 48162
Studio Phone: 734-868-0013

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Upcoming Exhibits

The exhibit Rare Threads, Eclectic Meanderings will run from October 3 - November 12 at the Jordan River Arts Council in East Jordan, Michigan.
'The Three Furies' by Shannon Maisel will be on exibit at ART PRIZE, Water's Building (161 Ottawa Ave. NW, Suite 112, Grand Rapids, Michigan). This exhibit runs September 22 - October 10, 2010

Shannon also has work at GVSU, Allendale in the Womens Center at the Kirkhof Building. You can see more of Shannon's work on her web site: and get the inside scoop of Shannon's studio work by checking out her blog here.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

September Winner Is......

True Random Generator
Min: 1
Max: 8

Result: 5

And the winner is!!
Laurie Ceesay!

Congratulations Laurie! Your book will be in the mail this coming week!
Don't forget to either sign up for post updates or check back for new posts. We'll be having another 'give away' for a SAQA publication in October!
And remember to send us any updates for our Michigan region or ideas on posts you would like to see. You can email us at

Saturday, September 11, 2010

MQAI Exhibit

For those who couldn't make the opening of the MQAI - South of the Border Exhibit, here are a few of our own Michigan SAQA members art quilts on display. You can click on the photos for a 'closeup' view, but nothing beats seeing these wonderful quilts in person. The exhibit will be at the Greater Flint Art Gallery thru September. In case you can't make it to the gallery this month, you can check the schedule of the MQAI exhibit, which travels throughout Michigan, here. We'll post more of our own SAQA members quilts tomorrow. Enjoy!

Laruie Ceesay

Kathleen Campau

Mary Andrews

Barbara Bushey

Kathy Briggs

Donna Hamilton

Anne Hiemstra

More MQAI Exhibit photo's

Because curious minds want to know....the director of the Greater Flint Art Council, Greg Fiedler, estimated there were around 750 people at the MQAI opening on Friday! It certainly was crowded to say the least! So lots of eyes got to see some great art work.

Here are some more of our own SAQA members who participated in creating artwork for South of the Border! And yes, you are seeing correctly..those are wine bottles on the table! See what you missed!

Gretchen Jackson

Barbara Kilbourn

Lynn Krawczyk

Linda Larsen

Karen Kiley Olson

Robbie Payne

Bonnie Pennybacker

Carol Tamasiunas

Chris Worland

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Upcoming Fiber Events

by Mary Andrews
The MQAI South of the Border Opening Reception is on Friday, September 10, 2010 6:00 - 9:00pm at the Greater Flint Arts Council Gallery, 816 S. Saginaw St., Flint • Admission: Free
Art Lunch - Wednesday, September 15th 11:45am
Featuring PCAC’s September exhibiting artist Marilyn Prucka’s presentation “Not Afraid to Dye” about fiber art, creativity and process.
Tickets are $15 at the Plymouth Community Art Council, 774 N. Sheldon Road, Plymouth, MI 48170 734-416-4278.

Also, Marilyn will also be having an Artist Reception on Friday, September 24th 6-8 pm with refreshments (no charge). Marilyn Prucka’s quilts are abstract impressions of the landscape around her riverside studio in Monroe. She sees her fiber work as graphic, painterly and sculptural and, at the same time, a source of comfort.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

SAQA Give Away for September!

It's SAQA Michigan give away this week! All you have to do is leave a comment on this post (only) and you’re automatically entered to win the publication, SAQA@20 and Sense of Humor (a combined catalog).

SAQA@20: Art & Excellence, a juried exhibit which celebrated Studio Art Quilt Associates’ 20th Anniversary juried by Patricia Bolton, contains 35 art quilts. Curator was Cindy Rinne.

The Sense of Humor exhibit catalog contains 27 artworks from 24 artists which were juried in by Pam RuBert. This exhibit was curated by Patricia Gould. The exhibit was shown at the IQA shows in Houston (2009) as well as Chicago and Long Beach, California in 2010.

If you are NOT a blogger, select 'anonymous' as your profile in the comments section and then make sure to leave your full name or email in the comments section. Remember we have many members with the same first name so we need to know who you are to contact you.
This give away will remain open until midnight on Monday September 13th. The winner will be announced on Thursday, September 16th.

Thank you so much for participating! The WINNER will be selected using and yes, you can comment more than once!