In the Spotlight

Galleria Exhibit: Narrative Art Quilts

Galleria Exhibit: Narrative Art Quilts

Fiber Artist Kristy Moeller Ottinger's intricate and quirky narrative art quilts are displayed in your Library's Galleria until Wednesday, July 26.

Post Author

Hannah Kiger

Your Library is hosting an art exhibit featuring narrative art quilts by fiber artist Kristy Moeller Ottinger. You can view her intricate and quirky wall hangings in our Galleria until Wednesday, July 26.

Ottinger’s quilts celebrate spirituality through a unique mix of colors, patterns, textures, and humor. She uses mixed media and found objects to embellish her work and bring stories to life.

The quilts displayed at the Library are from her Good Advice series and Tree of Life series.

Library Events with Kristy Moeller Ottinger

Along with her exhibit, the Library is holding three events with Ottinger in June.

She will lead a quilting demonstration and craft for school age kids at Creativity Lab: Quilting in Appalachia on Thursday, June 22 at 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. Shannon Hitchcock, author of the children’s book Story Quilts: Appalachian Women Speak, will also talk via Zoom about her book.

On Friday, June 23, Ottinger will speak at your Library’s Fiber Arts Group from 3-4 p.m. Fiber Arts Group is open to the public and meets on the second and fourth Fridays of every month from 3-5 p.m.

That same day, the Library will host a reception for Ottinger in the Galleria from 4-6 p.m. Come by to meet Ottinger, view her work, and learn about her creative process.

Call (423) 434-4454 for more information about Ottinger’s exhibit and events at the Library.

About Kristy Moeller Ottinger

Kristy Moeller Ottinger was born in Tipton, Indiana. Her parents, Herbert and Lucy, raised their children to be resourceful and creative. If they wanted something, they were encouraged to make it themselves. Making was a part of life in the Moeller household, where Herbert was a cabinetmaker and Lucy a dressmaker.

Ottinger is best known for her narrative art quilts. She embellishes her work relentlessly, using found objects, mixed media, embroidery, paint, and writing. Her exquisitely detailed wall hangings show her artful, meticulous sewing skill and demonstrate her talent for using mixed media to enhance her quilts’ stories.

Ottinger dabbled in other art forms throughout her formal art education, and earned a Master of Fine Arts in painting from East Tennessee State University.

In 1994 she received a scholarship to Burren College of Art in Ireland, and while there she worked with an Irish quilter. Ottinger’s love of fiber art was reawakened, and she has been creating narrative art quilts ever since.

Kristy Moeller Ottinger on Creating Art Quilts

We got to speak with Ottinger recently about her unique style of quilting.

What led you to become a fiber artist? What about fiber art hooked you, and quilting in particular?

I learned to sew at nine years old and have been working in fiber in one way or another ever since. I was a traditional quilter until I made an art quilt for my son as a baby. Later, I earned a scholarship to Burren College of Art in Ireland where I met a quilter who gave me some silk to make an art quilt. After that, I started making art quilts full time.

How do you describe your quilting style? How has it evolved since you started quilting?

My quilting used traditional patterns at first, then evolved into my own folk art style about 30 years ago. I love mixed media and heavy embellishment on my quilts. My work emphasizes color, pattern, texture, and humor.

What themes do you see as having remained constant in your work over the years?

I started the Tree of Life series in 1996 with a large quilt commissioned by MeadowView Convention Center in Kingsport. Since that time, I have made many Tree of Life quilts. Each is different and is heavily embellished.

Most of the quilts in my exhibit at the Library come from a smaller series that I call the “Good Advice” series. These are humorous quilts with witty sayings about how to live, told by a fictional character named Fauve.

How does being a fiber artist affect how you see and experience the world?

Quilts are very tactile and beg one to touch them. Many families have a quilt from a relative and can draw sentimental value from them. I love color, pattern, and texture. It is through fiber that I understand my environment.

If you’re a local artist interested in displaying your work at the Library, click here to submit an application.

Stay up-to-date on what’s happening at your Library this summer by following Johnson City Public Library on Facebook and Instagram!

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