This spring when I received a newsletter from the Danforth Gallery in Livingston, Montana, a surprise discovery of an artist working in fabric appeared on the pages. As I went looking for more information about the woman who created the work of fiber art pictured above, it became clear to me that somehow in the small population state of Montana a fiber artist, like me, seems to imagine that we know of all the working textile artists in the state. It was my pleasure to discover that Maggy Rozycki Hiltner lives in the small town of Red Lodge which is south of Interstate 90 and is often reached as the terminus of a drive over the Beartooth Hiway that begins at Cooke City near the Northeast entrance to Yellowstone National Park; a place I could visit on a day trip.
In this small rural and somewhat isolated town Maggy creates her fiber pieces using images cut from pieces of vintage embroidery or images she has embroidered by using patterns from the 20’s, 30′, 40’s and 50’s. These embroidery patterns were often found on the pages of women’s magazines such as”Women’s Home Companion”, “Needlecraft”, “Peterson’s” or “Ladies Home Journal” to name a few of the resources you can still find on Etsy or Ebay today. Back in my younger years a trip to the local “five and dime” store would be the resource for books of design transfers which could be ironed on to fabric or there was always a supply of stamped kitchen towels and pillow cases that could be purchased. The thread most often used was a six strand cotton embroidery floss. Sometimes today you can find a collection of embroidered and/or appliqued household pieces at thrift stores and garage sales. If the stitching needs some repairing the same cotton floss used 50 years ago is still sold and can be used to make some repairs, if desired. It is these used, older pieces of embroidery that Maggie finds and uses to create her artwork today.
In a wonderful interview on the blog:
http://www.mrxstitch.com/future-heirlooms/. the interviewer gives a wonderful description of how the artist’s work impacted the author.
April 24 to August 16, 2015
Dr. Ruth Tam Lim Project Room
Mesa Arts Center
visit the Mesa Arts Center website
September 26, 2014 to January 18, 2015
Erie Art Museum
visit the Erie Art Museum website
March 7 to July 5, 2015
San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles
San Jose, CA
visit the San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles website
If you will be near one of the shows her work is sure to delight the exploring, playful artist within each of us. For some, it will be the remembering of the images she uses from our days as a child or young adult, or even those times when we have picked up and been tempted to buy a piece or two of embroidered household linens.
Other artists have included pieces of vintage embroidery in their work, Sue Reno, http://www.suereno.com/ showed pieces of her work incorporating vintage linens in a recent article for Quilting Arts and Deb Lacativa uses vintage linens for the cloth she dyes for sale and in the work she creates http://lacativa.com/ and http://morewgalo.blogspot.com/ .
What pure delight to discover an unknown to me textile artist living in a small Montana town. An artist whose work reaches from coast to coast here in the USA and brings a new vision to those who see her work.