Susie Monday

Artist, maker, teacher, author, head cook and bottlewasher.

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The art I make is the result of a life-long love of pattern, texture and color. How I teach is a skill honed by experience (I started teaching creative arts to younger kids when I was 12). After earning a B.A. in Studio Arts from Trinity University, I helped lead an internationally recognized educational foundation, designed curriculum exhibits for schools and other institutions, wrote and edited for a major daily newspaper, opened the San Antonio Children's Museum and then, a dozen years ago, took the scary but essential (for me) leap to become a fulltime artist and art teacher.

About This Blog

This weblog is about the maker's life. The teacher's path. The stitching and dyeing and printing of the craft of art cloth and art quilt. The stumbling around and the soaring, the way the words and the pictures come together. Poetry on the page and in the piecing of bright scraps together. The inner work and the outer journeys to and from. Practicalities and flights of fancy and fearful grandeur, trivial pursuits and tactile amusements. Expect new postings two or three times a week, unless you hear otherwise. 

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    « On Developing a Visual "Voice" | Main | Houston Quilt Festival is Around the Corner »

    Installed in the Library


    If I could be a book, I'd choose to be in a library, something pithy and not too popular, but the kind of book that when someone checked me out, I'd be a surprise, something to read and savor, something to share with my friends.

    Well. I'm getting into the Parman Branch, but it's not as a book. Thursday, the San Antonio Library Foundation and SA Public Library will dedicate a new children's area dedicated to the memory of a young girl who died at age 16 of cancer that she had fought most of her life. The young girl, Ana Macias, became the reason for gifts from family and friends and library supporters. You are invited if you're in town or near -- 5:30-7 at Parman Branch, outside Loop 1604 on Wilderness Oak off Blanco.

    I was asked to make a large art quilt "tapestry" to put on the wall in the new area. Here's what I can tell you about it. I prepared this fact sheet to leave with the librarians and to give the foundation for their records:


    Ana’s Nook

    Art Quilt “tapestry” by Susie Monday, 2012

    Commissioned by the San Antonio Public Library Foundation

    Materials:  Cotton, silk, rayon, cotton blend and other textiles, wooden frame, cotton batting and sound absorbing batting, paint, dye, fusible webbing and dye. 

    Techniques: Fused raw-edge appliqué with free-motion quilting and hand embroidery. Fabrics created with a variety of surface design techniques including batik, screen printing, hand-painting, dye and textile painting on both new and repurposed fabrics. The art was treated with a UV light barrier chemical to help limit fading. 

    This triptych was designed especially for the gridded translucent wall of the new children’s area at Parman Branch Library. The librarian Haley Holmes and the staff of the Library Foundation wanted something that would be visually interesting to children, would help absorb sound and would include “Ana’s Nook,” in honor of the memory of Ana Macias. The design was inspired by a picture Haley had of an apple tree quilt. 

    Susie took off from that seed of an idea, using the colors of the library interior and those of the new Ana’s Nook furnishings. The fanciful art quilt includes two apple trees on either side and a Spanish oak in the center and depict the trees  against a nighttime constellation of stitched names of children’s book heroes and heroines. Ana’s Nook is printed on a sign that hangs from the oak and one of the apple trees (repurposed in traditional quilt fashion from a pair of worn-out trousers) has several pockets full of leaves. A quarter moon hangs in the tree branches and moon beams sparkle a path through the piece.

    Each leaf is different in color, pattern and stitching, and while some of the book hero names are easy to read, others are blended into the background, so a kind of hide-and-seek of names can engage the viewer. Hand stitching adds more pattern and texture, with large cross-stitched “x”s and Long running stitches as part of the grassy hills where the trees stand.

    Susie Monday is a textile artist with more than 15 years experience in the field. Her work is featured in public and private collections across the hemisphere, and has been featured in exhibits in the U.S and internationally, including at the International Quilt Festival, Gallery Nord, the Witte Museum, and the San Antonio Public Library Gallery. She works in her home studio near Pipe Creek, El Cielo Studio, where she also teaches fiber art and creativity workshops. She is also an adjunct faculty member at the Southwest School of Art, and a Creative Learning Specialist for the International Programs Department of Alamo Colleges. Her new book, coauthored with Susan Marcus and Dr. Cynthia Herbert is coming out October 23 from Greenleaf Book Group, The Missing Alphabet, A Parents Guide to Developing Creative Thinking in Kids. Susie graduated from Trinity University in 1970.


     Here's the invitation to the event:


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    Reader Comments (7)

    This is such a beautiful tribute to a life, thank you for bringing this work to be enjoyed for many, many years to come.
    September 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLinda Cuellar
    Great job! Your caring shows throughout the entire piece...........I know all who see it will enjoy.
    September 19, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterjanice/Houston
    Susie.....Retired from managing a small rural library on an Indian Reservation, I can just imagine the delight and pleasure the children would express as they look at, explore and enjoy this wonderful piece of art. Thank you so much for sharing this with us on your blog.
    September 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKristin McNamara Freeman
    Thank you all for the kind remarks. I am honored to have been selected for this project and look forward to its official launch tomorrow. Right now the center panel is covered by a big gold drape! Susie
    September 19, 2012 | Registered CommenterSusie Monday
    Susie, this is a beautiful tribute . Linda
    September 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLinda
    Susie, lovely to see the whole piece and the installation...truly inspiring.
    September 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMary Ann
    What a wonderful project, Susie. It even ties together your work with children, fiber art, your love of nature, and your love of books.
    September 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMargaret

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