Bio

Art is when you hear a knocking from your soul – and you answer.

-Star Riches

Bio

For Michelle Jackson, art was an every day experience from a very young age, since her mother was the local school art instructor. Sewing was a part of that experience and by high school Michelle was designing and making most of her own clothing so it seemed only natural that a fashion design degree be in her future.

After graduating from The Fashion Institute of Technology, Michelle worked as a women’s lingerie designer in New York City. She appeared on the Sally Jessy Raphael Show and many of her designs were featured in Vogue, Weight Watchers and Ebony magazines. After marrying, having two children and moving to New Mexico, Michelle put her career on hold and devoted herself to her family. In 2004, she started designing again, this time combining her new love of quilting with fashion, creating wearable art patterns for others to enjoy making.

Her quilting didn’t stop there. With a love of color and obsession to be creative she moved quickly into art quilts. This is where I feel at home; exaggerating color to capture moments and tell stories. She says. The most fun part of the design process is deciding exactly how I’m going to tell the story. What tweak of color can I use to help people see what I want them to see, or feel what I want them to feel?

Michelle designs art quilts in her open studio/gallery at the foot of the Sandia Mountains in New Mexico. Her quilts have won numerous awards and appear in exhibits, galleries, magazines and books. Michelle also teaches and lectures on the use of color and light to tell a story in fiber. Look forward to many more quilts from Michelle Jackson filled with exhilarating color and light.

Resume

Exhibitions:

2011 Articulate Threads, South Broadway Cultural Center, Albuquerque

2009 Light Fantastic, Branigan Cultural Center, Las Cruces, NM

2008 NM Fabrications, Capitol Rotunda, Santa Fe, NM

Private Commissions:

Ambassadors for Christ Community Church

L. Palmer Private Collection

G. Liggan Private Collection

Selected Awards and Honors:

2012 Appearance on “The Quilt Show with Alex Anderson and Ricky Tims” episode #1002

2010 Niche Award Winner, Fiber Art Quilt Category

2010 Pacific International Quilt Festival, 3rd place, Art Quilt

2009 Pacific International Quilt Festival, Honorable Mention, Art Quilt

2009 Fiber Arts Fiesta, Third Place, Art Quilt

2007 Judge for Fiber Arts Fiesta Wearable Art

Selected Juried/invitational exhibitions:

2011 Pacific International Quilt Festival

2010 International Quilt Association, Chicago, Celebrate Spring

2010 Pacific International Quilt Festival

2009 Pacific International Quilt Festival

2009 American Quilter’s Society Des Moines Expo

2009 Fiber Arts Fiesta, Albuquerque, NM

2008 American Quilter’s Society Nashville Expo

2008 Pacific International Quilt Festival

2007 Road to California

2006 International Quilt Association, Houston, A World of Beauty

Publications:

2011 The Art of Quilts Postcard Collection, Architecture C&T Publishing

2011 Book on Color by Christine Barnes for C&T Publishing

2011 American Quilter’s Society Quilt Arts engagement Calendar

2010 Niche Magazine

2007 Sew News Article, Wearable Art

Affiliations:

Studio Art Quilt Associates, New Mexico Representative 2012-2014

American Quilter’s Society

International Quilt Association

New Mexico Quilters Association

Education:

Fashion Institute of Technology, Fashion Design 1984

Artist’s Statement

For me, art and the need to be creative are as necessary as breathing. While I was growing up, my mother was the school art teacher and art was as much a part of my life as brushing my teeth. Every day was filled with the task of using my imagination to make the world more beautiful. When a child uses their imagination wonderful and sometimes unusual “fanciful” things can happen like strawberry horses, green elephants and blueberry giraffes. Oh my!

I remember how excited I was as a child at placing two cut out shapes of different color construction paper next to each other as if they were fairytale characters that took on a life of their own and played out some happily ever after scenario. I discovered the use of color was a way of telling beautiful stories and I could create the characters and embellish them however I wanted.

I’m still telling stories with the use of color in my art today. I start with rather ordinary photographs of common people, places or things and interject color to help create a specific plot.

People have asked me, “How do you come up with the color?” Sometimes it’s as easy as the characters in the piece having particular personalities or traits that just steer in the direction of certain colors that have the same personalities. For example; I may use clear bright pastels and lots of poke-a-dots in a piece with children to help portray their innocence and youth, or I may use dark purples and blues to help tell a story of mystery about an old abandoned building.

Sometimes the unusual color overwhelms the piece almost as if to say the story is more about the color and the play and relationships of color than the actual subject. The subject in this case helps distribute the color and creates the plot for the characters (the colors) to interact.

My more recent work is a little more subtle and sophisticated in that for each piece I ask myself the question, How far can I take the viewer into this piece thinking it’s real before they realize there is some fantasy? Giraffes don’t really have blue ears. Do they? But he looks so real! I love walking that fine line between reality and fantasy and hope it encourages people to look at things differently; with a sense of newness like that of a child seeing things for the first time with amazement and awe.

I welcome comments, inquiries and requests for lectures and workshops.
Please send an email to MichelleJackson@quiltfashions.com