Anne Marie Kenny

Born      Orange NJ

Raised   Indianapolis IN

Home & Studio   Exeter NH

1983 B.A. Fine Arts Indiana University

1978-1979 Purdue University

1988 1989 Vermont Studio Colony

My Industrial Quilts have been influenced by industry and technology both aesthetically and conceptually. The methods and materials I use in my quilts are nontraditional. The repetitive format and industrial materials are used for their standardized, manufactured appearance. The Amoskeag Textile Mill history in New Hampshire and the "mill girls" continue to inspire my work. 

 

I try to emphasize the contrasts between machine-made and hand-made objects.  I attempt to make reference to both industrial and post-industrial mechanization while retaining the personal and expressive aspects of traditional quilt making. The contrasts of machine-made versus hand-made are designed to complement each other,  yet provoke the controversy surrounding the way things of value are made. 

 

The quilt is a very personal image to me and by working with unconventional materials in this format I am better able to make references to the world I live in. Art parallels progress, modern industry, and invention. These influences create new forms of expression and aesthetics. I am exploring these forms and new ways of seeing. My quilts are suggestive of a new aesthetic which combines tradtional and nontraditional quilt making. 

Bio

Anne grew up in Indianapolis, Indiana. She graduated with a B.A. in Fine Arts/Textiles from Indiana University, Bloomington in 1983. After college, Anne moved to Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Anne began exhibiting her textile art and “art quilts” in galleries and museums in Louisiana, Alabama, Texas, California, Washington and Indiana. Her early inspiration came from the Pop Artists, the Abstract Expressionists and the artists who “created in the gap between art and life” and a new way of seeing. Around 1987, Anne moved to New Hampshire. The Amoskeag Mills in Manchester, NH and the Lowell Mills in Lowell, Massachusetts profoundly changed the personal, aesthetic, and philosophical approach to her “art quilt” work. Anne took a two year sabbatical to research the mill girls, and the Industrial Revolution. The mill women moving from the farm to the factory was a specific inspiration for her. She traveled to mills in New England, Canada, and France.

Exhibits at the Smithsonian including “The Art of the Personal Object” inspired her to create her new aesthetic and new work that she titled “Industrial Quilts” in 1990. The contrasts of hand-made versus machine-made became an aesthetic designed to complement each other yet provoke the controversy surrounding the way things of value are made. With progress, what we may lose and what we may gain are part of her message.  

The technology industry in the mills in Manchester, NH in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s provided Anne with cast-off computer and electronic parts, including microchips, salvaged at an area Metal Salvage yard. She discovered them by accident.  It was several years before they found their way into her quilts. The innovation, circuitry, patterns and mystique of the parts intrigued her.  She describes “the inside of microchips as having a quilt-like aesthetic combined with a resource to carry information, much like a quilt has done throughout history”. The contrast of hand-made and machine-made became even more pronounced in her current work. 

Anne feels the history and materials she is surrounded by, in addition to modern life, are evident in her “Industrial Quilts”.  Her quilts are suggestive of a new aesthetic which combines traditional and non-traditional quilt making. 

Anne’s Industrial Quilts have been exhibited throughout the United States as well as Internationally including Japan, Taiwan and Europe. Her Industrial Quilts are included in the permanent collections at the Museum of Arts & Design, NY and the Currier Museum of Art Manchester, NH. Curator at the Museum of Arts & Design, Ursula Ilse-Neuman, included Anne’s Industrial Quilt installation in the exhibit “Six Continents of Quilts” from the MAD permanent collection of art quilts and wrote an article which included Anne’s work titled “The Art Quilt Takes the World Stage” , 2002.

Artist Statement II

 

I began making my “Industrial Quilts” ︎™ in 1992 after taking a sabbatical of sorts from my textile work to spend more time visiting museums, galleries, and mills throughout the country.  After invigorating trips to Washington D.C., NY City, and various tours through textile mills in New England and Canada, I began a more personal and thoughtful relationship with my textile work. Several exhibits and historical tours* strongly influenced my evolving aesthetic and conceptual thoughts towards my work.  The conceptual nature of my “Industrial Quilts” ™ have been influenced by the textile mills of the Industrial Revolution. The changes brought about by machines (power looms) in producing fabric and the movement of the women workers/craftspeople from the home to the mill influenced my departure from more traditional fiber work.  

 

Additionally,  Oceania artifacts, African art objects, the Abstract Expressionists, and the Pop Artists (Rauschenberg, Jasper Johns), “who created in the gap between art and life”, have also influenced my thoughts and aesthetics. 

 

In my work I am continuing to create pieces that reflect my feelings about the changes and imminent progress of our society and the costs as well as benefits associated with progress such as aesthetics, handwork, creativity, and touch.  I am interested in that uncomfortable line between automation and human touch, nature and the machine.  I have completed several series of quilts which include themes of nature, domestic objects, abstract paintings, and industrial objects.  

 

Currently, I am incorporating salvaged computer and electronic cast-off parts (from the late 1980’s, early 1990’s) from the New England metal salvage yards into my quilts which have moved my work towards a “post industrial”, technological aesthetic. I find the aesthetics of these salvaged materials complementary to my sense of design and indicative of the technological industry that surrounds me. I am exploring circuitry (the “integrated circuit”/microchip) as an aesthetic influence. I am intrigued by the patterns, layering, and mystery associated with technological parts and their manufacture.  I am interested in creating a quilt suggestive of production, assembly, and standardization.

 

My “Industrial Quilts” ™ are created to make a connection between the past, present, and future. I hope to create quilts that reflect 20th century influences on craftspeople, industry, invention, and aesthetics.  

Vitae

Education

Indiana University Bloomington 

BA 1983  Fine Arts/Textiles

1978-1979 Purdue University

Vermont Colony Residency VT 1988 1989

Exhibits

2020 2019 - ODETTA Gallery NY NY

2019 2020 - Art Up Front Street Gallery NH

2013 - Katonah Museum of Art NY

2008-2011 - McGowan Fine Art Concord NH

2008 - New England College Gallery NH

2006-2011 - McGowan Fine Art NH

2005 - National Museum of History Taiwan

2005 - National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts

2005 - Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts 

2005 - Tokyo International Quilt Festival Japan

2005 - Museum of Arts & Design NY

2005 - Carl Solway Gallery Cincinnati OH

2005 - Apartment 48 NY NY

2004 - AAF Contemporary Art NY

2002 - American Craft Museum UBS Gallery NY

           Six Continents of Quilts Exhibit 

2002 1995 - Currier Museum of Art NH

2002 2001 - McGowan Fine Art NH

2001 - Penn State University Gallery  PA

2000 - Hood Museum of Art  Dartmouth NH

2000 - Synderman/Works Gallery PA

2000 - Plymouth State College NH

1999 - Artists Circle Ltd. Potomac MD 

1999 - ERL Originals NC

1998 - Yeiser Art Center Paducah KY

1997 - Connell Gallery Atlanta GA

1997 - Colorado College CO

1997 - Indianapolis Museum of Art IN

1996 - Anderson Gallery Pontiac MI

1996 - St. Anselm College NH

1996 - Finer Side Gallery MD

1995 - ACC Craft Exhibition Baltimore MD

1995 - Quilt National Exhibit OH 

1994 1995 Center for the Visual Arts Denton TX

1993-1995 - Currier Museum of Art NH

1994 - Huntingdon College Gallery AL

1994 - League of NH Craftsmen NH

1993 - The University of NH Art Gallery

1993 - Rivier College NH

1992 - Keene State College NH

1990 - Louisiana Crafts Council Gallery 

1990 - NH Art Association Levy Gallery NH

1989 - IDIA Center for the Arts Intervale NH

1989 - Springfield Art & Historical Gallery VT

1989 - Manchester Institute of Arts & Science Gallery NH

1988 - Elizabeth Fortner Gallery CA

1986 - Louisiana State University Gallery 

1986 - Clyde Connell Gallery LA

1989 - America House Gallery NH

Lectures

ODETTA Gallery NY NY 2019

Currier Museum of Art NH

University of NH Manchester NH

Museum of Arts & Design NY

University of NH Art Gallery

New England College NH

Huntingdon College AL 

McGowan Fine Art

IDIA Center for the Arts NH

Film  TV  Podcast

NH Chronicle WMUR TV NH 2020

NH Chronicle WMUR TV NH 2002

Japan Public TV 2004-2005 International Quilt         Festival at the Tokyo Dome

An Artist Story | film by Natasha Stoppel 

   Exeter NH TV 2018

Creative Guts Podcast feature episode 2021

Book & Exhibit Publications

2013 - Katonah Museum of Art Beyond the Bed

2005 - The Museum of Arts & Design Six Continents of Quilts Perm Quilt Collection NY 

2005 - Tokyo International Great Quilt Festival 

2002 - SOFA NY 2002

2002 - Currier Museum of Art NH Gloria Wilcher Exhibit  Uncommon Threads 

2000 - Snyderman/Works Galleries Surface Strength Structure: Pertaining to Line 

2000 - Hood Museum of Art Dartmouth College

The Art of Craft 

2005 - Art Quilts: 400 Contemporary Quilts Lark Books

1995 - Quilt National 1995

1995 1996 - Fiberarts Design Book Five & Six

Magazine Publications

Art New England Sept/Oct 2018

American Craft Magazine  Oct/Nov 1998

Surface Design Journal Spring 1996 

Fiberarts Magazine Mar/Apr 1996

Art/Quilt Magazine Issue 4 &10 1995 1998-99

​New Hampshire Magazine Profiles July 1989 

ACE Baltimore Show MD 1995

Grants & Awards 

2002 - Gloria Wilcher Memorial Exhibit, Purchase Award, Currier Museum of Art  

2000 - NH State Council on the Arts, Grant Recipient, Professional Development  

1995 - Fiber Award , Thorne Sagendorph Gallery, 20th Annual Juried Exhibit 

1994 - NH State Council on the Arts, Fellowship Finalist, Grant Recipient 

1994 - Edith L. Grodin Collaborative Award, Living With Crafts Exhibit 

1993 - Chubb LifeAmerica Award for Creativity, Currier Museum of Art

1992 - NH State Council on the Arts, Fellowship Finalist , Grant Recipient 

1988 - McGowan Fine Art Design Award, 14th Juried Exhibit, UNH Gallery 

1985-1987 - Purchase Awards, Calcasieu Arts & Humanities Council Lake Charles, LA 

​1986 - Award of Excellence, Baton Rouge Arts & Humanities Council, LA 

1985 - Best of Show, LA Art & Artists' Guild Juried Exhibit, Baton Rouge, LA 

1985 - Honorable Mention, Masur Museum Art, Monroe, LA 1985

© 2021 Anne Marie Kenny

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