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Allegra Brelsford

"My vision is to explore the graphic nature of quilt design and to combine a contemporary look with age-old techniques, making my work relevant, recognizable, and accessible. Quilts provide compelling interest along with softness and texture that is real and wholesome. I am driven to see that quiltmaking gains the same place in the public eye as any other art medium. "

Brelsford is primarily a colorist and visual composer, aware in her experience of the landscape and architecture in her surroundings. She approaches her work as building a foundation and structure with which light interacts. Line and shape are specific and natural, color is always in relationship with value, and asymmetry is successfully used to provide balance and interest.

Brelsford "makes fabric." She often arranges individual strips into new compositions, cutting crosswise and assembling the resulting shapes in columns to create architectural or landscape pieces. Sometimes, she simply trusts her line and shape to create a variety of motifs or "units," which are then combined in unique compositions. Pieced fabric is layered with cotton flannel and fabric, then quilted together with cotton thread.

Brelsford considers the early studio quilt movement of the 1980s, as led by artists such as Nancy Crow and Michael James, to be her strongest inspiration. She counts Nancy Crow as one of her most important teachers. Her first exposure to quiltmaking was watching her friend Kathleen O'Connor, who went "crazy" one day, dyeing fabric of all sorts. The work of the Amish is also a large influence.

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Selected Exhibitions & Awards
American Craft Council Show, Baltimore MD, Baltimore Convention Center, 2016
"Quilts=Art=Quilts", Auburn NY, Schweinfurth Art Center, 2015
A Celebration of Fiber Arts, Vernon CT, Arts Center East, 2015
Concrete and Grasslands, Grant's Pass, OR, Grant's Pass Museum of Art, 2016