In 2017, Season Evans of Seattle received a Grants for Artist Projects (GAP) award to cover the costs of producing three new full size quilts for a series she is working on that explores color, form, and technique. A total of four quilts will be exhibited in a group show at James May Gallery in Algoma, Wisconsin, which will run through the month of September 2018.
A self-taught quilter originally from Reading, Pennsylvania, Season grew up near Amish and Mennonite communities and has always been inspired by the traditional Amish and Mennonite quilt patterns, colors, and techniques. She taught herself to quilt and started exhibiting her work in 2013.
Shaped in part by her background in writing, Season views her quilts as sculptural storytelling objects, with both sides held in equal regard. “Like there are two sides to every story, there are two sides to a quilt,” she says. The fronts of her quilts feature beautiful and precise hand pieced patterns with simple contrasting white and solid colors. The backs of her quilts are a reaction to the front, are more free form or collage-like, and introduce additional colors and patterned fabrics.
So what story is she interested in telling? As she has lived in several different cities including Seattle, Philadelphia, and New York, Season explains that she felt like she always has one foot out of the door, and so the theme of migration manifests in her quilts. Through pattern and design she contemplates the search for and sense of place in a transient environment and the reconciliation of that constant movement. By marrying contemporary content and design with traditional quilting techniques and patterns, she says she is trying to bring two sides together.
When asked what challenges she faces as an artist, once again, Season navigates two sides - the art world and the world of craft. While there is growing acceptance and acknowledgment of fiber-based art in more traditional fine art settings, quilts or other craft based mediums have been historically dismissed as below other art forms because of their functionality. This divide or hierarchy between art and craft has made it difficult for her to break into some gallery settings.
Seasons’ meticulously sewn quilts are the product of her stunning craftspersonship, clean minimal design and relevant content – obviously at home in any more conventional art setting.
Look for Season’s work on display locally later this month at the Bellevue Arts Museum’s BAM ARTSfair.
Cicelia Ross-Gotta is a visual artist originally from Kansas. She lives in Seattle and loves to hike with her husband, daughter and black lab.