Quilted parking lots

The DOT Straigtens Things Out

After Erin’s lovely post I was thinking of how unfortunate it is that there are so few artists that so cleverly address urban landscapes and the wildlife (and wild plants) within. My gloominess about this didn’t last long, though, as I chanced upon the brilliant fiber work of Terese Agnew on the PBS’s Craft in America. Her segment (the last on the show, from 39:10 on) features two quilts: “Cedar Waxwings at the AT & T Parking Lot” and “The D.O.T. Straightens Things Out.” Both are wonderful pieces that deal, at least in part, with the precious tension that lies between humans and the wild world around us.

I especially love this quote, for it puts beauty and interest into one of the most common blights of the urban landscape: the parking lot.

Every fall flocks of cedar waxwings would come to the parking lot and eat berries from the trees in the median strip…and sure enough, there were hundreds and hundreds of [them]. And while I was sitting there I realized: a bird’s eye view of a parking lot is so…quiltish.

And so I thought – I’m going to make a quilt about this.

Cedar Waxwings at the AT & T Parking Lot

Doesn’t it make you want to do something wonderful with some scissors and scraps and thread? I’m abuzz with inspiration.

Watch Episode VIII: Threads on PBS. See more from Craft in America

Images thanks to The Milwaukee Public Art Museum & KPBS.

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4 responses

  1. Jenny, This theme is so inspiring! Love Terese’s fiberwork…She really becomes one with her subjects and conveys the birds’ vantagepoint with amazing insight and creativity…Love this post! Thanks so much for finding another artist’s perspective on the urban wildlife theme! Made my day! Claudia

    • Hi Claudia! I’m so glad that you enjoy her work as well. It is so sincerely and brilliantly crafted, and manages to show an explicitly bird’s eye view without being hokey. I’m absolutely enamored!

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