colors textures & patterns 
michele merges martens 
          mixed media artist & writer

about me

     i've been spending a while now transitioning to a different art style, experimenting with knitting as fabric and as design elements, and have not been entering shows at all.  i'm pleased with the progress of my work, but creating the knitting then dyeing the fabric then creating the quilt then embellishing it takes time.  i love the process, though, especially playing with stuff and sketching out ideas and learning knitting stitches.  i'm not sure that work will fit the art quilt category though.  I've also been creating altered books on several themes of family, vintage locations, and colors.

this is my long official artist statement, and next to it a selected list of selected shows and publications. 

    michele merges martens creates mixed media art, often based on her original poems. She creates in layers, with those layers held together by stitches or words. Inherent in her art and poems are choices - words connected with words, colors connected with colors, people connected with people…”
    Her poems explore varied themes, including the seasons, healing energies, emotions and relationships, and the environment. Her art quilts often interpret the poems as visual images. The poems and the quilts become a series, showing the progression of an emotion, a relationship, or a design.
    Creating is also a process, a journey, not linear, but random. Beginning with an idea, or an image, or an emotion, words or images are chosen to convey meaning, for both the writer and the viewer. Changes are made to revise the work, making it more descriptive, more meaningful. Finally, the art is seen, and remembered. Poems and art are made in layers, some to keep, and some to set free, and some to hide.
    She recycles found objects, buttons, and old clothes into her quilts, and often experiments with her own hand-painted or hand-dyed fabric, an array of stitches, other fiber techniques, scraps of fabric and fur, hanging threads to make shadows, and other variations.
    Embellishments are used to symbolize emotions or objects. Sometimes the words of the poems become design elements in the quilts. She experiments with painting and rubber stamping paper and fabric, creating tag art, altered books, and collages.
    Her creations are intended to create a connection between Michele and those who see them, as well as maintain a connection between who she was and who she is now. Her love of color comes from many sources - including stained glass windows in her parent’s Byzantine church, the horses on historic carousels in the Binghamton/Johnson City NY area where she grew up, Crayola crayons…    
   Another factor influencing her creativity is an ongoing struggle with chronic depression. She believes that highs and lows in her life do balance, so that she can see the patterns, over and over. There are times when her mind churns out ideas and she starts numerous projects, excited and inspired by the creative process. Physical tiredness, self-defeating thoughts, and nothing getting finished is another, opposite side of her creativity. Using the tools she has – strength of will, medicines, dreams – she continues to create.

camping and knitting - fun!

a few shows
  • "vignettes on red", solo show at Strolling Village Artisans,Ballston Spa, NY, February and March 2012
  • "It's Easy to be Green", "leaves around and around" and "leaves falling and falling", curated by Larkin Van Horn,  Latimer Quilt and Textile Center, Tillemook, OR
  • reflections"pond edge", Art Quilt Network Member show, travelling show to Audubon Centers across the US, 2008-09
  • 911 Las Artistas Reaccionan”" building bones: remembering the towers", (by invitation, collection of Kim Ritter), Centro Cultural Costarricense Norteamericano, Cartago, Costa Rica, mid-October to mid-November, 2002, US Embassy, San José, Costa Rica, mid-November to December, 2002 Curated by Carolyn Veslaghe
  • Quilt 21 2002, Art Quilts of the 21st Century, seaweed nightmare,  juried national traveling show, curated by Maxine Farkas and Laura Cater-Woods,  Brush Gallery, Lowell, MA, then other national  venues           August  2002 –August 2004
  • Fine Focus 2002, curated by Laura Cater-Woods, Judy Dales, and Kim Ritter  (juried, national traveling  show) “grid # twoMansfield OH and then other national venues, February 2002 – February 2005·       
  • Aullwood Audubon Society Show,” the end of summer,curated by Susan Shie, OH   September 2000

a few publications/readings/classes

  • Creating an Art Quilt Workshop, 8 class sessions ending with Student Show at Fonda-Fultonville NY Arts Festival, Summer 2006
  •  Altered Books Workshop, Art Quilt Network Seminar, Columbus, OH, Spring 2005
  •       Featured Artist, Brainwaves  Zine, editor Jill Jones, March, 2003
  •   Quilt Art Magazine "grid # two" picture in article on Fine Focus 2002 Quilts, Summer 2002
  •  America From The Heart, Quilters Remember September 11, 2001, “building bones:  remembering the towers”, (collection of Kim Ritter), C&T Publishing, April 2002.
  •   Featured Artist, Belle Papier Zine, editor Lloydene Cook, March, 2001
  •  NY State Writers Institute Poetry Workshop with poet Ed Sanders, by invitation, Spring 2000.  Chapbook Project "eBay poems"

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