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“Found/Made” Exhibition Connects Quiltmaking to Contemporary Art

Traditional quilting meets a unconventional use of textile art in San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles' upcoming exhibition, "Found/Made." Curated by Roderick Kiracofe, the exhibit brings together quilts of historic and unknown origin with those by contemporary artists, including Ben Venom (covered here), Clay Lohmann, Joe Cunningham, Luke Haynes, Sabrina Gschwandtner, Sarah Nishiura, and Theresa May. Their works match their predecessors' classic techniques, but depart to tell a modern narrative.


Ben Venom

Traditional quilting meets a unconventional use of textile art in San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles’ upcoming exhibition, “Found/Made.” Curated by Roderick Kiracofe, the exhibit brings together quilts of historic and unknown origin with those by contemporary artists, including Ben Venom (covered here), Clay Lohmann, Joe Cunningham, Luke Haynes, Sabrina Gschwandtner, Sarah Nishiura, and Theresa May. Their works match their predecessors’ classic techniques, but depart to tell a modern narrative.

Ben Venom has several pieces on display portraying aggressive imagery in strong colors. For example, his piece “Into the Night” illustrates a skeleton charging into battle on a roaring tiger. The hardness of the scene is softened by his choice of textiles. The materials used in Therese May’s works also play an important role. Her use of vintage fabric is not only in tribute to the craft, but makes a connection between past and present in the process. Repurposing material in new ways is at the show’s core, an experimentation of an art form that has been around for thousands of years. We can learn a lot about our history through old quilts and the materials used by the quilter. While also functional, their quilts’ true value is in the messages that can be read between the threads.

“Found/Made” will be on view at the San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles July 11th through November 1st.


Ben Venom


Ben Venom


Ben Venom


Clay Lohmann


Clay Lohmann


Therese May


Sabrina Gschwandtner


Sarah Nishimura

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