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Native Fiber

January 17 – April 28, 2019

Native Fiber brings together a breathtaking array of work by contemporary Native American fiber artists from throughout the Great Lakes. Curated in collaboration with Karen Ann Hoffman, a renowned Iroquois raised bead worker, the exhibition features an expansive definition of fiber art, from quillwork to cordage, bead work, weaving, birch biting, leatherwork, and quilting. Under these artists’ hands, Indigenous fiber art traditions are both maintained and advanced, communicating timeless stories and addressing modern themes.

Illuminating the astonishing ways Native American artists explore and alter extraordinary materials—black ash, birch, fur, and corn husk, to name a few—the exhibition comprises the work of thirty-one artists and one artist guild, representing twenty tribal nations. Every artist’s work falls under the Indian Arts and Crafts Act of 1990 and is considered authentic Indigenous art.

Many of the works in the exhibition were created specifically for Native Fiber. Repeating iconography and subjects run throughout, including symbols of healing, forgiveness, women’s experiences, subjugation, and transformation. Together, the works attest to the diverse life and vitality of Indigenous fiber arts today.

The artists featured in the exhibition include Lily Antone-Plass (Oneida Nation of Wisconsin), Sarah Berthelet-Villa (Oneida Nation of Wisconsin), Shirley Brauker (Little River Band of Ottawa), Kelly Church (Ottawa/Potawatomi), Wilma Cook (Mohawk), Debra Fabian (Oneida Nation of Wisconsin), Karen Elise Goulet (White Earth Ojibwe), Martha Gradolf (Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska), Carla Hemlock (Kanienkehaka Mohawk Nation), Karen Ann Hoffman (Oneida Nation of Wisconsin), Terri Hom (Lac Courte Oreilles), Samantha Jacobs (Seneca), Holly John (Seneca), Penny Kagigebi (White Earth Ojibwe), Rick Kagigebi (Lac Courte Oreilles), James Kelly (Oneida Nation of Wisconsin), Pat Kruse (Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa), Julia Marden (Aquinnah), Linda Lou Metoxen (Diné), Penny Minner (Seneca), Native Roots Arts Guild (Iroquois), Salisha Ninham (Oneida Nation of Wisconsin), Melanie Tallmadge Sainz (Ho-Chunk), Scott Shoemaker (Myaamia), Stefanie Sikorowski (Oneida Nation of Wisconsin/Chickasaw Nation), Talon Silverhorn (Shawnee), Christopher Sweet (Ho-Chunk), Chholing Taha (Cree), Jeremy D. Turner (Shawnee), Shannon Marie Turner (Diné), Michelle D. Watson (Diné), and Jason Wesaw (Pokagon Band of Potawatomi).  

This exhibition is supported by grants from the Maihaugen Foundation, Inc., and the Wisconsin Arts Board.



Fiber Arts in the Digital Age

September 27, 2018 – January 13, 2019

Living in the digital age means inhabiting a time where we are increasingly able to achieve what was previously unimaginable. This era has touched every aspect of life, and fiber art is no exception. From artists designing their work via software to the benefits of digitally printing textiles, Fiber Arts in the Digital Age explores various fiber-based works that only exist due to modern technology. Each artist in the exhibition has contributed at least three works from a series to illuminate how working digitally enables them to expand on an idea, design, or pattern.

Fiber Arts in the Digital Age is curated by the museum and features fourteen artists from throughout the U.S. and one from the U.K. The artists include Jill Ault, Anna Chupa, Carolyn Crump, Jayne Bentley Gaskins, Meredith Re’ Grimsley, Deborah Fell, Michael James, Patricia Kennedy-Zafred, Gay Lasher, Susie Monday, Olga Norris, Becka Rahn, Wen Redmond, Vicki Reed, and Charlotte Ziebarth.

This exhibit is sponsored by Susan Graham Wernecke and Bill Wernecke Jr.


13th Quilt Nihon

June 21 – September 23, 2018

This traveling international exhibit features highlights from the acclaimed 2015 international quilt competition.  This biennial exhibition is the largest international quilting contest in Japan and one of the most prestigious in the world. It is sponsored by the Japanese Handicraft Instructors Association, a group promoting handcrafted arts in Japan for over 40 years. Winning quilts from their traveling exhibit were first presented at the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum. The exhibit is split into two categories, "Traditional" and "Contemporary."  WMQFA will be hosting a sampling of both.


Commemorating His Purple Reign: A Textural Tribute to Prince

March 15 – June 17, 2018

The Wisconsin Museum of Quilts & Fiber Arts (WMQFA) is proud to be the first to host a new traveling exhibition dedicated to celebrating the life and art of Prince. Commemorating His Purple Reign: A Textural Tribute to Prince is produced and circulated by the Textile Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Prince not only left behind grieving fans across the globe, but also an impressive body of work and an inspiring legacy. This legacy inspired Dr. Carolyn Mazloomi to serve as both juror and curator to an art quilt exhibition  honoring his memory.


Bouquet of Appliqué

March 15 – June 17, 2018

Traditional quilts featuring floral appliqué make up this charming spring themed exhibition with a focus on appliqué basics. The Wisconsin Museum of Quilts & Fiber Arts (WMQFA) is proud to present a new exhibition ex-clusively showcasing nine traditional quilts from the museum’s permanent collection. These quilts were selected because each highlights a different appliqué technique in a floral design.


WMQFA Collection Highlights: Hexagons

February 2 – April 12, 2017


Quilt National '15   

May 4 – July 9, 2017

Quilt National ‘15 is the 19th biennial exhibition of jury selected original and innovative contemporary quilts produced by The Dairy Barn Arts Center. The quilts are the works of fiber artists representing 33 states and 8 different countries. The Wisconsin Museum of Quilts & Fiber Arts is proud to present a selection of 25 of the 84 quilts exclusively chosen to be part of this special exhibition.


In Death

July 13 – December 3, 2017

In Death channels human reactions to personal tragedy and mortality into fiber art. The Wisconsin Museum of Quilts & Fiber Arts is pleased to present a new group exhibition this summer. The bluntly titled exhibition, In Death, features over twenty contemporary fiber artists from across the United States. On view July 13—December 3, 2017, In Death lays bare the realities and mysteries associated with the end of life.


Lace: Works of Adornment

July 13 – December 3, 2017

The Wisconsin Museum of Quilts & Fiber Arts is very proud to announce it is the new custodian of a private collection consisting of hundreds of pieces of lace. A collection born of love, Lois Markus meticulously handpicked the pieces over the span of thirty years during her many travels between the United States and Europe. Markus writes, “I am so excited my beautiful lace might find a home where it can be admired.” The collection was donated to the museum in 2015, turning Markus’ hope into a reality.


Third Fiber Arts Biennale: Keeping Warm

December 7, 2017 – March 11, 2018

The Wisconsin Museum of Quilts & Fiber Arts (WMQFA) is proud to present a new exhibition exclusively showcasing Wisconsin artists. WMQFA is proud to continue its tradition of hosting a biennale for the sixth year running— a tradition almost as old as the institution itself. 

The theme of this years Fiber Arts Biennale is “Keeping Warm” as per its slogan “Wisconsin’s winters are cold, but we know how to keep warm.” This is a playful look at the way we deal with the long winter months is both a practical and a whimsical way.


El Baúl de mi Abuelita: Costa Rican Fiber Arts

January 14 – April 17, 2016

WMQFA is partnering with artist Patricia Sanabria-Friederich to bring an exhibition of Costa Rican fiber arts to the museum. Sanabria-Friederich, a native of Costa Rica, designs quilts inspired by the mosaic tiles found throughout Costa Rica. El Baúl de mi Abuelita translates to “My Grandmother’s Trunk” and is the name of her family’s quilt shop in Costa Rica. Sanabria-Friederich and her relatives are helping the museum identify traditional Costa Rican textiles that will be featured in the exhibition. These will include quilts made by Costa Rican quilters, Costa Rican ceremonial costumes, and dolls dressed in Costa Rican national dresses.


Woven Coverlets and Stevengraphs    

April 21 – August 14, 2016

WMQFA is pleased to show off two of the museum’s own Collections in this exhibition. The James A. Taylor Coverlet Collection consists of 35 woven coverlets from the 19th century. The Stevengraph Collection are silk, Jacquard-woven novelties from the 19th century. Both Collections are being exhibited for the first time. 


Quilt Nihon

August 17 – November 13, 2016

Quilt Nihon is an exhibition featuring stunning and award-winning Japanese quilts, in both traditional and contemporary styles, from Japan’s largest quilt show. The exhibition is a collaboration between the Japanese Handicraft Instructors’ Association of Tokyo, Japan; National Quilt Museum of Paducah, Kentucky; New England Quilt Museum of Lowell, MA; International Quilt Study Center and Museum of Lincoln, NE; and WMQFA. The four museums have partnered together to bring these amazing works of art to the United States. WMQFA will be the only place to see these stunning artworks in the upper Midwest. 


Folk Art

November 17, 2016 – February 2017

The Folk Art Costumes and Regalia exhibition is a collaborative effort with the Cedarburg Art Museum and Cedarburg Cultural Center. Each organization is focusing on a different aspect of folk art. WMQFA will focus on traditional ethnic folk art costumes and regalia. The Cedarburg Art Museum is looking regionally at the Cedarburg’s Christmas in the Country, celebrating the revival of folk art. The Cedarburg Cultural Center is looking at the future, inviting artists for a modern take on folk art. 


Color In Motion

January 21 – April 12, 2015

Caryl Bryer Fallert-Gentry Retrospective. Virginia Avery Wearable Art Collection. 


In Stitches    

April 15 – July 12, 2015

An exploration of embroidery and needle arts.


2nd Fiber Arts Biennale: Wisconsin State of the Art

July 15 – October 18, 2015

Featuring Wisconsin artists from throughout the state. 


From Insects to Elephants

October 21, 2015 – January 10, 2016

From creatures big to small, fiber artists have been inspired by animals of all kinds.


Modern Perspectives

January 8 – April 6, 2014

Celebrating modern and contemporary quilters!


From the Heart

April 9 – June 22, 2014

Showcasing fiber art that explores grief, joy, hope, and healing. All of the artwork was created to benefit someone else in some way. 


June 25 – October 12, 2014

Featuring two quilting pioneers: Mary McElwain and Victoria Findlay Wolfe. McElwain operated a small quilt shop in Walworth, Wisconsin, that became famous world-wide. She pioneered dye cut patterns and was a master promoter. Findlay Wolfe is a pioneer of modern and contemporary quilting.


Sheared Delights

October 15 – January 11, 2015

All things woolly and warm!



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