Carolyn Carson- Solo Show

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About Carolyn Carson

Two themes run through Carolyn Carson’s life: the love of textiles and the history of women. As a young mother, she rekindled a childhood interest in sewing and learned to quilt, frequently coloring outside the lines to design her own patterns. As one quilt block leads to another, this new passion sparked a deep interest in the lives of early American quilters, which in turn led to graduate school. Carson received her Ph.D. in History and Policy from Carnegie mellon University in 1995 and began her academic career at the University of Pittsburgh where she continues to teach Urban Studies. Once settled into that role, Carson felt compelled to work with fiber once again, embarking on a journey of exploration and discovery that has absorbed her since 2004.

Carson’s fiber career includes many juried exhibitions and commissions: Art Quilts Lowell, Brush Art Galleries and Studios; Quilts=Art=Quilts, Schweinfurth memorial Art Center; Art on the Walls, Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council; 2008 Biennial, Westmoreland museum of American Art; numerous Fiberarts Guild of Pittsburgh member shows; home of the president, Indiana University of Pennsylvania; Butler memorial Hospital, Butler, PA; Beth Israel Center, Pittsburgh. Her work has been included in The Studio Quilt #6, State of the Art, and 1000 Quilt Inspirations: Colorful and Creative Designs for Traditional, Modern, and Art Quilts.

Into the Mystique is Carson’s first solo exhibition.

Into the Mystique

I am inspired by the strength of women, as they are the life force of the universe. Quilts are my medium of choice because they exemplify women’s work historically. I incorporate yarn that I have spun and then woven, also representative of women’s work. I utilize these traditional techniques in a contemporary way in order to draw attention to the lives of women in the modern world. On a more personal level, my work gives me a sense of continuity with other women – historically and globally.

my technique reflects women’s work and my subject matter often deals with issues that pertain to women. Using abstract female imagery, or life and fertility symbols such as circles and spirals, I urge the viewer to relate in his/her own personal way without focusing on particular issues. Personally I am very distressed by the global oppression of women that is unseen, unheard, and unreported. my hope is that my work will at the very least cause the viewer to reflect on these silenced voices and other women’s issues. Believing in the strength of women over time and space, I am trying to promote and underscore the empowerment of women.

This particular collection is a series utilizing woven circles. I begin each work by selecting whole cloth commercial cotton batik fabric that speaks to me in some way. Sometimes I discharge part of the fabric. meditating on the batik, I plan yarn that I will incorporate into the piece, starting with raw fleece that I wash and comb. Then I combine it with other dyed wool and silk which I spin into yarn. I weave that yarn on a circle loom. Those circles are then needle felted onto the cotton batik to hold them temporarily in place. After machine quilting the entire piece, the quilt becomes my canvas to paint.
Carolyn Carson

Solo/Dual show call for entries

May 1 – 25 Exhibition Duration
May 16 Gala Reception, Touchstone Fiber Symposium

The Fiberarts Guild of Pittsburgh presents the opportunity for a solo or dual exhibition in the Irongate gallery at Touchstone Center for Crafts. This show will be in conjunction with the fiber symposium as well as the mystic summit members exhibition.  A solo or duo show will be awarded to a current guild member who shows exemplary skill, artistic merit and an ability to produce a cohesive exhibit of their own work. The juror will select one artist for a solo show or two artists, whose work is complementary to share the gallery space.


  • 5 – 10 images of previous, original work

  • Brief summary of intentions for show including: (not to exceed 500 words)
    Proposed title
    Description and number of potential works
    Installation requirements
    Link to digital gallery/website (optional)

  • Artist statement (not to exceed 1 page)

  • Curriculum vitae or resume (not to exceed 1 page)

$25 non-refundable entry fee
Fee waived if submitting to both the juried group show and the solo/dual show

Selections will be made by the juror
Artists selected for the solo/dual show will not be eligible for inclusion in the Mystic Summit members exhibition.