In their inaugural Distinguished Artist program the Carnegie Arts Center has chosen to honor and exhibit the works of textile artist Yvonne Porcella.
Porcella, a Watsonville native, has garnered accolades and recognition for her weaved designs and her patchwork quilts.
"We are extremely proud to honor Yvonne Porcella in this first year," said Rebecca Phillips Abbott, executive director and curator. "She is a remarkable textile artist whose works today are in the collections of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., the de Young Museum of Art, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Museum of Art & Design in New York, the Phoenix Art Museum, and numerous others."
The Carnegie's retrospective exhibit will trace Porcella's career from her earliest works up to the present. The retrospective exhibit, which opens Jan. 18, 2012, will include the early weavings, ethnic-inspired garments, a series focused on the kimono form, American iconography, quilts for grandchildren, quilts for an especially whimsical take on life, quilts as autobiography, and hand painted quilts.
"Through Porcella's works we appreciate these everyday moments more clearly and perhaps enjoy them more fully as a result," said Abbott.
One of Porcella's better known quilts, "Answering the Riddle," will be on loan to the Carnegie for the exhibit. The quilt contains a number of symbols that Porcella uses to reflect the turn of the millennium.
Asked to reflect on her career, how it began and what drives her as an artist, Porcella said: "As a child, motherly love taught me to knit and sew, and rip mistakes and make it right. Curiosity led to self education, enhanced by a collection of books, visits to museums, and exploration of textiles from other countries. Imagination generated inspiration and freedom led to invention. I learned creativity comes from making your own rules, understanding the limits of your chosen materials, and having confidence in personal skills.
"I do what I love with determination," she continued. "A need to finish each action has developed into a major collection of creative work full of color, filled with events in my life, things that I have heard, emotions of the moment, exploration of American iconography, revisiting experiences as a wife, mother, nurse, weaver, mountain climber, author, teacher, world traveler, craftsman; living amidst the beauty of California's Central Valley."
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