CSU Department of Art is hosting this special exhibition of paintings and quilts by an exceptional local family. Kin features the artistic styles and inherent connection between Coulter, Cathy and Fred Fussell. Despite differences in mediums and forms of inspiration for their work, the mother, father, and daughter share a core set of interests that tie their work together.
Exhibit coordinator Hannah Israel has been captivated by the Fussell family for years. "There is an underpinning values of history, storytelling, landscape, and memory in their works," explained Israel. Each has combined their world reflective of their personalities, characters and their gifts. What we've worked to do with Kin, is to explore these inherent bonds and similarities and transform the experience into an unique visual representation of their life together as a family."
To better understand the artists' backgrounds and work, we corresponded with the family just before the exhibit opened last week. Read on to discover an inside look into the lives and work of the artists featured in Kin at the Illges Gallery now through June 22.
Q: What made you decide to do this exhibition together?
A: Hannah Israel asked us to. She invited us; it wasn't our idea.
Q: Who types of work will be featured by each of you?
A: Art quilts by Coulter and art quilts by Cathy; paintings by Fred.
Q: What can visitors expect from the experience?
A: Variety yet connections. Our work is different yet connected, and I think visitors will be able to see that, especially with the pieces that Hannah has chosen to exhibit. (There are many more in our homes.)
(Fred) I'll just add that many, but not all of the pieces in the exhibit are collaborations in which we all have had a hand in one way or another. And we are all, every one of us, members of a mutual admiration society - in our work, certainly, but also in our lives as family members.
Q: What do you both hope visitors take away from Kin?
A: I'll speak only about the quilts, and I'll let Fred speak about his paintings. About Coulter's and my quilts -- I hope that visitors will see that something traditionally considered "women's work" -- quilting -- can be complex in both content and form, can rise to the level of art, and is worthy.
We are all, every one of us, members of a mutual admiration society - in our work, certainly, but also in our lives as family members.
- Fred Fussell, on his family's relationship with art and one another - a relationship easily seen in their new exhibit 'Kin' now on view at the Illges Gallery through June 22.
Q: What would you like for our audience to know about you and the exhibit?
A: We are honored that Hannah has asked us to present this exhibit. I hope a lot of folks visit!
I've been quilting since I was a teenager (That's 60 years ago!), I started sewing when I was about 4 years old, and in my lifetime I've made several hundred quilted pieces, many of them for use as bedcovers, but many of them for use as art.
I'd also like to re-iterate my statement from my webpage, cathyfussellquilts.com -- Quilts are about history and art and politics and stories and patience and beauty and community and economics and place and expression and freedom and transition and family and warmth – and love. And they’re feminized and devalued. All that is why I’m so into quilts and quiltmaking.
Q: What else would you like for your audience to know?
A: Fred and I are very proud of all 4 of our children, each of whom has worked very hard to acquire a carefully honed set of skills. Jake is a musician; Coulter is a visual artist; Luke is a chef; Matt is a professional outdoorsman. We are very proud of them. ◼︎
If You Go:
What: 'Kin: The Fussell Family Exhibition'
When: May 16 - June 22
Where: Illges Gallery, Corn Center for the Arts, 901 Front Avenue Summer Gallery Hours: Tuesday - Saturday: 11 a.m. - 5 p.m.