ELIZABETH BRANDT


STATEMENT

Karma means “action” or “cause and effect.” Everything we do, say or even think leads to something else. It is a core teaching of Buddhism, but for me it a basic law of nature that goes beyond religion. This concept reminds me to live mindfully, to work mindfully. I create my artwork improvisationally which requires me to stay focused completely on the piece as it evolves, not to daydream about the past or future. If I’m paying close enough attention, I have a chance to catch the unexpected as it happens.


PROFILE

Through her quilt-making practice, Elizabeth Brandt is confidently redefining a beloved ancient craft that has uniquely represented both artistic expression and utility in tandem. After years of discipline in Zen meditation and multiple different art forms, Brandt has been able to create a vocabulary in fiber that is entirely improvisational in shape, unexpected in color, dynamic in movement, and entirely at home in the context of contemporary art. Her use of analogous color schemes is satisfyingly balanced by the subtlety of grouped dark tones and neighboring pockets of oranges, reds and yellows, or “areas that glow.” The linear stitching of the surface ties together all of the bright and nuanced, large and small, soft and hard edges. Brandt remains open by moving different cuts of fabric around to see if something unexpected will happen, and diligently focuses her attention in the last stages especially when the repetition and density of stitching can keep her in front of the sewing machine for hours.

With a BFA in Graphic Communications from the Center for Creative Studies, Elizabeth Brandt has worked as an advertising art director, a freelance illustrator, and in 2010 began studying with Nancy Crow who inspired and educated Brandt about the creative possibilities of quilt-making. Currently living near Lake Macatawa in Michigan, Brandt has spent the last 8 years creating artwork full time.


BIOGRAPHY

EDUCATION

1985
Bachelor of Fine Arts, College for Creative Studies, Detroit, MI

SELECTED EXHIBITIONS

2018
“Collective”, LaFontsee Galleries, Grand Rapids, MI
Solo Exhibit, Bowling Green State University Firelands Campus, Huron, OH

2017
“Perception & Intention”, LaFontsee Galleries, Grand Rapids, MI
"Craft Forms 2017", Wayne Art Center, Wayne, PA
"89th Michigan Regional Exhibition", Muskegon Museum of Art, Muskegon, MI
"Shapeshifter: Sewn Constructions by Elizabeth Brandt"(Solo), Zanesville Museum of Art, Zanesville, OH
"Michigan Fine Arts Competition", Birmingham Bloomfield Art Center, Birmingham, MI

2016
"Fiber Art International 2016", Society for Contemporary Craft, Pittsburgh, PA
"Material Pulses/Eight Viewpoints", Ohio Arts Council, Riffe Gallery, Columbus, OH
"Color Improvisations II, Tuch Color Improvisations 2" (Invitational), Tuch + Technik Textilmuseum, Neumünster, Germany
"Michigan Fine Arts Competition", Birmingham Bloomfield Art Center, Birmingham, MI
"Quilts=Art=Quilts", Schweinfurth Art Center, Auburn, NY
"Art Quilt Elements 2016", Wayne Art Center, Wayne, PA
Artist as Quilt maker XVII, Firelands Association for the Visual Arts, Oberlin, OH

2015
Quilts=Art=Quilts, Schweinfurth Art Center, Auburn, NY

2014
The Artist as Quilt maker XVI, Firelands Association for the Visual Arts, Oberlin, OH
Art Quilt Elements 2014, Wayne Art Center, Wayne, PA

2013
GRAM Selects ArtPrize 2013: Encore, Grand Rapids Art Museum, Grand Rapids, MI (Invitational)
Alumni Exhibition 2013, College for Creative Studies, Detroit, MI
Fiber Art International 2013, Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, Pittsburgh, PA

Honors/Awards

2017
Curator’s Choice and Honorable Mention Awards, Michigan Regional Exhibition, Juror: Petra Fallaux, Curator: Art Martin
Juror Award, Michigan Fine Arts Competition, Juror: Noel Anderson

2016
First Place, Michigan Fine Arts Competition, Juror: Terence Hammonds
Award of Excellence, Artist as Quilt maker XVII, Juror: Mark Newport

2014   
Juror's Award of Merit, Art Quilt Elements 2014, Jurors: Gerhardt Knodel, Susie Brandt, Jan Myers-Newbury