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ADVANCING THE ARTS ACROSS MARYLAND

monique crabb

monique crabb

Artist Work

Painting 1
2017
textile
5'x5'
Take Flight
2017
textile
62" x 62"
Rose Garden
2018
textile painting
90" x 88"
Mexico City
2018
textile painting
72" x 66"
That Summer Feeling
2017
textile painting
80" x 92"
Winter
2016
textile painting
85" x 92"

Artist Information

County
Baltimore County
Artistic Category

Visual Arts

Artist Statement

As a multi-disciplinary artist, my exploration into the world of textiles and natural dyeing has brought an exciting new dimension to my work, which was originally rooted in photography. This direction in my work reflects experimentations with extracting colors from plants, food waste, wood, bugs, and minerals. The act of dyeing fabric salvaged from second-hand stores feels like magic every time--the colors achieved from nature produce a palette that is impossible to match commercially. When conceiving a piece, I work both intuitively and conceptually. Some pieces are focused on pattern and color, while others are born of a personal conflict or feeling. The laborious and tedious process of producing a quilt and the result of taking the various pieces of fabric and threading them into one leaves me with the desire to do so over and over again. This is my way of making things feel whole, of taking feelings of brokenness and loss and transferring those feelings into something strong, warm, and tangible.

Artist Bio

A Texas transplant living on the moody East Coast of the United States, I moved to Baltimore over a decade ago for art school and never left. I was sucked in by the small town feel after arriving from the ever-expanding city of Houston. From 2006-2016, I co-directed Current Space, an artist-run gallery and studio, alongside two close friends, and I am forever grateful for the community that has blossomed from it.

My daughter was born in late 2014. Her arrival forced me to step back from everything that I was doing and take a deep breath. Although I had graduated from art school and was running an art space, I realized that I hadn't allowed much time for making my own work. I was on an unintended, silent hiatus from it all. All of a sudden, a new life was developing before my very eyes. I am thankful to her, and her father, for helping me re-discover my love of art-making. 

My love of quilting began with wanting to commemorate the life of my father. For close to fifteen years I had wanted to make something that my family could pass down for generations. I decided to make a photo quilt using cyanotype-coated fabric. The process was incredibly slow. I made negatives from scanned photos and printed my father's life on fabric using the sun. Two years later, I finished the quilt, and my obsession with fabric, natural hand-dyeing, and hand-stitching, had begun and continues to this day.