CORNING, N.Y. (WETM) – Becky McNeill is a self-taught, modern quilt artist who currently lives and works in Corning, New York. Formerly of North Carolina and a native of Indiana, she learned the art of traditional quilting as a child, but knew, even at an early age, that the rules and repetition in the traditional aesthetic did not speak to her creative spirit. Part of the modern quilt movement, her improvisational designs and vibrant color palettes create bold geometric patterns and abstract, pixelated compositions. Her works often carry aspirational social messages that challenge the viewer to strive for a higher ideal in keeping with the values she holds most dear: nurturing, connecting, and protecting. McNeill uses her work to craft stories
in fabric. These stories can be read as a book, often conveying messages about social justice, climate change, community, wellness, or current events. The artist’s creative process is her representation of how we all attempt to create beauty from the circumstances we are given in life. She begins by making choices about her color palette and the ratio of colors in the piece, but she then allows random selection to control how the colors will be combined into fabric panels. Intentional design choices then finalize how the fabric panels will be recombined to create the final piece. It is this combination of intentional choices and random occurrences woven together that form the beauty of both her art and our lives. McNeill believes that while
we can’t control everything that happens in our lives, we can still craft a beautiful existence if we are intentional with the choices we make. McNeill’s work has been shown in a variety of regional and national exhibitions and galleries such as Schweinfurth Memorial Art Center’s Made in New York Exhibition, The Modern Quilt Guild’s QuiltCon, The North Carolina Quilt Symposium, the Houghton Gallery at 171 Cedar Arts Center, State of the Art Gallery, and the North Carolina State Fair and in publications such as Curated Quilts and Fat Quarterly digital magazine. She was awarded the Evelyn Peeler Peacock Gallery’s Emerging Artist solo show for the Spring of 2021 (now opening in April of 2022 due to COVID). She is a member of the
ARTS Council of the Southern Finger Lakes and Studio Art Quilts Associates, has served on the Executive Board of the Triangle Modern Quilt Guild, and teaches a variety of classes in modern quilting and acrylic painting at 171 Cedar Arts Center in Corning. To learn more and find her work, click here.