Joan Paley & Alice Means

In Stitches, A Tale of the Art of Friendship

Joan Paley, Adult Penguin with Many Chicks from "The Emperor Lays an Egg", 2004
collage cut from hand painted papers
Courtesy of the Artist

May 6 — August 2, 2009

Book Signing Sunday, June 7, 1:30 pm

About the Artists

Joan Paley has illustrated ten children’s books, eight of which we are now featuring in our current exhibition.  She paints large pieces of paper with brightly colored washes and then cuts shapes from these and other textured sheets she has collected.  Next, she cuts and pastes these cut papers to create the enchanting creatures and settings in her books.  She says, “I’m happiest when I’m surrounded by paint, brushes, crayons, pencils, fabrics, textured papers, and a pair of scissors.  With each piece I strive to create a dimensional sense of environment and character.”

Alice Means has been quilting since 1994 and has made almost 200 quilts.  Several of her quilts have won awards throughout new England and Florida, and at national shows.

Alice Means, Little White Duck

Alice Means

Little White Duck (The End!), 2005
hand appliquéd and embroidered,
machine appliquéd and quilted
Courtesy of Joan Paley

About the Exhibit 

For the first time in our Children’s Gallery, we are presenting a dialogue between two artists using two different mediums.  Joan Paley’s colorful collages converse excitedly with Alice Means dazzling quilts. 

This conversation began about 5 years ago when Paley and Means connected at a high school reunion.  Both artists had been working successfully in their respective mediums since the mid-1990s: Paley illustrating books and Means piecing together her quilts.  Shortly after reconnecting, Paley sent Means copies of her illustrated books.  In return, Means created a quilt of the Little White Duck.  This began an artistic dialogue between the two childhood friends, the wonderful results of which can be seen in our current exhibition.

Joan Paley
“The Chase,” from Little White Duck, 2000
collage with hand painted paper
Courtesy of the Artist

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