Deborah Fell is an artist whose medium is quilting. Her tools include natural fabrics, fiber reactive dyes, textile paints, stitching and repurposed objects. She creates dimension, movement and depth using line and color. Deborah creates art quilts because they are a means of self-expression which combine the beauty of art and the comforting tradition of quilting. The unifying element of her art is mark making on fabric and creating emotional depth in a two-dimensional field. Deborah’s art is a deconstructed version of how she interprets her world. She finds inspiration through nature and bases much of her work on her photography.
Deborah has obtained national recognition for her work. Her art has been exhibited in venues such as the United Nations Building in New York City; the Moscone in San Francisco; Art Quilt Elements at the Wayne Art Center in Philadelphia, PA; The Works Gallery in Newark, NJ, which is a Smithsonian Institution Affiliate Museum; in Pakistan through the U.S. State Department Arts in Embassies Program; and the premier international exhibit Quilt National in 2003. One of Deborah’s art quilts appeared on the front cover for the American Journal of Nursing; another art quilt is a part of the former Ground Zero Headquarters—St. Paul Trinity Chapel—collection. In 2009 Deborah was asked to collaborate with ABC TV Host Ty Pennington to create the special art project for Extreme Home Makeover, Season 7, Montgomery House. In November 2009 one of Deborah’s art quilts was a part of the Journey of Hope Exhibit in Tokyo, Japan; this exhibit continued at the National African American Museum in Wilberforce, OH. Also in 2009, the artist’s work was a part of an exhibit sponsored by Firelands Association for the Visual Arts in Oberlin, OH. Recently Deborah’s work was in a traveling exhibit sponsored by the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons; the exhibit traveled to Washington, DC; New Orleans and the Chicago Cultural Center. In the fall of 2011 Deborah will be an artist-in-residence at the Mendocino Arts Center in Mendocino, California.
Deborah has been a professional educator for over 30 years. Besides teaching at risk high school students in a public high school setting, Deborah has taught various art workshops at national symposiums, community college and continuing education. Deborah obtained a Masters degree from Northern Illinois University along with graduate work at University of Illinois, University of New Hampshire and a fellowship at Northwestern University. Starting in 2012 Deborah will be teaching at the University of Illinois through the OLLI program.
Deborah says, “Art allows us to move from one place to the next. I create art because I believe art makes a difference in our world; it is a gift we give ourselves and it is a celebration of our very souls.”