Chawne Kimber: Picking My Bale

February 8, 2024


Cullis Wade Depot Art Gallery

Photograph of quilts haning in an art gallery.

From February 8 through March 8, a selection of hand-made quilts by visiting artist Chawne Kimber are on display in the Cullis Wade Depot Art Gallery as part of the new exhibition Picking My Bale.

Along with an exhibition the Department of Art is offering a series of programs with the artist Chawne Kimber. 

On Thursday, February 22, 11:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m., Instructor Rowan Haug is leading a public quilting workshop entitled, "Saying Your Piece." The workshop will take place in Howell Building, Room 109. No experience is needed. Space is limited, attendees need to register through the MSU Idea Shop.

At 2:00 p.m., Thursday, February 22, Chawne Kimber will give a public talk in Old Main, Room 1220.

A public reception with refreshments is planned for Thursday, February 22, 5:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. in the Cullis Wade Depot Art Gallery, located on the second floor of the Cullis Wade Depot, next to Barnes and Noble Bookstore on MSU's main campus.

The Cullis Wade Depot Art Gallery is free and open regular hours, Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. Special Saturday hours for the exhibition are Saturday, February 10th, 12:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m. and Saturday, February 17th, 12:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m.

Photograph of Chawne Kimber.

About the Artist:

Chawne Kimber is a textile artist who stitches quilts and embroidery. Her work has been acquired by the Petrucci Family Foundation, Michigan State University, the International Quilt Museum and the Smithsonian Museum of American Art. 

Through cultivation of cotton in rural eastern Alabama, some of her ancestors unwillingly participated in building the United States. Inspired by quilts made by her great grand-mother and other relatives in the late 1800s and early 1900s, Chawne interprets traditional patchwork forms in an improvisational style--that links to the ancestral works--using intentionally sourced cotton from vintage and discarded clothing and sustainable and labor-supportive companies. She uses a machine for patchwork and densely handquilts her work. 

In a timeless fashion, Chawne reflects on current events and the dimensions of her identity in the quilt form. When she includes text in her work, she does so through carefully crafted, brief “slow poetry.” Chawne asks viewers to grapple with women’s work, gender dynamics, and race in historical and contemporary perspectives. Warm and safe utilitarian quilts swaddle cold hard truths. 

When not manipulating cotton, Chawne is a dean and a professor of mathematics at a small liberal arts university in the Mid-Atlantic US.


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