Former First Lady Frances Wolf unveiled The Collective Works of Polly Stetler, a new collection of non-representational, abstract quilts and fiber artworks on display at the Pennsylvania Governor's Residence in Harrisburg.
"Throughout Tom's time in office, we have made it a priority to use the Governor's Residence to showcase the vision and creativity of our fellow Pennsylvanians," said First Lady Frances Wolf. "We are truly honored to display Polly's impressive body of work right here in the people's house for all to enjoy."
Stetler, a York resident, has a Bachelor of Arts in Art History from Drew University in Madison, New Jersey. She has studied with leaders in the arts including Nancy Crow, Jan Myers-Newbury, and Steven Aimone. Her work has been featured in various public and private collections, including the State Museum of Pennsylvania's Art of the State juried exhibition in 2007 and 2011.
Stetler's work begins with the creation of the fabrics used. While she uses some commercial fabrics, she mostly hand-dyes her own solid colors. She is currently exploring surface design techniques such as shibori and other resist processes, as well as discharge. These techniques have opened her work to gesture and mark-making, which have been described as a cross between drawing and writing. In recent years, she has also begun incorporating embroidery into her work.
"When I create a quilt, I focus on line, shape, color and balance – the same issues that every artist struggles with, regardless of medium," said Stetler in her artist's statement. "In my work, I freehand cut my fabrics and assemble them by machine. I prefer to hand-quilt my work because I enjoy the contrast between the crisp edges of the machine-piecing and the organic look of the hand-sewing. I choose to machine quilt some pieces when the edginess of the machine work either enhances the piece or has no impact at all."