February 1-28, 2022
Amy Ahlstrom is a textile artist. Based in the San Francisco Bay Area, her practice involves designing her quilts digitally, printing patterns and cutting images by hand. The images are fused onto fabric and quilted using hand-guided machine quilting; Ahlstrom “draws” on the quilt with thread, moving the quilt beneath the needle.
Her pop-art style is influenced by her experience with silkscreening and her background as a graphic designer and comic book illustrator. Ahlstrom’s current work references living with anxiety and depression. During her residency, she will continue work on a wall installation visualizing “all-or-nothing” thinking, a negative thought process, through a series of small quilts utilizing text and symbols to depict her repetitive thoughts. The quilts form a visual map of the cognitive distortions she experiences. The installation is designed to promote open conversations about mental health.
Amy Ahlstrom earned her MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Her quilts are in the permanent collections of Google, Capital One and the San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles, and she has exhibited at the DeYoung Museum, Modern Eden, Sylvia White Gallery, Pro Arts, and Root Division. She was nominated for the Society for the Encouragement of Contemporary Art (SECA) Award from the San Francisco Museum of Contemporary Art and for the Fleishhacker Foundation 2017-2019 Eureka Fellowship. Ahlstrom was the inaugural artist chosen for the San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles Artist In Residency program; in 2020 her work was exhibited in the first DeYoung Open.