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Russ Little's fiber art transcends traditional quilting


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Courtesy photo. Russ Little's art quilt titled "Restructured Circles #8," which measures 25 X 59 inches, explores a single, large central motif.

Courtesy photo. Russ Little's art quilt titled "Restructured Circles #8," which measures 25 X 59 inches, explores a single, large central motif.

Published on: Thursday, October 03, 2013

By Wanda Jackson

College Park-based fiber artist Russ Little said his art quilts are “abstract and most recently feature large gestural circles that have been cut apart and reassembled.”

Little said his quilts “speak to the search for wholeness and integration despite the brokenness and jagged edges that are part of the life journey for many of us.”

His first solo exhibition — “ Moving in Circles - Art Quilts by Russ Little” — is on display through Oct. 11 in the Art Gallery at Greenbelt Community Center.

Photo by Wanda Jackson. Russ Little's work titled "Restructured Circles #5" resulted from "just playing with dye" and his favorite color (green).

Photo by Wanda Jackson. Russ Little's work titled "Restructured Circles #5" resulted from "just playing with dye" and his favorite color (green).

Little will be on hand from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Sunday for an opening reception and artist talk coinciding with the center’s monthly Artful Afternoon program. Admission is free and open to all ages.

Little, now Artist in Residence Emeritus, served as Artist in Residence at the Greenbelt Community Center for five years. It was in Greenbelt that he created the pieces currently on display. 

“Moving in Circles - Art Quilts by Russ Little” is a series of works constructed from fabrics that have been hand dyed, arranged and manipulated by Little.

Adding color, rich visual texture and interesting marks to plain white cloth, Little thoughtfully layers his materials to create full expression within abstraction. Complex arrangements allow his pieces to transcend traditional notions of quilting, while maintaining a familiar tranquility and arousing the intrigue of the viewer.

Little said his objective with this exhibit was “to create images that are visually interesting, but which also touch the viewer and communicate a shared human experience in a way that words cannot.”

Earlier in his career, Little studied geography, earning both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in the subject, and worked as a cartographer.

That path’s influence is apparent in Little’s work. Viewers will see strong meandering quilt lines and varying pattern densities that evoke the graphic language of his map-making days.

Little’s work has been featured in numerous juried exhibitions, including previous group shows at Greenbelt Community Center.

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