Iconic Images: Penny Sisto Portraits in Fiber

When we think of quilting, we often think of comfort and nostalgia. We think of the time spent snuggling up in your favorite grandparents’ bed as they recount the stories behind the quilt that covers you. Penny Sisto, internationally recognized fiber artist, takes the tradition of quilting to new heights through her unique approach to storytelling.

 The Owensboro Museum of Fine Art is proud to present Iconic Images: Penny Sisto Portraits in Fiber, a solo exhibition featuring sixty textile pieces. Sisto creates works of art that tackle difficult subjects contrasted by the beauty and familiarity of quilting. This exhibition will showcase figurative images of famous people and mythical characters in the format of monumental quilted wall hangings. The exhibit will be available until February 19. Museum hours are noon to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

It seems like Sisto has lived several lifetimes in one. Sisto has won several awards and has been the subject of two PBS documentaries for her work addressing social justice and peace. Sisto’s inspiration comes from her childhood in the Ornkey Islands off the northern tip of Scotland and her work as a midwife in East Africa. Her style is a combination of the quilting, embroidery, and applique techniques she learned from her grandmother with the beading and collage methods of the Maassai tribe. When asked about her fascination with combining scraps of dissimilar fabrics in her works, Sisto replied, “I guess that’s why I make quilts. I like to gather pieces back together to heal.” Just like her life experiences, her quilts are made up of bits and pieces that may not look like they go together but end up making something beautiful.

The Owensboro Museum of Fine Art is operating on normal hours and following all Covid-19 safety requirements. Admission is FREE with voluntary donations suggested – $3 for adults and $2 for children 12 and under. Don’t miss your chance to explore spectacular storytelling and support the arts in Owensboro! Click here to visit the OMFA website.