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Linda Colsh




Linda Colsh Linda Colsh builds her pieced, layered and stitched artworks from the images and ideas that she collects as photographs, drawings and writings. She is known for her images of elderly women and men. Anonymous and invisible to most others, her subjects come from the streets where she finds them. She strips away their context, and reworks them with new narratives and imagined scenarios. Each work begins with blank white or black cloth, which Linda alters with dye, discharge and paint. She works with design software to develop her images for printing by digital or traditional methods. Her process is weighted to designing and preparing content and cloth before the actual stitching together.

An American artist residing in Everberg, Belgium, since 1990, Linda Colsh has lived in America, Asia and Europe. A lifelong artist with two degrees in Art History, she exhibits in the US and internationally. Recent highlights were selection to show in Fiber Philadelphia’s Inside/Outside the Box exhibition, the 4th Riga International Textile & Fibre Art Triennial; her Strassen Szenen solo show in Freiburg, Germany; and invitation to exhibit in 3 Artists at Galerie Holtop, Tilburg, the Netherlands. She has curated, juried and judged exhibitions throughout Europe and the US, including Quilt National 2013 and Visions 2010. Her work is published and in collections worldwide, including the Collection of John M. Walsh III. Among the awards her artwork has won are the European Quilt Triennial first prize and the top prize of the Fabric of Legacies Exhibition in Colorado.

Linda Colsh is a Board member and Secretary of Studio Art Quilt Associates; and, in addition to her work on several SAQA committees, she was the organization’s first Representative for the Europe/Israel region.

Click on cover at right to order monograph “The Studio Quilt No. 3: Linda Colsh” by Dr. Sandra Sider.


I am currently working in series with themes that focus on aspects of growing old and the issues of being elderly: invisibility, isolation, privacy, identity, and our concepts of what is beautiful (or not). I like the push-pull of looking at something from all sides and then, carrying that observation further by imagining that same thing not there at all. What is important is what is seen, what is not seen and what is imagined. I love how a walk in the fog sets the mind’s eye working to see more that the eyes reveal, to fill in the blanks and imagine what is obscured. I approach making my art with the goal of trying to achieve that combination of the visual with the challenge of mystery.

Whether colored by happiness, anger, fortitude, or sadness, my approach is humanist and my themes are solitude and dignity. My imagery is chosen to portray the effects of age and wisdom, and how experience enables people to cope (or not) with the often-overwhelming world they navigate day in and day out. I hope to create a mood of grit and determination and to respect the characters that populate my artwork. I try to balance the information I put in with how much I leave unstated; thus, letting the viewer continue the stories I begin.

My art references the concept of control: who is in control, people struggling to stay in control, when things get out of control…. I explore the idea that some people, maybe even entire classes of people, are invisible. My work examines the relationship between the individual and society, suggesting mutual responsibilities and sometimes bringing to light irresponsibility. I am intrigued by the idea of edges and margins—people living on the edge or in the margins. 

Resume HIghlights

Solo, 2- and 3-Artist Shows:
Linda Colsh Solo Show 2011 Vissenaken, Belgium
3 Artists 2010 Galerie Holtrop, Netherlands
Solo 2010 Straßen-Szenen Freiburg, Germany
Solo 2009 Quotidien de la rue La Bastide des Jourdans, France
Works by Linda Colsh 06 Textilmuzeum Budapest, Hungary
Solo 2001 Artiste Invitée Val d’Argent, France
Silk Works 1990 by Yuri Bast & Linda Colsh Seoul, Korea
Solo Show 1989: Seoul, Korea

Outside/Inside the Box FiberPhiladelphia 2012
12 Voices 2008
Art Quilt Elements 2008 & 2010
Fiberart International 2007
Quilt National 2005, 2007 & 2009
European Quilt Triennial 2000 & 2006
Exposed Noho Gallery NYC 2006
International Textile & Fibre Art Triennial Riga, Latvia 2007 & 2010
Visions 1996, 2006, 2008 & 2012
Baltic Minitextil Triennial Gdynia & Lodz, Poland 2007
3rd Mini Textile Art International Exhibition Ukraine 2007
Contemporary Art Quilts 2000, 2003 & 2006 UK
Patchwork au Grand-Duché Luxembourg 2000

Everything In Between Braithwaite Fine Arts Gallery UT 2012
Sightlines 2010
EXNA IV Patchwork contemporain européen Neuchâtel, Switzerland 2010
Mixed Media Fiber Art Danforth Museum of Art MA 2009
International Textile Art Invitational, Embroiderers Guild Australia
Focus: Materials & Meaning Mixed Bag Art Gallery
Voices in Cloth Milner Art Gallery, Canada
1000 Jahriger Osterreichs Invitational Exhibition
Cyber Fyber: Art Aprons

First Prize: European Quilt Triennial 2006
First Prize: Fabric of Legacies, Lincoln Center Galleries CO 2007
2nd Prize Art Quilts XIII Chandler AZ

Art in Embassies, US Ambassador to NATO, Belgium
Collection of John M. Walsh III
Nordwolle Textile Museum, Delmenhorst, Germany
Museum of the City of Gdynia, Poland
Krusemark Gmbh Mülheim am Main, Germany
Thomas Contemporary Quilt Collection CA

The Studio Quilt No. 3: Linda Colsh monograph by Dr. Sandra Sider 2011
Linda Colsh’s Characters: The Unseen Made Visible
Surface Design, Fall 2010
Masters: Art Quilts, Lark Books 2008
Surface Design Journal Gallery Issue 2006
Fiberarts Design Book 7
Cover: Women's Lives: Multicultural Perspectives
Quilting Arts magazine: Profile Artist Fall 04
Cover & featured artist: EuroQuilt #2

M.A. History of Art -- University of Maryland
B.A. History of Art -- University of Maryland

2012: Juror Quilt National 13
2011: Curator Celebration: 20th Anniversary National Quilt Museum
2010-present: Secretary SAQA Board of Directors
2006-present: SAQA Board of Directors
2006-2010: SAQA Exhibition Committee
2010: Président du Jury Carrefour Européen du Patchwork; 2012 juror Concours CEP
2009: Juror Visions 2010
2008: Juror Convergence 09
2006: Curator Breaking Boundaries Lyon, France
2005: Curator Surroundings Birmingham UK
2003-06: SAQA Europe/Israel Regional Representative
2002: Curator for Q.Art Group Show (Givet, France)
1998: Judge Belgian Quilt Guild National Exhibition
1985-present: teacher & lecturer: US, Korea, Europe


Most often we see them from behind, usually solitary women. Their silhouettes, animated by repetition that implies determined movement, occupy the stark world of the anonymous, unnoticed elderly. It’s as if we’re following them into that world.
--Patricia Malarcher, “Linda Colsh’s Characters: The Unseen Made Visible” Surface Design Journal, Fall 2010

Her colors are restful, but her imagery is not. Linda Colsh's work mostly stays within a limited palette of browns, blacks, and whites...Her images repeat, fading in and out of the background as if seen through the mist. Figures are mysterious, seemingly glimpsed from a distance...The viewer has to work to decipher the messages implied in Colsh's imagery, but the resultant sense of a deeper understanding is worth the effort.
--Martha Sielman, Masters: Art Quilts, Lark Books, 2008

Linda Colsh's "Mole & Henge" is a richly somber composition, in which an optically dazzling interplay of circular and rectangular shapes enlivens a variegated field of mostly dark hues. The expansive scale of Colsh's work adds to its impressive depth.
--Ed McCormack, "Exposing the Significance of Contemporary Art Quilts in the Noho Gallery Exhibition" Gallery & Studio, Feb/March 2006

Like every artist, Linda Colsh draws inspiration from her surroundings. But this quilter and surface design artist has a richer and more varied portfolio of geographical images and experiences to draw from than most...She was particularly captivated by iconography, making it the focus of her Master's thesis and a strong theme in her work today.
--Cate Coulacos Prato, "Linda Colsh: Artist Profile" Quilting Arts Magazine, Fall 2004

Linda Colsh's winning quilt "Cold Shoulder" has a sobering message stitched into its layers. The aged female figures, cloaked in heavy winter coats, are overshadowed by the dark landscape that surrounds them. Their very inclusion in such a dominating background in itself excludes them from the bigger picture, creating a statement of how we, as a modern society, deal with an increasingly aging population.
--Janet Rae "New Directions: Impassioned Messages" Popular Patchwork, Winter 2007

Repeated images of figures that are built up into beautiful and evocative compositions are characteristic of Linda Colsh’s work. This time, a lonely person under an umbrella battles her way through the deluge in the haunting Sudden Storm.
--Dr. Susan Marks, Selvedge, December 2007

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This page was last updated 17 July 2012

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