Lauren Kingsland (age 68) is a celebrated quilter whose goal is to have quilts be recognized as an art medium and as a tool for self-knowledge.Beyond teaching for the Georgetown Lombardi Arts and Humanities Program, Smithsonian Studio Arts, and more, Lauren runs a weekly Zoom meet-up of international quilters.We caught up with Lauren to learn how technology keeps her connected to stitching communities worldwide and her decades long fight to have quilting acknowledged as a fine art form.How did you start leading an international quilting group on Zoom?I knew nothing about Zoom or broadcasting from home, but I was motivated to learn because when the pandemic hit I had to shift all of my major activities to online.One day, when I was looking at Eventbrite, I realized that I could offer a class, advertise it on Eventbrite and I do a class from home.
This quilting group (which includes Senior Planet participants!) started as a group of people who happened to see my announcement on Eventbrite about a class.We did the class and we enjoyed being together so much that weve kept meeting on Tuesday mornings.Younger people have no clue that quilts were not considered a proper art medium.Which makes me feel so successful!How has technology helped you stay connected with the quilting community?I just moved to Colorado from the DC area a few months ago.
And because of Zoom I havent lost my friends or my job! How fabulous is that? Everyone in the Zoom quilting group feels that we are so much richer because we have these international friends that we see all the time! It was fine to be in person, it was lovely to breathe the same air, but the perspective that you gain when you actually see the same people who are going through different things in different parts of the world is wonderful.Resonance by Lauren Kinglasnd.On display now at the Lab on Santa Fe in Denver, CO.Why is quilting not considered to be a fine art?Now it is.But when I was in college, in the 70s, I took samples of my textile work to the humanities department to present a portfolio and they completely dismissed it as not a proper artist portfolio only because of the medium.Because it is the art form of women, quilting has not gotten the kind of publicity other art forms got.
Women were quietly doing this and living their lives and expressing themselves through this medium that they could do and not have to abandon their other responsibilities.So, I have worked for my entire professional life to elevate not just my work, but all fiber art.I rented studios in public places and worked in public spaces so that people would see that quilt making is an art form.People would walk into the studio and say, Oh my gosh! This is art! Now, younger people have no clue that quilts were not considered a proper art medium.
Which makes me feel so successful! I feel like a success after all these years that it is not even a question anymore.To learn more about Laurens work and classes, you can visit her website here.Additionally, you can view two of Laurens quilts on display at The Lab on Santa Fe in Denver, CO through December 2nd.
Senior Planets motto is Aging with Attitude.What does that mean to you?Embracing the wisdom that you have accumulated through age.Pam Hugi is Senior Planets Community and Advocacy Manager.Based in Brooklyn, she is a contributing writer for this site.