The 2007 Missouri Arts Commission Art Awards poster has an image of Susan Leslie Lumsden's art quilt "Skywest." The sore wrist is from hand signing 900 of them.
As the price of having her artwork's image on the poster, Lumsden must autograph the huge stack of posters which will go out to elected and appointed officials across the state. Her work was chosen from those artists whose work was selected at last fall's state fair "Missouri 50."
Missouri Arts Commission holds this awards ceremony annually at the Capitol in early February. This year the awards ceremony will be held on Feb 7. Although Lumsden is not a recipient of an award, she will still be an honored guest. The invitations to the awards are also graced with her artwork's image.
Lumsden's art quilts are made at her studio in Thayer with hand-dyed silks and metallics. She is known nationally for her easily recognized bull's eye design. She goes by the moniker Rebel Quilter.
In addition to this recent honor, Lumsden was recently named as finalist in two categories of the Niche Awards. These national awards, chosen from over 1,100 entries, recognize outstanding artists in the fine craft field. Lumsden's work is in the Art quilt category and Surface Design category. Those awards will be announced in late February at the Philadelphia Market for American Craft.
Lumsden markets her work at fine crafts shows throughout the country. In Missouri her work is a regular at Laumeier Sculpture Park's Art Fair where she was a prize winner in 2006 and at the Historic Shaw Art Fair. Both fairs are in St. Louis. Lumsden also has a Web site at www.rebelquilter.com.
Why does she call herself a rebel? She simply states that she regularly breaks rules within her medium if the rules seem to hold her design ideas back. Her colorations are not typical for a traditional quilt either. She often chooses her colors from nature. Because she dyes her fabrics she has total control over the palette and isn't reliant on this year's color trends.
Sore arms aren't new to Lumsden. She often takes 20-40 hours of machine stitching to do the quilting portion of her quilts. Because she uses a household sewing machine she has to wrangle the whole weight of each quilt in order to move the selected area to the proper position.
In West Plains, Lumsden's work, "Ridgeline: Afterglow" is the big quilt on the back wall of Café 37 on the courthouse square. Another quilt, "Moon over Marshall Ford," hangs in Grapevine Grocer.