be joyful

Joan Duggan
24″ wide by 40″ tall

Joan Duggan is a mixed media artist. Her works include fiber, glass, photography and paint. Her creations use color, line and form to interpret a wide variety of styles ranging from true-to-life landscapes to abstract compositions. She uses fiber in many forms – from threads, spun yarns and wood roving to woven, felted and knitted cloth. In addition to fiber, she combines paint, ink, beads, sequins, fused glass pieces and natural stones along with hand and machine stitching in her pieces.

Duggan has exhibited her work in several shows at The Thirteenth Street Gallery and The Nicholas Gallery in the Hot Shops Art Center, the Tim and Teddi Slatery Art Gallery, the Jewish Community Center Gallery and Hillmer Art Gallery, all in Omaha, Neb.; the International Quilt Study Center and museum in Lincoln, Neb.; and at a National Quilt Association Exhibit held in Omaha. Below, she explains “Be Joyful” in her own words.

“Sometimes feelings just bubble up from inside you. It doesn’t matter what you do, you just have to be. The bright colors in this piece sparkle with joy. And I am reminded that I don’t have to do anything, just Be Joyful.

“Hand dyed and commercial fabrics have been stitched, fused and manipulated to create texture. Paint and beads further enhance the surface.”

early spring

Gail M. Dickel
24″ wide by 40″ tall

Gail Dickel’s background is in art education, and she enjoyed teaching art for more than 20 years. Her early work with paint focused on an abstract color field style, but she has also done representational work as well as ceramics, collage, photography and fiber arts. Dickel joined the Midwest Fibert Arts Alliance in 2011 and has exhibited art quilts at Lauritzen Gardens, the Jewish Community Center, Sunderland Gallery and Hilmer Gallery in Omaha, and Bartenbach Gallery in Grand Island.

She has also exhibited photographs, collage and watercolor work, and fiber art pieces in the annual Nebraska Art Teachers Association Art Exhibits (2005-12). While still teaching, Dickel was the winner in the Art Teacher category of the School Arts Magazine Artist Trading Art Contest. Below, she discusses “Early Spring” in her own words.

“I feel a deep connection to the natural world around me, and I am intrigued by the myriad of colors and textured surfaces in nature. When I began working on this qulit in January, the colors outdoors were dominated by brown and grey. Thinking of the coming Spring, I began piecing together floral prints, textured papers, batiks and hand-dyed fabrics to create a colorful spring landscape.

“This piece suggests to me the wonders of nature, life, joy, exploration and creativity. It contains batiks, hand-dyed fabrics, commercial fabrics and papers.”

make your mark

Shelly Burge
24″ wide by 40″ tall

Shelly Burge learned to sew on a hand crank toy sewing machine when she was four years old. She has been making quilts for more than 40 years and is known nationally and internationally for her work and the quilting arts classes she teaches. Her work has received prestigious honors in art and quilt competitions across the country and has been exhibited in Japan, Russia, Germany, France and the Netherlands. She is the author of two books on quilting, and her articles on quilts have been featured in numerous books and magazines.

Burge explains “Make Your Mark” in her own words below.

“Fill in the circles, mark an X or O, punch holes through the card; there are a variety of methods to make a mark on a ballot. The important thing is that you make your mark and make it count…vote! All the fabrics used in this piece were created by me using Indigo or Procion dyes.”

text in fiber

24″ wide by 40″ tall
Marge Bresel

Marge Bresel has been sewing since age 13. At 21, she moved from Chicago to Lincoln, Neb., to enroll in a graduate program at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. After moving to Omaha for a job, marrying and raising three children, she started making traditional quilts. After experimenting with various surface design and mixed media techniques, this morphed into creating art quilts. She is always experimenting with new ways to express herself using fiber art.

Bresel discusses “Text in Fiber” in her own words below.

“Is is text or texture? Is there text in the texture? Can you see it? Can you feel it (with your eyes – please don’t touch)? I’m drawn to the open ended conundrum of text in the texture.

“The brightly hued manipulated strata adds texture to the background and creates an explosion of color and 3-dimensional illusion with the 2-dimensional fabrics. This is the backdrop to the text in the textiles. Here is an artistic merger of feeling and thought…both a visual and tactile sensation in the layering of texture through surface design, color, fiber and quilting.

“This piece is made from commercial, hand dyed and gifted fabrics. I would especially like to thank Karen Stiehl Osborn for her original surface design pieces and Joyce Cohen for her poetic descriptions of this piece. For information and details about the process, go to




24″ wide by 40″ tall
Rhonda Baldwin

Rhonda Baldwin is a textile artist from Grand Island, Neb. Vibrant color and surface design techniques are the focus of her work. She currently uses mark making, textile manipulation and hand stitch to create her pieces. Below, she describes “Expanse” in her own words.

Textures in the world of physics are flaws; little imperfections that seem to show up in chaotic environments. You might think of texture as a cloudy patch within an otherwise transparent crystal; a patch whose atoms didn’t nicely align with their well-ordered neighbors.

Chaotic dye particles strike in snow dyed cloth in patterns eerily similar to Hubble Telescope photos of galaxies near and far. My work here is an homage to those beautiful images captured in space. Hand dyed whole cloth with applique and stitch. Paint and pastel details.