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“Quilting can be whatever we want it to be.”

Students in Paolo Arao‘s wonderful workshop incorporated textiles from home and from loved ones, creating beautiful and deeply meaningful work. 

Though Paolo began his career as a painter, he has been exploring the expressive nature of textiles in his work since 2016. “Found textiles hold a memory that gets embedded into the work,” he said. “That’s something you don’t get from paint.” 


Many students in Paolo’s 2week workshop, “Behind the Seams,” had deep experience in quiltmaking and working with textiles, some had never sewn before, and one was a professional quilter.

“I ended up learning so much from the students,” said Paolo. “There isn’t really one way to do something, there are multiple ways, and everyone in class was so generous with their skills and experiences.”

Students learned how to create log cabin, nine patch, half square triangle, and improv quilts. 

They made a twosided collaborative quilt (which they generously donated to a scholarship auction 🙏) and went on to explore flags, fabric collages, and appliqué techniques.

This class was extremely prolific. The work featured at show and tell was only a small part of what was created during the workshop.

Congratulations, everyone!

Studio artist; teaching: Oxbow (MI), NYC Crit Club, Fashion Institute of Technology (NYC), Fordham University (NYC); recent solo exhibitions: The Columbus Museum (GA), Morgan Lehman Gallery (NYC); residencies: Haystack (ME), Vermont Studio Center, Art Omi (NY), Museum of Arts and Design (NYC), Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts (IA), Skowhegan (ME).