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Windsor Art Center

From March 20 through May 1, 2021, The Windsor Art Center presented 80 @ 80: The Artworks of Phyllis Small.

Turning 80 years old is a huge milestone, and to celebrate it, Phyllis Small exhibited 80 artworks, one to mark each year of her life. Spanning Small’s artistic career, the works in this exhibition varied from extra-large wall hangings drifting down from the gallery rafters to notecard-size pieces.

This retrospective highlights the variety of Phyllis’s media over the years as well as the thread that is consistent throughout her career. Her earliest works included drawing, painting, and silk screening, but roughly midway through her life, she began to shift from traditional fine art media, such as acrylic, collage and serigraph, to paper and fabric construction and ultimately to quilting.

Phyllis’s textile creations include paper quilts, fabric on paper, 12”x12” quilts, small and large wall hangings, bed quilts and – influenced by the pandemic – quarantine quilts.

Quilting may seem like a big shift from her early works, but this exhibition makes it apparent that her approach to assemblage, color and pattern in her quilts is really an elaboration of her instinct to collage!