Panoramic Photo by Leonard Hellerman
80 @ 80:
The Artworks of Phyllis Small
In 2021 the Windsor Art Center presented 80 @ 80: The Artworks of Phyllis Small who turned eighty that year. Phyllis Small exhibited eighty artworks to celebrate this milestone, 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-sized pieces. This retrospective highlights the variety of Phyllis' media over the years and the consistent thread throughout her career. Her earliest works included drawing, painting, and silk screening. 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' textile creations include paper quilts, fabric on paper, 12" x12" quilts, small and large wall hangings, bed quilts, and quarantine quilts influenced by the pandemic. Quilting may seem like a significant shift from her early works. Still, this exhibition makes it apparent that her approach to assemblage, color, and pattern in her quilts elaborates her instinct to collage.