By Patricia Belyea
OTTAWA ON I read an article about Kit Vincent in a recent issue of SAQA Journal. Two things immediately caught my attention. The first was that Kit lives in Ottawa—my hometown. The second was her amazing and bold textile art. I vowed to meet Kit on my next trip to Canada's capital!
An Uber ride dropped me off in a development on the outskirts of town where every house looked the same. Except Kit's. Designed with clean lines and modern finishes, Kit's home looked impeccably dramatic. Stepping inside, I knew I was in an artist’s home.
We headed downstairs to Kit's studio to chat.
Six months earlier, Kit and her husband had been living in a downtown condo where her workroom was 10' x 12'. Although the space was incredibly confining, she managed to produce four giant quilts that got into three major shows. That accomplishment is a testament to what’s possible in less than ideal conditions.
Now Kit has a studio worthy of great envy—lots of space, big design walls, and a huge pressing/worktable. Perhaps the only drawback is that this time of year the natural light is filtered through 20" of snow in the window wells!
Let’s take a look at some of Kit's award-winning work:
Chaos 3, 59"x59", McCarthy Memorial Award at Quilt National 2015: Private Collection
Chaos: The Butterfly Effect, 60"x60", Best of Show at Quilt=Art=Quilts, Schweinfurth Memorial Art Center 2014. Private Collection
Megantic, 46x46", First Prize and Juror's Choice Awards at Quilt=Art=Quilts, Schweinfurth Memorial Art Center 2013.
For Kit, early studies in art were augmented by workshops with different quilting and textile teachers including Nancy Crow and Jane Dunnewold. Her artistic journey spans a full array of approaches and techniques including painted canvas quilts. Today Kit's textile art reminds me of thick brush strokes, full of power and intent.
Kit creates mega-sized blocks with a substrate and layers of raw-edge appliqué strips. These square blocks are rotated on the design wall until Kit confirms her layout. The joints in her quilt-as-you-go compositions often fade away when strips overlap the seams.
Kit has hand dyed huge amounts of cotton. Many yards are already sliced up and stored in color-coded bins, ready to be used in her textile art.
Kit has learned to work fast and not fuss. “It’s all child’s play” she commented as we both talked about the importance of regaining our fearless childhood spirits. She’s also committed to “making cloth do what it has not yet done before.”
Our conversation continued upstairs where I was treated to a freshly brewed cup of coffee. Here I learned that Kit's husband, Paul Vincent, is also an artist. That made sense—I was in the home of two artists!
I was so pleased to meet Kit and see her work in person. Her originality and integrity shine through her textile art. She truly has made cloth do what it has not yet done before!
To visit Kit’s website +click here