Works 1995 - 2005

Practice Bomber Range In the Mississippi Flyway
© Terese Agnew, 2002
Practice Bomber Range
95" X 80"  Embroidered with cotton and poly thread. Constructed with cottons, bridal tulle, denim.  The Embroidered center was cut out and replaced with a digitally illustrated photo on canvas by Tom Bamberger and Peter DiAntoni.
Smithsonian American Art Museum, The Renwick Gallery Gift of the S. and R. Pieper Family
The D.O.T. Straightens Things Out
© Terese Agnew, 1999
The D.O.T. Straightens Things Out
96" X 75"  Thread, hand-dyed silk ribbon, satin ribbon, taffeta, silk organza, various cottons and invisible thread.  Milwaukee Art Museum, gift of Suzanne and Richard Pieper
Cedar Waxwings at the AT & T Parking Lot
© Terese Agnew, 1996
83" X 95"  Thread, hand-dyed cotton and various manufactured cottons, silk, organza and invisible thread. Collection of John M. Walsh III, New Jersey
Details, Cedar Waxwings at the AT & T Parking Lot
   detail   detail
Artist Note
My quilts take from one to three years to complete. They are embroidered using a process that’s like drawing with thread. The embroidering is done on a sewing machine in sections that I manually direct under the needle. Detailed images are rendered this way to build density and tactility with thread. The finished works are quilted by hand. Some of these works incorporate detailed cuttings that are tacked on so the fabric edges float on the quilt surface.  I want each quilt to mimic a little of the richness and complexity of the world–trees, grass, light–and our presence in the landscape.

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About the Artist

Terese Agnew began her art career as a public sculptor. Her early work included several temporary installations that engaged hundreds of people from the general public in the art making process. Her permanent works include The Wisconsin Workers Memorial in downtown Milwaukee at Zeidler Union Square (1995), created in collaboration with Mary Zebell: The centerpiece of the memorial is a bandstand made of salvaged gears, tools and iron-cast fixtures of the modern workplace. In the dome of the structure is a huge clock that stands still, a reference to the time given at work. Paths that ring the park are lined with a series of sculptural bollards and chains with panels that tell the stories of working people.

Her most recent public work (completed in 2002) is 35 large concrete sculptures of tree stumps arranged as an informal amphitheater at the Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts in Brookfield, Wisconsin. The work honors the natural history of the site and the way in which people have always used available materials in the landscape to gather around storytellers, musicians, dancers or plays.

In 1990 Agnew began making art quilts in addition to sculpture. Her quilts are intricately detailed and intensely embroidered using a process that she describes as "drawing with thread." Agnew’s quilts are included in permanent collections at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Renwick Gallery, The Milwaukee Art Museum and the John M Walsh III Collection of Contemporary Art Quilts. Her quilts are also in several books, most notably The Art Quilt by Robert Shaw. In 2002 she was included in a show at the Milwaukee Art Museum entitled On Nature: Five Wisconsin Artists.

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