Becky McNeill is a self-taught, modern quilt artist who currently lives and works in Corning, NY. Formerly of North Carolina and a native of Indiana, she learned the art of traditional quilting as a child, but knew, even at an early age, that the rules and repetition in the traditional aesthetic did not speak to her creative spirit. Part of the modern quilt movement, her improvisational designs and vibrant color palettes create bold geometric patterns and abstract compositions. Her works often carry aspirational social messages that challenge the viewer to strive for a higher ideal in keeping with the values she holds most dear: nurturing, connecting, and protecting.
McNeill’s work has been shown in exhibitions and galleries such as Schweinfurth Memorial Art Center, State of the Art Gallery, the Phoenix Art Museum, and The North Carolina Quilt Symposium, as well as in publications such as Curated Quilts and Fat Quarterly. She is a member of The ARTS Council of the Southern Finger Lakes, Tioga Arts Council, Tri County Arts Council, and Studio Art Quilt Associates, and teaches a variety of classes at 171 Cedar Arts Center.
From the beginning of our species, the concept of “home” has provided us with a sense of identity. In telling the story of our dwelling, we reflect the core of who we believe ourselves to be. I examined these “stories of home” through modern interpretations of the iconic Log Cabin quilt pattern.
Historically, the Log Cabin block was at its peak popularity in the late 1800s and is often thought of as the quintessential American quilt block. Traditionally, it features a red center which represents the warmth of the hearth fire or the love of the family.
Color is the story-teller in this collection. Consider what the presence or absence of the red center means to each story. How do you think the selection of colors for each piece reflects the title? And what story do you think each piece tells?
Our sense of “home” is integral to our individual identity. As you explore the collection, is there a piece that reflects your story? Whether you have recently relocated, moved numerous times, experienced feeling “different” because of your family structure, immigrated, or simply felt the warmth of home, I hope you see yourself in the gallery today.