On Thursday, November 3, a reception was held in the Krannert Gallery to welcome fiber artist Dawn Murtaugh. Various examples of her work were on display in the gallery as part of an ongoing exhibit showcasing her art.
Murtaugh, a self-described optimistic skeptic, still recalls what inspired her to become an artist. “When I was little, I collected paint chips whenever my mother would go to the paint store, and I would rearrange and play with them,” she said. “My mother would get fabric from people, and instead of saying ‘oh, we’re so poor, what are we gonna do?’, she would say ‘what can we do with this? So, everything is inspiration, and there is nothing that can’t be seen in a different way.”
In addition to receiving her Bachelor of Arts Degree at St. Xavior College, Murtaugh is actively involved with the American Quilters Society and Studio Arts Quilt Associates. Her fiber art has been exhibited in many national events since 2010, and she has also taught many courses and workshops involving fiber arts. According to Murtaugh, her art references traditional quilting, which was historically a way for women to add beauty to otherwise drab surroundings.
When asked what her advice would be to aspiring artists, Murtaugh’s answer was simple:
“Look. Look, open your eyes, see what it makes you feel, and look harder. Step close to something, step far away, and look. The rest of it will come up.”