Heather Cromwell

Heather Cromwell grew up watching her mother and grandmother make quilts in the family kitchen that were used by family members as blankets or given away to others as presents. She is also an amateur painter and photographer.

Augustine, Justin

Biography

Though she did not practice this craft in her youth, Cromwell took up quiltmaking in her thirties and began by making pattern quilts she learned from her mother.  In 2004, Cromwell joined Northumberland Quilters Guild- one of the largest quilt guilds in the province and attended specialized guild workshops to develop her skill in the new craft. 

She also began entering the guild’s annual members showcase exhibition held each August at the Decoste Centre in Pictou. In 2007, Cromwell joined forces with several African Nova Scotian women in New Glasgow to form the Vale Quiltmakers Association- a group interested in learning about Africentric North American quiltmaking traditions as well as promoting the craft among Pictou County’s African Nova Scotian community. 

Among the association’s activities was hosting Mary Lee Bendolph and Louisiana Petway, two members of the famed Gee’s Bend Quiltmakers of Alabama during their Nova Scotia provincial tour in 2007.  In 2009, Cromwell joined the Secret Codes Quilt Project, an exhibition project created by Halifax artist, curator David Woods and the Black Artists Network.

Participants made quilts from drawings created by Woods during his travels to 30 African Nova Scotian communities across the.  Woods’ drawings captured community histories and life stories of women and locals and employed quilt aesthetics in their design. The Dance- Cromwell’s first Secret Codes quilt was created in 2010 and was well received.  Since that time she has continued to create more quilts for the Secret Codes exhibition which has been touring steadily since 2011, as well as making traditional pattern quilts.

Artist Statement

Quilting for me is being creative; whether it is making a quilt from a pattern or making a quilt from a sketch made by artist David Woods.  I really enjoy the challenge of making what David sketches on small 5” x 6” pieces of paper to fabric the size of a double quilt.  I don’t feel that I am a quilt artist but I do get much pleasure from people enjoying my work.

Gallery

Exhibitions

Group Exhibitions

2019 Paintings and Quilts – Chase Gallery, Public Archives of NS (BANNS)
2017 Paintings and Quilts: Kaiso – Caribbean Nova Scotian Artists
2017 Paintings and Quilts – Caribbean Cultural Festival, HalifaxCommons (BANNS)
2015 New Notes In The Garden – Chase Gallery, Public Archives of NS (BANNS)
2015 The Secret Codes: Contemporary African Nova Scotian Narrative and Picture Quilts – Museum of Industry, Stellarton
2014 The Secret Codes: Contemporary African Nova Scotian Narrative and Picture Quilts – UNB Arts Centre, Fredericton, NB
2013 The Secret Codes: Contemporary African Nova Scotian Narrative and Picture Quilts – Snider Gallery, Nova Scotia Community College Waterfront Campus, Dartmouth  (BANNS)
2013 The Secret Codes: Contemporary African Nova Scotian Narrative and Picture Quilts – Art Gallery St FX University, Antigonish
2012 The Secret Codes: Contemporary African Nova Scotian Narrative and Picture Quilts – Chase Gallery, Nova Scotia Public Archives (BANNS)
2012 It Takes A Village – African Nova Scotian Art And Culture Exhibition – World Trade And Convention Ctr, Halifax. (BANNS)
2011 African Nova Scotian Quilts Foundation – Highland Square Mall, New Glasgow  (BANNS)
2009 Learning To Fly Quilt – Mayflower Centre, Truro  (BANNS)
2007 Our Ancestor’s Garden Exhibition – Museum of Industry, Stellarton (BANNS)
2007 Our Ancestor’s Garden Exhibition – Birchtown Community Ctr, Shelburne (BANNS)
2007 Our Ancestor’s Garden Exhibition – Weymouth Falls Community Ctr, Weymouth Falls (BANNS)
2007 Our Ancestor’s Garden Exhibition – North Preston Recreation Ctr, Dartmouth (BANNS)
2007 Our Ancestor’s Garden Exhibition – Halifax North Branch Library, Hfx (BANNS)

Contact

New Glasgow, NS

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