Over the last fourteen years I have been making urban quilts: textiles inspired by street art, signage, and graffiti. Utilizing hundreds of digital photos of found images, I designed collages by computer, made patterns, and created hand-cut and sewn quilts. The resulting quilts
re-imagine the urban landscape and re-invent quilting as a pop-art medium. The “Ripe” series of quilts is a tribute to two artists I was inspired by in the 1980’s: Andy Warhol and Keith Haring. The bright, pop-art bananas atop a graffiti background combine two of my earliest artistic influences. Made of silk and cotton, hand-cut, quilted, then stretched over canvas, the “Ripe” series is a love letter to Warhol and Haring.
Amy Ahlstrom is a modern quilter creating pop art. Based in the Bay Area, Ahlstrom holds a Master in Fine Arts in Fiber from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and a Bachelor in Fine Arts in Fiber from Northern Illinois University. She has exhibited widely and has quilts in the permanent collections of Google, Capitol One, and the San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles. Ahlstrom has been nominated for the Society for the Encouragement of Contemporary Art (SECA) Award from the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and for the Fleishhacker Foundation 2017-2019 Eureka Fellowship. Additionally, she was the first artist chosen for the San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles Artist in Residency (AIR) program.