Reception: Thursday, April 24 | 11 a.m.–1 p.m.

Working as a mixed media fiber artist, Gretchen Jankowski uses traditional printing techniques as a launching pad for her explorations into other mediums of art making. Using macro and micro-environments inspired by nature and places, she constructs stuffed, voluminous, collaged-like quilts, often made of fabrics that are hand printed using traditional printmaking techniques. These fabric collages are quilted and batted together to make large 3-dimensional “coral reef” like works that often hang on the wall.

By incorporating abstract botanical patterns with sewn patterns that weave in and out of each other, the work quite literally calls out the viewers’ sensation to touch. Often creating works in series, using many iterations of the same pattern and print, changing medium as seen fit for each idea, Jankowski’s large-scale mixed media pieces and soft sculptures push the boundaries of classic relief printmaking and fiber art. Learning from every piece that she makes, even if a piece hasn’t conventionally conformed to her expected outcomes, Jankowski cherishes the inspiration and new techniques that often emerge out of mishaps.

Born in Fort Wayne, Indiana, Jankowski currently has a home and studio in Forest Park, Illinois. She earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in studio arts from Columbia College Chicago and a Master of Fine Arts degree in printmaking from California State University, Long Beach. She currently teaches printmaking in the fine arts program full time at Governors State University.