Hand Works by Trish Williams R.I.P.

"Art is Business"      Trish Williams has joined the Ancestors. Born:  1950 - Sunset 2024,  Chicago, Illinois Known for Fiber art, quilting, soft sculpture, and fashion design artist. 

Ronald West borrowed this photograph from her Facebook page.

As a fiber artist and quilter, she has archived her journey from 2008 to 2019 on her blog. She highlighted her thought process and the fellow artists who joined her as she navigated the art world as a Fiber and Textile Fine Artist. Trish and I served on the East Garfield Park Arts and Cultural Task Force in 2005 to design the East Garfield LISC Quality of Life Plan; we were Co-Committee Chairs and were listed in that publication. 

She also was instrumental in the beginning years of the Phantom Gallery Chicago. We went on to write a plan for the Phantom Gallery Chicago and began doing pop-up galleries along Madison/Western to Madison/Homan in empty storefronts. We also curated exhibits at ABC Bank in Austin Neighborhoods and Chicago Public Libraries. 

My most recent visit to Peoria in 2021 to visit her was a road trip with my board member and colleague Suzetta Withtaker. We visited the Richard Pryor Bronze sculpture and her exhibition at the Contemporary Art Center of Peoria. Before returning to Chicago, she visited Preston Jackson's studio and dined at her favorite restaurant. 

Trish Williams began her love affair with cloth at the age of five at the knees of my mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother, where She started her love of color and fabric. She has exhibited nationally and internationally; her work can be seen in numerous collections and publications. She is a keeper of the cloth and tradition.

Biography from the Archives of askART

Logan Center Exhibitions is pleased to present Freedom’s Muse featuring members from Sapphire & Crystals, a collective of African American women artists in Chicago initially conceived by Marva Pitchford Jolly and Felicia Grant Preston in 1987. This exhibition explores the intersection of art and freedom of expression in celebration of the 36th Anniversary of the collective and the launch of the university’s new Chicago Forum for Free Inquiry and Expression.



Having sewn all my life, I became a self-taught artist in 1997, falling in love with quilting as my medium. Since I was familiar with working in fabric, the transition into quilting seemed natural as a means to artistically express myself. Quilting also allowed me to revisit my upbringing in the Midwest using an imaginative style of stitching and color inspired by my Midwestern and African roots. I find joy and inspiration in the bountiful ebb and flow of the rivers and lakes.  

My current works include some mixed-media aspects; incorporating paint, paper, plastic, metals, or other found objects has allowed me to explore new ideas and advance my quilting techniques. I am active in Chicago and Peoria, Illinois.


Solo Exhibits
2013   Chicago State University - Forms & Fabrics, Chicago, IL, March 19th-  April 17th
2011    Concordia University - P.I.E.C.E.S. - River Forest, IL, January, 10th - February 13th
2009    Harold Washington Library - Chicago, IL, March 18 - April 30
2007    Open Studio - Artist Residency - Chicago, IL, February 1 - 28th
2006    Malcolm X Community College, "P.I.E.C.E" - Chicago, IL, March, 1st - 31st  
2004    UIC African American Cultural Center - Chicago, IL, March 1st - 31st  
2003    Bethel Cultural Arts Center - Chicago, IL, February 1 -28th  

Group Exhibitions
FAC - Conversation In Stitches. -Nature, Concordia University, River Forest, IL
FAC Blue World/Green World, Pump House Gallery, LaCrosse, WI  

FAC-13 Ways of Looking at a Blackbird, Waukesha Civic Theater Gallery
Chicago School of Fusing exhibit at WMQFA Barn Gallery, Cedarburg, WI
FAC -13 Ways of Looking at a Blackbird, American Craft Council Office, Minneapolis, MN
WOCQN-  1st Cultural Arts Awards Ceremony, CCNY, New Your, NY
Studio Group Exhibit at Romain's Studio, Peoria, IL
FAC - Blue World/Green World, River Front Art Center, Stevens Point, WI
We Two Chicago - Human Thread Gallery, Chicago, IL
SDA - Blind Eye: The Result of Doing Nothing, Human Thread Gallery, Chicago,
FAC - Blue World/Green World at the Prairie Cent for the Arts, Schaumburg, IL WOCQN -, Huston, TX      

Visions, Voices, Viewpoints and Victories of African American Artists, Peltz Gallery of Art, Milwaukee, WI
FAC- Conversations in Stitch, Anderson Art Center, Kenosha, WI
Textural Rhythms in Jazz, Museum of the African Diaspora, San Francisco, CA
FAC-Ties That Bind, The Sheldon Gallery, St. Louis, MO
FAC- 13 Ways of Looking at Blackbirds, Northville Art House
Black Pearls, Garfield Park Arts Center, Indianapolis, IN
FAC-13 Ways of Looking at Blackbirds, Schaumburg Prairie Arts Center, Schaumburg

Art Basel at the Betsy Hotel, Miami, FL
Beyond The Log Cabin - Abraham Lincoln: the Emancipation and the African American  Experience - Highland Museum, Ashland, KY

Quilts for Obama - Historical Society of Washington, DC
Mermaid and Merwomen in Black Folklore - Avery Research Center for African
American History and Culture, Charleston, SC, and the Florence Museum of Art,
Science and History, Florence, SC

Quilting African American Women's History: Our Challenges, Creativity, and Champions, Ohio Historical Society, Wilberforce, OH
Spoken with Hands" Ohio Valley Art League, Rotunda Gallery,
Henderson County Public Library, Henderson, KY
ABC Bank of Austin, Phantom Gallery - Chicago, IL

Wrapped In The Feeling: "The Story Coat Exhibition"- African American Museum -Wichita, KS
Sew What Art Quilters - Phantom Gallery, - Chicago, IL
Stitching Salon" Winter Delights event - Chicago, IL

Visual Voice: Transforming Silence through Contemporary Quilted Art -
Quilts for Change at the Cintas Center, Xavier University - Cincinnati, OH
Mancuso's "The World Quilt Show" - New England, Manchester, NH

Museum of Science and Industry, "Black Creativity"- Chicago, IL

Sacred Threads 2003 - Reynoldsburg and Upper Arlington, OH
Dallas Quilters Guild, Inc. - Dallas, TX

National Exhibits and Tours

Beyond Category: Visions of Jazz in Fiber - Women of Color Quilters Network exhibit at the International Textile Biennial San Jose, Costa Rica, University of Costa Rica (Limon) September 7 until October 12, 2010.

Textural Rhythms in Jazz - Touring nationally from February 2007 through 2011. Sixty-four quilts presented by the Women of Color Quilters Network display the interplay between jazz and art. Venues include the Smithsonian Anacostia Museum, the New York State Museum, Rutgers University Art Museum, City of Lake Charles, National Underground Railroad Ctr, HUB-Robinson Galleries, and Museum of the African Diaspora.

PAQA Orchid Challenge - Touring nationally from 2007 through 2010. Quilts were judged for their artistic merit and the accuracy of the depiction. The feeling was by both creative and floral judges. Venues included are Int. Orchid Show - Miami, FL, 19th World Orchid Conference and Show, Miami, Florida, Madison Orchid Growers' Guild of Madison Show, Madison, WI.

PAQA Water Challenge - Touring nationally from August 2006 through 2009. Seventy-five pieces in this exhibit had to interpret water, be no larger than 18" per side, and include a self-portrait. Venues Quilting on the Waterfront - Machines in Motion - Duluth MN, Mancuso Greater Chicago Quilt Exhibition, The Fine Line, St Charles IL,  Lancaster Quilter's Heritage Celebration, Sinnissippi Quilters of Rockford IL, Michigan Quilt Network Showcase- Lansing MI, and Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum.

Threads of Faith - Toured nationally from January 2005 through September 2006, presented by the Women of Color Quilters Network, displaying how our faith is viewed. Venues included The Mennonite Heritage Center, Harleysville, PA (outside of Philadelphia), Cincinnati Museum Center, Cincinnati, OH,  Huntington Art Museum, Huntington, WV, and  King-Tisdale Art Center, Savanna, GA.

Public Art
Prentiss Women's Hospital, Chicago, IL
Comers Children Hospital, Chicago, IL
Austin Senior Center, Chicago, IL
15th Police District, Chicago, IL
Bethel Culture Arts Center, Chicago, IL
UIC Extension Center, Chicago, IL

  • Art Quilt Portfolio: The Natural World: Profiles of Major Artists, Galleries of Inspiring Works by Martha Sielman, page 45 - "Where Two or More..."
  • 100 Artists of the Midwest by E. Ashley Rooney, a Schiffer Books publication    
  • Fiberarts magazine - 2011 - Spring, page 57 - "Save Darfur"
  • Threads of Faith - "Dancers of Praise," Textural Rhythms: Quilting the Jazz Tradition - "Blow Trane Blow"
  • Quilting African American Women's History: Our Challenges, Creativity, and Champions -
  •  "Harriet's Gone Up Yonder" Featured on Bonnie McCaffery's Video-Cast # 24
Lectures/Trunk Shows
North Shore Quilters Guild of Milwaukee, WI
River Walk Quilters Guild of Naperville, IL
UIC African American Center, Women History Month, Chicago, IL
Inter-generational Art: Building Creative Bridges between Generations Panel, Chicago, IL

Information from the artist

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