Artist Joan Sowada

Fun Facts:

1. I live in Wyoming because of proposition 13 passing in California. A job opportunity   brought me and then husband and baby son to Gillette in 1978 (coldest winter ever).  In 1980 I got a divorce and soon married my divorce attorney. My X husband moved back to California and I still live here!

2. My husband Felix introduced me to gardening and Buddhism. I have embraced both and they make their way into my contemporary art quilts

3.  If it weren’t for proposition 13, my daughter would probably not exist. Last summer daughter Lee married a man who was born in the same birthing center on nearly the same day. His Mom and I have been friends for 36 years. This same friend accidentally introduced me to the Front Range Contemporary Quilt group in Colorado. I made regular trips to meetings in Colorado for over a decade.

4. How did I end up with a Japanese name? My husband’s family was probably actually Sovada or Zowada. Somewhere along the line it was changed to Sowada.

Harvest, 21 X 29, $375
Harvest, 21 X 29, $375

Common Question: How did you ever think to use fabric to make art?

As a child I was introduced to lots of art projects in a variety of media, including paper and fabric scraps, which I used to create artwork. Mom said “Do something with those scraps”. So I did. While in High School  I created appliqué wall hangings that were in a playful cartoon style. After my college years studying music, I returned to using fabric to make decorative wall hung visual art. My work grew in realism and complexity in the 1980’s and 90’s. My applique pieces were stretched over stretcher bars and hung on the wall. In the last 16 years I have devoted a lot more studio time creating fine art that is presented as contemporary art quilts.

Responsibility, 19 X 24, $300
Responsibility, 19 X 24, $300


Art Quilt Portfolio People and Portraits, 2011

Quilting Arts magazine june/july 2011

Machine Quilting Unlimited, May 2011

Abstract & Geometric, 2016

Have the Right , presented by Picture Art Foundation, Nov 2011

State of the Art, The Studio Quilt, no. 6, November 2011Xhibit, 2011

Exhibitions 3&4, preston contemporary art

Quilting Arts magazine April/May 2011

500 Quilts by Lark Books, 2010

SAQA Journal  Fall 2009, Winter 2010, Fall 2016

Quilting Arts magazine Dec./Jan. 2010

Quilters Newsletter magazine Feb/March 2010

Machine Quilting Unlimited magazine Nov. 2010

Do I teach workshops?  No

Do I give talks? Yes, sometimes in the Region.

Is my work showcased in book or magazine?  Yes.  The top three publications listed above are good reading if you want to know more about my creative process and techniques.

 Artist Statement

My earthy tactile pieces show our connection to nature and to one another, and most recently to the digital age. Relationship is an on going theme that resonates in both my abstract conceptual and my figurative work.