“Using hand dyed, painted, upcycled and commercial fabrics my quilts are explorations of my personal, spiritual and cultural identity. I use strip and scrap quilting as the basic design motif, to make a statement on the African American woman’s ability to transcend humble circumstances and create beauty from limited resources. Additionally, I freehand cut the textiles in order that the quilts maintain the quality of coming from the hand. Thereby paying homage to the hardworking everyday women who work, nurture and sustain their families against all odds. Improvisation guides my inspiration through textiles and mixed media. I call this approach “spirit dancing”. By referencing percussive rhythms, which is a thread that runs throughout the African diaspora I am alluding to a shared cultural experience.
My work concentrates on developing a creative language that fuses African American quilt making with visual rhythm, abstract painting, dying, drawing, beading, embroidery and printing techniques while drawing inspiration from visual rhythm and movement. My technique involves experimenting with and finding joy in building a composition by juxtaposing pattern, color and texture.”
Toni Kersey is an award-winning mixed media fiber artist living and working near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana. After teaching visual arts for many years at the Art Institute of Philadelphia, she began to pursue painting on fabric which led to her current interest in creating art quilts and has been creating fiber art since 2005. Ms. Kersey’s work has been featured in such publications as “500 Art Quilts” and “Artistry in Fiber Volume 1 Wall Hangings” and has exhibited nationally and internationally.