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Ann Solinski

A surprise gift of a new Bernina sewing machine from her husband back in 2010 set Ann Solinski on an entirely new creative path. These days, she’s put that machine to good use as a modern art quilter whose unique quilts have been exhibited at multiple venues across Oklahoma. 

Ann moved to Oklahoma in the late 1980s, and she’s called the state home ever since. She had a professional career as a graphic artist for 40 years, and that artistic experience has carried over to quiltmaking. Her first quilts were somewhat traditional and made from patterns she modified, but within just a few short years, she discovered the quilts being made in the newly established modern quilt aesthetic and was hooked. 

Ann Solinski at ARTSPACE at Untitled holding her quilt Bright Spot in the Nighttime (2020), inspired by Jason Wilson painting Memory Weave (2020) as part of Qu’aint.

“I love Oklahoma because you can be modern here, and at the same time, you can be goofy with friends, and you can be yourself,” Ann said. “Even though people consider Oklahoma to be the Bible Belt, you can still find most any tribe here.” 

Lately, Ann has begun exploring her Korean heritage. She was born in South Korea and was adopted by vision-impaired, Caucasian American parents as an infant. As a child growing up in Idaho, Kansas, Pennsylvania, and, finally, Texas, she rarely identified herself as Asian. “Usually, if it was brought up when I was growing up, it was in a negative context. I grew up in [the] ’60s when people weren’t so nice.”

In the past few years, however, Ann has thought more about the culture where she was born, and the traditions and textiles of Korea have begun creeping into her art. She was recently part of two exhibitions sponsored by Inclusion In Art at Oklahoma City University as well as one that featured work by local artists of color at the University of Oklahoma. Each artist was awarded an honorarium, and Ann intends to use the funds to secure a passport and potentially travel to Korea one day.

Ann beside Untitled Bojagi (2023), which is her interpretation of the Korean bojagi stitching craft and depicts the beginnings of her adoption story.
Detail of Ann's Untitled Bojagi. This is the photo that prospective parents interested in adopting would see.

Ann is also one of the founding members of an art group known as Qu’aint. This collective is made up of five modern quilters and one contemporary painter, Jason Wilson, whose canvas paintings emulate geometric shapes and colors often associated with quilts. In addition to Ann, the quilters are Sarah Atlee, Elizabeth Richards, Brenda Esslinger, and Agnes Stadler. The six artists inspire, support, and continually push each other to express new ideas through fine art. Qu’aint has hosted several exhibitions, and they’ve even been featured by local media outlets. 

Qu'aint artists at ARTSPACE at Untitled (L-R): Agnes Stadler holding Reggaeton (2024), inspired by Jason Wilson's paining of the same name; Elizabeth Richards with Biology I - Insect Collection (2024), an original pattern with cyanotypes; Ann Solinski holding her quilt Waffle Melt (2022), which uses a variation of her original pattern OXO; and Sarah Atlee with Learning Curve (2021), inspired by Jason Wilson's painting Foggy Night.

“The quilters in Qu’aint have made a few quilts based on Jason’s paintings. And Jason has also used our quilts as the basis for a series of paintings,” Ann explained. The interesting collaboration between paint and textile has inspired each artist to think in new ways and ultimately helped elevate their creative output. 

Elizabeth Richards, Ann Solinski, Sarah Atlee and Agnes Stadler with Portal 3: Portal for Nex (2024) by Sarah Atlee, a quilt inspired by Jason Wilson painting Reflections.
Qu'aint members examining Watchman (2024) by Elizabeth Richards, inspired by Jason Wilson painting Reflections.

Ann is grateful she has found quilting and continues to create new, original designs. She’s very attuned to color and several of her art quilts explore skin tones from around the world using varying hues of solid fabrics. The color explorations have also led to the inclusion of Korean textiles, including traditional Hanbok fabrics, that she has purchased from online sources. 

For an innovative hanging textile creation, Ann incorporated specially printed textiles featuring copies of the Korean documents from her adoption. These are pieced into a collage using a traditional Korean sewing technique known as bojagi, but while most bojagi is hand-stitched, Ann figured out a way to stitch hers on the machine. 

“I see color, and I love color,” she said. Going forward, Ann intends to keep pushing her art and creating quilts with original designs and colors that reflect her own multi-cultural point of view.

Read more about fellow Qu’aint artist Jason Wilson here.

About the Author

Teresa Duryea Wong is a writer, quiltmaker, and antique quilt collector as well as a member of the International Advisory Board of the International Quilt Museum. Learn more on her website

About the Photographer

Azuree Holloway has been photographing for Quiltfolk since 2019 and has contributed to many other projects. Check out more of her work on her website and her Instagram.

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