Bio

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Amy Ahlstrom is an urban quilter creating modern pop art.

Inspired by the street art, signage, and graffiti in city neighborhoods, Amy takes digital photos of found images, sampling and remixing them into urban quilts. Using hundreds of digital photographs, she designs collages by computer, makes paper patterns, and hand-cuts and sews quilts. The resulting quilts, made of silk and cotton and stretched onto frames, are tactile visual postcards of urban environments. They re-imagine the urban landscape and re-invent quilting as a pop art medium.

Based in the Bay Area, Amy has designed urban-themed pop art based on images of San Francisco, Oakland, San Jose, and Berkeley as well as from her trips to Tokyo, Kyoto, New York City and Chicago. Amy holds a Master of Fine Arts in Fiber from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Fiber from Northern Illinois University. She has exhibited widely throughout the Bay Area.

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Education

Master of Arts in Fiber, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL.
Bachelor of Arts in Fiber, Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, IL.

Selected Exhibitions

Decade: Ten Years of Urban Quilts
Solo exhibit as Artist in Residence
San Jose Quilt Museum
October 7-November 19, 2016

Connection
Secession Art and Design
San Francisco, CA.
July 31-October 1st, 2016

NightLife
California Academy of Sciences
Solo exhibition with a.Muse Gallery
San Francisco, CA.
June 16, 2016

Urban
a.Muse Gallery, San Francisco, CA.
May 2-June 2, 2016

ArtSpan Group Exhibition
Start Up Art Fair
Hotel del Sol
San Francisco, CA
April 29-May 1 2016

Graffiti on Canvas and Cloth
JCO Fine Art Gallery
April 12-17 2016
Los Gatos, California

On The Tilt
Wonderland SF, San Francisco, CA.
November 20, 2015

Solo exhibition: The Mission And Beyond: Urban Quilts by Amy Ahlstrom.
The Pretty Pretty Collective, San Francisco, CA.
June 13-August 14, 2015

ArtSpan’s Selections 2015
SOMArts Cultural Center, San Francisco, CA.
January 23-25 2015

Image Hungry
Gary Francis Fine Art Gallery, Alameda, CA.
May 1-May 30 2014

6th Annual Summer Juried Show Part II
Sylvia White Gallery, Ventura, CA
September 21-October 19 2013.

Character Profile
Root Division, San Francisco, CA.
July 10-July 27 2013.

Dis/Order: Pro Arts Juried Annual 2013
Selections by Naomi Beckwith, Curator at MCA Chicago, IL.
Pro Arts Gallery, Oakland, CA.
December 7, 2012-January 11 2013.

Plenty
Fibre Arts Design Studio Gallery, Palo Alto, CA.
November 29-December 20 2012.

WordPlay
Studio Quercus, Oakland, CA.
May 4-June 16 2012.

Solo exhibition: Sampled Layers of Meaning: Urban Quilts by Amy Ahlstrom.
a.Muse Gallery, San Francisco, CA.
June 9- July 31 2011.


Permanent Collections

Capital One National Art Collection
San Francisco Digital Lab
101 Post St, 2nd floor, San Francisco, CA 94108

Permanent Collections, continued

Google San Francisco
345 Spear St, San Francisco, CA. 94105

Bluestem Brasserie
1 Yerba Buena Ln, San Francisco, CA. 94103


Selected Press

7x7.com: “Amy Ahlstrom: Remixing the Urban Milieu of San Francisco Into Quilts”;
October 29, 2015
SF Examiner: “Amy Ahlstrom’s ‘pop art in fabric’ on view at Open Studios”; October 15, 2015
7x7.com: “Four Stops To Make At The Next Oakland Art Murmur”; May 30, 2012
East Bay Express: “Mighty ‘Wordplay’”; May 9, 2012
San Francisco Chronicle: “Sampled Layers of Meaning”; June 16th, 2011
San Francisco Bay Guardian: “Take Back the Knit”; March 29th, 2011


Awards and Nominations

Fleishhacker Foundation Nominee, 2017-2019 Eureka Fellowship

Juror’s Choice Award, SF Open Studios Exhibition at SomArts, October 2016
Selected by Maria Jenson, Executive Director, SomArts

Artist in Residence, San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles, 3 month residency and two exhibitions. October-December 2016

Juror’s Choice Award, SF Open Studios Exhibition at SomArts, October 2015
Selected by Melorra Green, Curator, SomArts

ArtSpan Open Studios Cover Competition 2015
Created the cover art for ArtSpan’s Fall 2015 Open Studios, printed on 20,000 guides as well as buses and several billboards throughout San Francisco.

Top 10 SF Open Studios List, SF Open Studios Exhibition at SomArts,
October 2014. Selected by Valerie Leavy, Independent Curator

2010 Society for the Encouragement of Contemporary Art (SECA) Award
Nominee, San Francisco Museum of Contemporary Art