Joan Schulze's Winter of Loss

Joan Schulze's Winter of Loss

In Winter of Loss, quilt artist and poet Joan Schulze portrays the heartbreaking experience of losing her husband, Jim, to dementia. In brief moments available while caring for him, she found solace in creating unique quilts and collages and expressed her complicated feelings through evocative poetry. 

The imagery of Winter of Loss appears in some works as silken stream of consciousness, with overlapping fragmented images softened with the passage of time. In others, shaded tangles of thread portray overlapping and conflicted emotions that defy clarity. Her poetry too lyrically describes her tumultuous experience of pain and loss.

Schulze, based in San José, California, is a leader in the studio quilt movement and has been making quilts and collages for five decades. She uses combinations of fabric dyeing, printmaking, embroidery, machine sewing, and collage techniques in her textiles. She developed a unique process of creating imagery through gluing photos and magazine pages to fabric and carefully peeling the pages away to leave transferred images. Schulze uses hand and machine quilting to complete the pieces.

Schulze’s work has been exhibited and published internationally and is included in numerous major collections, including the International Quilt Museum.



thin shell of memory 

musical threads
evocative, emotional code
primitive, whispery chaos
on the outer edges of beauty
November rain comes to mind
memory is at the heart
of this musical fabric
dense yet open territory
set for experimentation
revolutionary though it might be
work in between spaces
take apart the composition
feel the notes,
experience the silences
discovered inside the form
change the sequence
push aside conformity
give in to the accumulation
Sense the thin shell of memory
angels tread softly here
Joan Schulze

daily practice
touch a world
of painted surfaces
feel something
in the purity
of rocks and stones
painted by time
reach your hand
gently, lightly
be sympathetic
quietly breathe
think like a musician
legato, legato
as if caressing silk
Joan Schulze 

night falls
under the blankets
the warmth of me
came back to me
sometime in the
light-filled night
I see Venus
covered in clouds
making shadows on
the lotus pond
these drawings
of measured beauty
the future
lightly sketched
and set to music
Joan Schulze

Event Date
Wednesday, May 18, 2022 to Saturday, November 5, 2022