At first glance, Maggy Rozycki Hiltner’s idealized embroideries – hand-stitched from the salvaged and recycled materials she collects – invoke themes of nostalgia and whimsy. Closer inspection reveals more subversive connotations which explore the artist’s personal and universal critiques of gender, family and intimacy. Sometimes it’s a malicious undertone to the relationships, or a lack of self-control on the part of the characters, or maybe an “otherworldliness” hidden in the everyday.
Fabric and stitching are familiar to most people: a comfortable and innocuous medium. The discarded household goods Hiltner uses have a history of some other person’s place, actions and time. She often finds these trivial decorations to be ominously full of double meanings. Visually, her compositions are characterized by carefully planned, neat stitches in contrast with kinetic, abrupt lines to move the narrative and give voice to the characters.
Hiltner’s work has been featured in art museums and galleries nationwide including Missoula Art Museum, the Urban Institute for Contemporary Art, San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles, and The Textile Museum in Washington D.C. She has been showcased in numerous publications including American Craft, FiberArts and Interview magazines and was a recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts’ Artist’s Innovation Award for the state of Montana.
The Ruth Funk Center is pleased to present Hiltner’s embroidered textiles in conjunction with the traveling exhibition Apron Strings: Ties to the Past.