Mel Beach Artist Statement & Resume

Artist Statement:

Mel Beach is a San Jose based quilt artist who breaks away from tradition by adding her own modern, beautifully textured and colorful twists.  She loves stretching her creativity through her completion of 60+ quilt challenges at the local and international level, including guild challenges, fabric challenges sponsored by fabric manufacturers, to 1-week online quilt challenges based on weekly themes.  Many of her quilt challenge entries draw upon her inquisitive nature of asking "What If?", working in a series, comedy improv studies along with her love of nature, photography and sketching. 

She is especially drawn to the meditative nature of mandalas and their breathtaking blooms.  She enjoys exploring new mandala designs through a variety of quilting techniques:  Whole cloth quilted, fusible applique, reverse applique, pieced, bias tape applique and hand dyed.    

A new series of quilts have emerged from her own reflections on the current political landscape.  Through her quilts, she addresses gun violence through awareness, offers alternatives to proposed legislation and given our fractured nation, seeks to model compassion and hope for a more peaceful world.

Mel has immersed herself within the local quilting community as an exhibitor, teacher, lecturer, and active volunteer within quilting organizations.  She freely shares her design inspiration and process via her blog and social media posts.  As a teacher/lecturer, she inspires new quilters by sharing tips & tricks for success while encouraging confidence within her students to add their own creative voice to the process.  In her volunteer work, she enjoys engaging with new quilters and sparking interest in quiltmaking.  Last but not least, she actively encourages her fellow quilters to embrace challenges as part of their own artistic development, while having fun along the way!  

Many of her challenge quilts have been exhibited locally, juried into national quilt shows and traveling exhibits, published in books/magazines, won ribbons/awards and selected as Finalists.     

Artist Resume:

  • Quilting Honors

    • Featured Artist on The Quilt Show, episode 2112 (12/3/17 airdate)

    • 2017 Featured Artist for Santa Clara Valley Quilt Association's Quilt Show

    • Selected as Featured Artist for the Grapevine Quilters Guild Quilt Show (May 2019)

  • Juried Shows & Exhibits

    • 2018

      • International Quilt Festival, Houston, TX (Spinning Stars and Orange You Glad I Got the Blues?)

      • Pacific International Quilt Festival, Santa Clara, CA

      • California State Fair, Sacramento, CA

        -1st Place Modern Quilts-Free Styling, Spiraling and Flying Geese, 2nd Place Pieced Quilts-Lime Light, Star Bright, 3rd Place Modern Quilts-Peace by Piece

      • San Mateo County Fair, San Mateo, CA

        -Special Award for Best Modern Quilt/1st Place for Large Modern Quilt-Spinning Stars, Special Award/Judges Choice-Sealed with a Kiss, 2nd Place Small Pieced Quilted Wall Hanging-Design Elements, Honorable Mention-Lustrous Lily, Hippie Daze and Under the Sea Debris

      • Hoffman Fabric Challenge’s Curators Choice for Applique and Traveling Exhibit-Sparkling Stained Glass Mandala

      • Electric Quilt Quilt Design Challenge with Christa Watson

        -Judges Honorable Mention

      • Riley Blake Spring 2018 Fabric Challenge

        -One of 10 Finalist (Sealed With a Kiss)

      • AQS Paducah Spring, Paducah, KY

      • Project Quilting, Online 1-week Quilt Challenges

        • Viewer’s Choice 9.1: Hometown Proud-Do You Know the Way to San Jose?

        • Viewer’s Choice 9.6: Scraptastic-Under the Sea Debris

      • QuiltCon, Pasadena, CA

      • Road to California, Ontario, CA

    • 2017

      • Pacific International Quilt Festival, Santa Clara, CA
        - 3rd Place in Modern Quilt Competition (Spinning Stars)

      • New Quilts of Northern California, Santa Clara, CA

      • California State Fair, Sacramento, CA
        - 2nd Place Art Quilts-Orange You Glad I Got the Blues?, 1st Place Small Modern Quilts-Rhythm & Blues, 2nd Place Small Modern Quilts-Peace of Mind and 3rd Place Small Modern Quilts Category-Always Follow Your Heart

      • Threads of Resistance, Traveling Exhibit

      • Hoffman Fabric Challenge, Traveling Exhibit

      • Cherrywood Van Gogh Challenge, Dutch Traveling Exhibit

      • American Quilter's Society Paducah Spring, Paducah, KY

      • Riley Blake Creative Rockstar Fabric Challenge
        - One of 10 Finalist (Thunderstruck)

      • QuiltCon, Savannah, GA

      • Road to California, Ontario, CA

      • Machine Quilting Exposition, Manchester, NH

    • 2016

      • Pacific International Quilt Festival, Santa Clara, CA
        - Honorable Mention Ribbon in Wall Quilts (Orange You Glad I Got the Blues?)

      • New Modern Quilt Competition by Mancuso, Palm Springs, CA and Santa Clara, CA

      • New Quilts of Northern California, Santa Clara, CA

      • Hoffman Fabric Challenge, Traveling Exhibit

      • Jazz Impressions Exhibit, San Jose, CA

      • Be Creative! Quilt Challenge
        - Finalist (CREA-TV)

    • 2015

      • Pacific International Quilt Festival, Santa Clara, CA

      • New Quilts of Northern California, Santa Clara, CA

      • Hoffman Fabric Challenge, Traveling Exhibit

    • 2014

      • Pacific International Quilt Festival, Santa Clara, CA

      • New Quilts of Northern California, Santa Clara, CA

      • Hoffman Fabric Challenge, Traveling Exhibit

      • American Made Brand Farm to Fabric, Traveling Exhibit
        - Finalist (Fields of Quilted Dreams)

      • Cherrywood Wicked Challenge, Traveling Exhibit
        - Finalist (Wicked Windy & Winding Ways)

  • Published Quilts

    • "RE$I$TAN¢E"-Threads of Resistance Catalog, 2017

    • "Van Gogh Blues & Hues"--The Cherrywood Challenge The Van Gogh Book, 2017

    • “San Jose Quilter Stitches Message of Peace and Hope,” KQED’s Art Series: Art in the Age of Trump series, 2017.

    • "Russian Doll Delight"-RaNae Merrill's Free-Motion Mastery in a Month book, 2016

    • "Sideways Sine Waves Spirals"-RaNae Merrill's Sideways Spiral Quilts book, 2016

    • "CREA-TV"-Quilters Newsletter, April/May 2016

    • "Wicked Windy & Winding Ways"-American Quilter, March 2015 and The Cherrywood Challenge WIcked Book, 2015.

  • Professional Experience & Development

    • Quilt teacher & lecturer-I love inspiring and encouraging fellow quilters through teaching hands-on technique based workshops and present lectures/trunk shows for quilt guilds and shops throughout California, Nevada, and New York (2016 to present)

    • Adult & Junior Clothing & Textiles Judge, San Benito County Fair (October 2018)

    • Create and enter original quilts into 70+ Quilt Challenges at the local and international level: guild challenges, fabic company challenges, art calls and online challenges that have 1 month or 1 week deadlines (2012 to present)

    • Aurifil Artisan (2017 to present)

    • Student in Made Up Theatre's Comedy Improv Classes (July 2016 to present)

    • Regularly Blog (50-100 posts/year) about my quilting adventures, creative design process and quilting inspiration via https://pieceloveandhappiness.blogspot.com/

    • Presented “Road Map for Teaching” webinar for Modern Quilt Guild (July 2018)

    • Presented as part of a Quilt Teaching Panel for SAQA NorCal/NV Regional Meeting (January 2018)

    • Participated in SAQA's Mentoring Program (2016 and 2017)

    • Attended Carol Soderlund’s 5 day Chromatacity: Flat & Glowing Dyeing workshop at the Pacific Northwest Art School (July 2018)

    • Completed a 2-Day Introduction to Quilt Judging Seminar through National Association of Certified Quilt Judges (October 2017)

    • Completed Katie Pasquini Mosopusts 16-week Color & Composition Online Course (Jan-May 2016)

    • Completed Pixeladies Photoshop Elements 1 and 2 Online Course (Jan 2015 and Mar 2016)

    • Draw inspiration by attending local quilt shows/exhibits, participating in seminars, webinars regional meetings and artist panel presentations offered online and in person through San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles, Studio Art Quilt Assocates, Modern Quilt Guild, Craft Industry Association and local quilt guilds (2014-present)

    • Designate 5 Quilt Related New Year's Resolutions to embrace new quilting techniques and opportunities including Free-Motion Quilting, Fabric Dyeing, Enter Quilts into National Shows, Join the Teaching Circuit, etc (2012-present)

  • Volunteer Service

    • Quilts as Womens Shelter Program (partnership between Next Door Solutions/Santa Clara Valley Quilt Association/San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles), July 2017 to present
      - Teach the art of quilting as part of a weekly support group for 20-30 survivors of domestic violence (and their children) including a improv piecing demo
      - Test and service all donated sewing machines, issue and provide orientation to program participants who receive a sewing machine upon completing their first quilt.
      - Solicit thread donation from Auifil threads for participant use

    • Northern California Quilt Council, October 2017 to present
      - Serve as Secretary on the Board of Directors
      - Partner with a local quilt shop to serve as a drop off/pick up venue for the New Quilts of Northern California (led to 15 local Quilters entering quilts, many of which were first time exhibitors)
      - Assist with setting up and taking down New Quilts of Northern California exhibit at 2017 and 2018 Pacific International Quilt Festival
      - Assist with set up/check in and displaying quilts for Meet the Teachers and All Star Review
      - Write articles for the quarterly newsletter

    • Studio Art Quilt Associates, May 2017 to present

      - Help plan/host the 2018 Annual Conference: Threads of Innovation, San Jose, CA (April 2019)

      • Serve on the Special Events Committee to select presenters and create a conference schedule that will provide networking and professional development opportunities for attendees

      • Serve on the Local Organizing Committee to recruit local Vendors to participate in the conference vendor marketplace

      • Plan and lead the opening welcome activity and an interactive Comedy Improv session

      -Panelist for NorCal/NV Regional Group on Teaching (January 2018)

    • Santa Clara Valley Quilt Association, October 2012 to present
      - Led Pixel Perfect Photography Demos as part of Quilters’s Camp (July 2018)
      - Served as Historian on the Board of Directors to take pictures of association meetings, members' show and tell, workshops/classes and quilt shows fror use with newsletter, website and social media (2012-2016)
      - Serve as Volunteer Coordinator and Set Up/Layout/Take Down Chair for 2013 and 2015 Quilt Shows showcasing 400+ quilts made by members, youth and partnering quilting groups, along with historical quilts on loan from the San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles (2013, 2015 and 2019)
      - Led three half-day Quilting 101 Demonstrations (August 2015 and May 2016)
      - Organized the 2017 "What the $%#& Was I Thinking?!?" Quilt Challenge that yielded 24 entries and included judging/prizes (Aug-Oct 2015)
      - Served on Various Sub-Committees including Membership, Nominations, Budget Planning and Programs and cover Association booth to promote membership benefits & opportunities and sell fundraiser tickets to support philanthropic/outreach efforts (2012- present)

    • San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles, July 2016 to present
      - Serve on Program Advisory Committee (July 2016 to May 2018)
      - Helped to plan the Tying the Knot Fundraiser (July-August 2016)
      - Donated artwork for annual FiberShots Fundraiser (2015-2018)
      - Led "Make Mini Quilts" activity for youth and families to create their first quilt as part of San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles' 40th Anniversary Celebration (May 2017), Welcome/Photo station for Day at the Circus (May 2018) and scheduled to lead holiday project at the December Open House.

    • San Mateo County Fair, June 2018

      -Volunteer Quilt Handler for Quilt Judging

  • Professional Affiliations

    • Santa Clara Valley Quilt Association

    • Modern Quilt Guild

    • Studio Art Quilt Associates

    • San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles, Artist Member

    • International Quilt Association

    • American Qulter's Society

    • Northern California Quilt Council

    • Southern California Council of Quilt Guilds

    • Craft Industry Alliance