The opening reception of the exhibit “Visualizing Verse” will be held Wednesday, September 26 from 5-7 p.m. at the Steenbock Gallery, 1922 University Ave.  A collaborative show of pieces by the members of the Madison-based Memory Cloth Circle, “Visualizing Verse” will be open to viewing Monday through Friday from 9:00 to 4:00.  Each of the pieces in the exhibit involves a fabric artist’s response to a poem or set of lines. The exhibit is open September 24 until November 2.

The pieces included in the exhibit represent a wide range of poets and visual styles, some based on images, others on words.  Please join us in exploring the rich connections between the poetry that intrigues us and the visual responses those poems elicit.

Laurie Talbot Hall, for example, has chosen to interpret Wendell Berry’s “A Poem on Hope,” which includes the lines: “Be still and listen to the voices that belong to the stream banks and the trees and the open fields. Your hope of heaven, let it rest on the ground underfoot.”

Peggy Thornton’s work, Fluvial Flux is inspired by “The River Swelleth More and More” by Henry David Thoreau. It is an expression of the beauty of the constant change and movement of the river.

The poet and painter, Sir Laurence Alma-Tadema, inspired Ann Engelman, who chose to stitch his entire poem from 1897, “If No One Ever Marries Me,” on an antique infant’s dress. Her work celebrates the positive aspects of this infant girl’s potential choices future in spite of the seemingly dark prospects suggested by the poem. 

And Jane Pearlmutter has created fabric collage to which she has added embroidery to honor the poem, “Native Memory,” by Ansel Elkins. It contains the lines:  “You are here/where bloodlines and rivers/are woven together . . .You are here/a daughter of stardust and time.”

Since the spring of 2014, Leslee Nelson has inspired this group of women to use embroidery to explore their memories and tell their stories.  The circle members gather weekly to inspire and encourage creativity through their original hand stitching. They share ideas, inspiration, and information about textile explorations, often reclaiming textiles of another era, such as handkerchiefs, dishtowels and napkins. 

Other Memory Cloth Circle participants in this exhibit are Lisa Binkley, Kris Dohm, Maureen Griffin, Ruth A. Gross, Evelyn Kain, Terry Lichtenfelt, Deb Lueders, Bobbie Malone, Marinela Manastirli, Leslee Nelson, Ellen Nordsieck, Pam Phillips Olson, Nancy Parsons, Cynthia Quinn, Peggy Thornton, Marilyn Wedberg, Marilee Wertlake.

Exhibit contact: Leslee Nelson, 608-335-3186,







  • Starting Monday, September 24th, 2018, repeated every day until Friday, November 02, 2018 — all day


Steenbock Gallery in offices of Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts, Letters

1922 University Ave.
Madison, WI 53726


Kathryn Lederhause