Ruth A. White


While I have always dabbled in various artistic endeavors, for most of my adult life, science has been my profession, my passion and my primary art. But in 1999, I discovered the fascination of quilting after a Judy Dales' slide show introduced me to the world of art quilts. When I followed my job from central Texas to upstate New York in late September 2000, I found a cadre of like-minded fiber artists, especially my fellow Quilt Divas, who have proven to be very inspirational.  


I enjoy working with the different textures of silks and cottons, and delight in the serendipity of creating my own hand-dyed and shibori fabric. My earlier work in Celtic knotwork and zoomorphs instilled a fascination with curves and sharp points that I've carried into my fiber artworks. Recent works involve producing ‘windows’ to reveal different layers of my quilts.

Various sciences infuse my art.  My interest and training in astronomy inspired a series on nebulae and a quilt on lunar phases. A long-held interest in archaeology influenced the quilting motifs in three of my works.  One mixed fiber work, which incorporates a copper tubing pedestal frame, has quilted motifs any plant biologist would recognize, while another is a sudoku embellished in Morse code.  Yet another quilt explores the geology of a southwestern slot canyon (which allowed me to delve into Native American petrooglyphs) and one work in progress toys with my initial career choice of paleontology (I was five at the time.)

 I was diagnosed with advanced appendix cancer in 2009, and while I am still in the fight as I face a fourth surgery mid December, I do so with confidence and gratitude for all the wonderful support of my fabulous friends. This dread disease has led to many positive things in my life, including leading the development and running of a successful and highly entertaining competition, “Project Iron Quilter”, at the 2009 and 2011 Tompkins County Quilters Guild biennial quilt show which in 2009 benefited the Cancer Resource Center of the Finger Lakes and the Tompkins County SPCA this year. While fighting the cancer has reduced my already slow productivity, it has stimulated my creativity and inspired several recent quilts in my cellular series (the first of which I created when I was a participant in the Genesee Valley Quilt Club's "Project Iron Quilter".) But most of all, it has shown that my fellow humans are tremendously compassionate, caring, and supportive friends. Thank you.



SAQA: Studio Art Quilt Associates

IQA: International Quilt Association

The Quilt Divas

The Green Valley Artists of Ithaca, NY

Tompkins County Quilters Guild

Brazos Bluebonnet Quilters Guild


Selected Juried and Invitational Exhibitions and Publications

National Small Art Quilt Works, The Main Street Gallery, Groton, NY, July - August 2004 - 2010

Quilts Across Cortland Featured Artists: Quilt Divas, Cortland YWCA, Cortland, NY, June 2006, 2010

500 Art Quilts, Lark Books, 2010, p.115

Art Quilts Lowell, Brush Art Gallery, Lowell, MA, August – October 2006, 2007, 2009

Botanica I & II, Boyce Thompson Institute, Ithaca, NY, May - June 2003, 2009

Trunk Show with Ruth White, Quilts=Art=Quilts, Schweinfurth Memorial Art Center, Auburn, NY, December 2008

International Quilt Festival, International Quilt Association, Houston, TX, October 2003, 2005, 2008

Northeast Quits Unlimited Exhibition, Art Center, Old Forge, NY, October - November 2008

Images, Lowell Quilt Festival, Lowell, MA, August 2007, 2008

An Exhibit of Art Quilts, Brazos Valley Art Council, College Station, TX, May -June 2002, July 2008

ARTQUILTS, PAQA-South/Page-Walker Arts & History Center, Cary, NC, April – May, 2007, 2008

Annual Open Show, The Community School of Music & Art, Ithaca, NY, Dec. 2007 – Jan. 2008

Thread, Cloth, and Art, The Community School of Music & Art, Ithaca, NY, March - April 2007

Elemental: Contemporary Quilted Art, The Fiber Art Center, Amherst, MA, March – April 2007

New Art from an American Tradition, a SAQA juried exhibit at the Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival,  Hampton, VA, February 22-25, 2007 and The Gallery at Merchant’s Square in Colonial Williamsburg, VA, March 2007

Nearness of You:  Memory and Commemoration in Quiltmaking, curated by Keisha Roberts, Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival, Hampton, VA, February 2006 and Quilt Fest of New Jersey, Somerset, NJ, March 2006

Quilting By the Lake Featured Artists: Quilt Divas, Morrisville, NY, July - August 2005

A Tribute to Fiber Art, APEX Gallery, Washington D.C., May - June 2005

Quilts = Art = Quilts, Schweinfurth Memorial Art Center, Auburn, NY, November 2002 – January 2003, 2003-2004, and 2004-2005

Blue Heron Gallery, Wellfleet, MA, May - October 2004

Local Artists Juried Show, State of the Art Gallery, Ithaca, NY, Jan. 2004

Trumansburg Conservatory of Fine Arts 18th Annual Invitational, Trumansburg, NY, Oct. 2002


Selected Awards

Third Place Innovative Appliqué Wall Quilts for ‘White's Canyon’, Northeast Quilts Unlimited, 2008

Second Place Traditional-Small for ‘New York Quark’, Images 2007, Lowell Quilt Festival, 2007

Honorable Mention for ‘A View Askew’, 2007 National Small Art Quilt Works, Main Street Gallery

First Place Innovative and Best Design for "Sound Waves", BBQG 2005 Show

First Place Wall Hanging and Best Use of Colour for "New York Quark", BBQG 2005 Show

Juror's Choice 2 for "Strip Farm Mask", 2004 Small Art Quilt Works, The Main Street Gallery


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