West BloomfieldOctober 2, 2012
WB quilt maker wins regional art contest
By Eric Czarnik
C & G Staff Writer
A township resident’s complex quilts recently earned blanket support from art critics, making her the first-ever winner of the MIGreatArtist contest.
Deb Hyde, 61, won a $1,000 cash prize for taking first place in the MIGreatArtist contest in September. Hyde submitted several intricate quilts featuring faces.
Organizers say the inaugural art contest was part of Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson’s initiatives to promote the quality of life and cultural richness of Oakland County and southeastern Michigan.
Kristie Zamora, a contest judge and coordinator of the Oakland County Office of Arts and Culture, juxtaposed the competition with other cultural events, such as Arts, Beats & Eats.
“We’re also celebrating artists as entrepreneurs (and) helping these artists further their careers and their businesses,” she said.
Hyde said she learned about the contest from a friend who is a fellow artist. After investigating the contest, she entered as one of approximately 120 applicants. The contest was open to adult artists in six southeastern Michigan counties.
The first round invited the public to vote online for their favorite works, and a panel of expert judges analyzed the next round of 20 finalists. Five finalists earned a chance to exhibit their work at Park West Gallery in Southfield, and then the winner was declared at a Sept. 14 reception, Hyde said.
Citing a background in painting, drawing and quilt making, Hyde said she gradually developed her own artistic technique that involves cutting thousands of fabric squares and sewing them together.
She said she has been developing her style for over a decade. “My work is unique,” she said. “I developed this style myself, and what I do is, I work with fabric, commercially available fabric. I have a workshop that probably has over 1,000 different fabrics in it, and I use these fabrics.”
Hyde said her quilts often reflect designs of faces, like her MIGreatArtist submissions, or nude figures. Each piece is time-consuming and large, she said.
“It just takes hundreds of hours to complete one quilt,” she said. “The one that probably was the reason I won was a face that is about 5 feet wide and 6 feet fall — just a face.”
Hyde’s journey as an artist isn’t over. She plans to do a couple of art shows in Florida this February, and she said she will have an exhibition in New York City in May.
Learn more about the contest at www.migreatartist.com. Hyde’s work can be found at debhydefiberart.com.