pam j. beal---Quiltmaker-Artist-Instructor
photo by Dennis B. Murphy
Pam Beal, improvisational quiltmaker from the Liberated School of Design. Borrowing from and building on tradition, study with Gwen Marston opened my mind and liberated my practices. In Jazz, improvisation makes music. In the sewing room, improvisation makes free style quilts through a process of discovery. It is all very liberating! 

Playing the French Horn was my path to art. The ability to develop original pieces and improvise on tradition is a freedom that arose with the needle. I learned to be adventurous with quilts.

My approach to making art is borrowed from the large textile tradition.  Abstract Design in American Quilts, the 1971 exhibit at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City served as a new chapter in the evolution of the quilt. Quilts were selected for a visual aesthetic and displayed on the wall. Abstract design excites my imagination. 

Using needle and thread to piece cloth and hold layers of fiber together has been practiced through the ages. I contribute to the preservation of an ancient skill. I find pleasure in the slow pace of quilting by hand using an old fashioned floor frame, or a quilter's hoop. The hand quilting is improvised as I sew, develops design and texture on the surface of the work, and directly reveals the hand of the artist in the art. In this manner, the textile is obviously a hand made object.

Inspiration comes from music, nature, study, life experiences and concerns.  Collaboration with my husband Wayne Walma, Woodworker expands creativity.  His imaginative wood frames and sculptural mounts, embellish and interact with many of my small quilts.  Making and sharing art enhances our simple lifestyle.     

Influences & Education:
Western Michigan University-College of Fine Arts, Bachelor of Music
Small group & individual study; team teaching with Gwen Marston, Beaver Island Quilts

2017: American Quilter's Society International Show-Paducah, KY: First Place, Small Wall Quilts-Hand Quilted; Published in American Quilter, July 2017 & Catalogue of Show Quilts 2017, American Quilter's Society; Quilt Expo Madison WI: First Place Small Wall Quilts-Hand Quilted

2016:  American Quilter's Society International Show: Semi-finalist, QuiltWeek Daytona Beach, Grand Rapids, Chattanooga, DesMoines;  Honorable Mention QuiltWeek Paducah; Published in American Quilter, May 2016 Improvisation on a Small Strip; Published in QUILTART Engagement Calendar 2017, American Quilter's Society

2015:  American Quilter's Society International Show, Paducah, KY 3rd Place, Small Wall Quilts-Hand Quilted & Published in the Catalogue of Show Quilts; Semi-Finalist, Grand Rapids, MI; Published in American Quilter, American Quilter's Society, July 2015
Published in Free Range Triangle Quilts, Marston & Jones, American Quilter's Society 2015

Published in American Quilter, American Quilter's Society, November 2014
American Quilter’s Society International Show, Grand Rapids MI, 3rd Place, Wall Quilts-Hand Quilted
Northern National Art Competition, Rhinelander, WI
Published in Minimal Quiltmaking, Gwen Marston, American Quilter’s Society, 2014
Making The Cut, Bonifas Arts Center, Escanaba, MI  Organized and exhibited in the invitational show and workshop series.

Published in American Quilter, American Quilter's Society, November 2013
American Quilter’s Society International Show, Grand Rapids, MI, 2nd Place, Wall Quilts-Hand Quilted 
Great Lakes Showcase, Michigan Technological University, Houghton, MI, Honorable Mention
Juried into and became Owner/Member of Artistree Gallery Cooperative, Land O' Lakes, WI

Northern Exposure XIX, Bonifas Arts Center, Escanaba, MI Art Network Award
Spontaneity in Medallion Quilts, Curated by Gwen Marston, Grand Rapids, MI & Des Moines, IA
International Quilt Festival, La Conner Quilt & Textile Museum, La Conner, WA
Fabrications III-Art Quilts of the Upper Peninsula, Bonifas Arts Center, Escanaba, MI First Place Award
Great Lakes Showcase, Michigan Technological Univrsity, Houghton MI Second Place Award, 3D Category
Small Compositions in Wood & Cloth, 2 Person Show, Sweetwater Cafe', Marquette, MI
Published in Liberated Medallion Quilts, Gwen Marston, American Quilter’s Society 2012

Ed Gray Gallery, Calumet, MI: Fiber on Fifth, Group Show
Ed Gray Gallery, Calumet, MI: Sawdust & Loose Thread, 2 Person Show
Vertin Gallery, Calumet, MI: Inside & Outside the Box, Group Show
Commission: City of Marquette Arts & Culture Center, Selected to design and make the 2011 Arts Awards with Wayne Walma


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