Image of Kathy Kuehn art panel with the poem My Friend TreeApril is Poetry Month and the Friends of Lorine Niedecker and the Dwight Foster Public Library will partner to present artist and printer, Kathy Kuehn’s exhibit of 31 indigo dyed panels, each containing a hand sewn poem by Lorine Niedecker. Beginning April 1, at 6:00 p.m. with a reception and artist talk, the exhibit will be on display for the month of April.

In 2016 Kathy exhibited at the Chazen Museum of Art in Madison, “Close Reading: Sewn Works by Katherine Kuehn.” Lorine’s poems were prominently featured. “We are thrilled that Kathy will bring new panels to Lorine Niedecker’s home town. The serenity in this work is remarkable.” Ann Engelman, Friends of Lorine Niedecker said.

Kathy received her undergraduate and graduate degrees in Art from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. She studied typography with the distinguished Wisconsin artist, printer and poet, Walter Hamady. Kathy Kuehn is the proprietor of the Salient Seedling Press which she established in 1988.

While living in Madison it was Kuehn’s good fortune to discover the Woodland Pattern bookstore in Milwaukee. Co-owner, Karl Gartung introduced Kathy to Lorine Niedecker’s poetry. The Woodland Pattern Bookstore is a significant resource to poets, artists and small press publishers in Wisconsin and beyond.

Kuehn was taught Book Arts at the Oregon College of Arts and Crafts in Portland, Oregon. While there she was enticed by the beautiful process of indigo dying taking place in the Fibers Department. At that time Kuehn was closely reading Lorine Niedecker’s poem Paean to Place. She sewed a few lines of the poem  onto a piece of fabric, indigo dyed it and removed the stitching. The results were promising. She then stitched the entire poem onto panels that resulted in a 40’ scroll which she has exhibited many times.

At that time Kuehn also indigo dyed numerous lengths of quilting fabric. These she stored away for future use. Sewing text provides Kuehn with the opportunity to immerse herself in the poetry she loves. Kuehn said, “It is my pleasure to exhibit these panels in Fort Atkinson, the place so closely tied to Lorine Niedecker.”

Kathy Kuehn has spent her career as a printer and teacher. For 19 years she was a printer at Pace Editions in New York City. She currently sews and prints in Portland OR. Kuehn maintains her ties to friends and family in Madison, Milwaukee  and Sheboygan, her birthplace.