Art Quilt Elements

In Memoriam

Cindy Friedman
August 19, 1955 -September 29, 2023

In 1999 a small group of women came together to accept a challenge…. mounting a fiber art show to celebrate the fabric of community during a community arts festival at the Sedgwick Cultural Center in Northwest Philadelphia.

Within three years that humble beginning became a juried national exhibit named ArtQuilts at the Sedgwick. Cindy Friedman was an essential and extraordinary collaborator bringing that vision to fruition.

Resourceful, industrious and a creative problem-solver, Cindy was instrumental in helping grow this modest invitational 18 art quilt exhibit, assisting in transforming it into a biennial international juried exhibition that today enjoys the reputation of being one of the finest art quilt exhibits in the world.

From spearheading the professional installation of the art quilts to taking on the task of documenting the exhibit with a CD-ROM (cutting edge technology at the time,) and ultimately building a professional color print catalog, there was no task that Cindy could not master.

In 2008, the exhibit moved to the elegant galleries of the Wayne Art Center, becoming Art Quilt Elements with Cindy the co-chair of that effort. In 2015, continuing this commitment, she became the director of AQE.

Cindy was born on August 19, 1955 in Kansas City, Missouri. Her life-long artistic passion was born from a childhood filled with sewing. She trained as an Industrial and Fashion Designer, graduating from the Philadelphia College of Art in 1978. She taught fashion design at Drexel University and later designed women’s runway clothing. She was an incredibly talented seamstress and fiber quilt artist, making wedding dresses for family (including her own) and Bat Mitzvah dresses for three of her granddaughters.

Her quilts, which reflect her fascination with human body forms and shadows, were exhibited at many national and international shows—including the prestigious Quilt National, and even hanging on display at the Atlanta Airport. She was a proud board member of the Studio Art Quilt Associates (SAQA), an essential part of Fiber Revolution, in addition to her role as director of Art Quilt Elements.

Cindy Friedman was a shining star.

A doer, a fixer, an organizer, a critical thinker, a clear-visioned talented force of creativity and energy… Patient and generous with her ability to guide and lead and inspire and share…We honor her memory at the 2024 AQE exhibit with a display of her stunning art quilts and an award entitled “Cindy Friedman Master Award for Excellence.”

She will be forever missed by her extensive art quilt community and always remembered for her significant contributions to the art quilt world.