Betty Mae Kramer Gallery & Music Room
One Veterans Plaza, Silver Spring, MD 20910
Phone: 301-565-3805

Off the Grid: Contemporary Fiber + Textile Art

Off the Grid is a celebration of Montgomery County’s most extraordinary emerging artists within textile and fiber art mediums. The five artists featured in this exhibition – Judy Kirpich, Hillary Steel, Floris Flam, Betsy Packard, and Karen Schulz – make innovative use of a variety of global and traditional methods such as weaving, resist dying, piecing, stitching, and screen printing. Diversely inspired from their personal journeys and careers, these contemporary works reflect abstraction and improvised use of color, shape, and form.

Off the Grid is organized by AHCMC and is curated Amina Cooper, Public Art Manager.


Show runs from January 26, 2018 to April 5, 2018

Press + Features

Featuring Artwork By:

Floris Flam

Floris has sewn since childhood and has been a quilter for 30 years, a dyer for 15. She has participated in workshops at the Quilt/Surface Design Symposium in Columbus, Ohio since 1991, studying design and technique with such teachers as Sue Benner, Caryl Bryer Fallert, Emily Richardson, and Cynthia Corbin. Floris studied surface design with Ann Johnston, Carol Soderlund, and others.

Floris's Website

Judy Kirpich

While Judy has always been interested in sewing it was only in 2005 that she discovered improvisational quilting and started her studies with renowned quilt artist, Nancy Crow. Judy started showing her work in 2011. Since that time Judy’s quilts have been seen in museums and quilt exhibitions in Europe, Asia, Australia, and in the United States. She was awarded the prestigious Quilt National Japan Prize and joined a select group of artists showing their work in Mastery: Sustaining Momentum, a Nancy Crow curated show in May 2016. Judy lives in Takoma Park, Maryland, with her husband, David and her golden retriever, Barley.

Judy's Website

Betsy Packard

Washington, D.C. based artist Betsy Packard uses a variety of saved materials in her work- and often returns to themes of record-keeping and journaling, and to the idea that making and meditating on an art object can bring about transformation. Packard exhibited at Galerie Simonne Stern in New Orleans and installed a site piece for the 1977 inaugural exhibition, “Louisiana Environments,” at the Contemporary Arts Center. Packard’s work has been shown most recently in “Geometrix: Line, Form, Subversion,” at Curator’s Office, D.C., The Shiva Gallery, John Jay College, CUNY, New York, and at The American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center in “Outliers: Kurt Godwin and Betsy Packard.”

Betsy Packard's Website

Karen Schulz

The fiber compositions of Karen Schulz have been described as sophisticated, elegant, and lively with a notable attention to detail and craftsmanship. Born, raised and educated in the Northeast US, Schulz has resided in the DC area for the last 39 years. While she has used a sewing machine since the age of 9 and created original, one of a kind quilts for the last 36 years, she came to artistic expression later in life and has pursued her art seriously and full time for the last 11 years studying extensively with Nancy Crow and many notable artists in the field. Schulz’s work has been accepted into many national and international competitions, and has been exhibited widely in both solo and group exhibitions both in the United States and abroad. She has garnered many awards including Juror’s Choice Award, Quilt National 2017 and Best in Show, Quilt National 2015.

Karen's Website

Hillary Steel

Hillary is a teacher and artist specializing in weaving and resist dyeing, incorporating ikat and plangi into her hand woven wall pieces. Her work has been influenced by travels throughout Cote d’Ivoire, Peru, Chile and Mexico. Since 2006, she has been studying with and documenting the work of Mexican master rebozo weaver Don Evaristo Borboa Casas, producing hand woven rebozos and a short film of his work. She presents her textiles in a wide variety of venues, both national and international. They have been displayed at the North American Cultural Center in San Jose, Costa Rica; the American Consulate in Tijuana, Mexico; the United States Embassy in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso; and the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s Renwick Gallery, Washington, D.C. A resident of Montgomery County since 1994, she maintains a studio in Takoma Park, Washington D.C.

Hillary's Website