Judith Dierkes

Judith Dierkes

Central Region
Memphis, Tennessee
[email protected]

Story Quilts: This residency can be customized for a five, ten or twenty day period. Students will be introduced to the African American artist Faith Ringgold's story quilts. The historical use of story in quilt-making will be explored in the Underground Railroad, the Women's Movement and personal family histories. The possibilities of stories for these quilts are endless. In the finished quilt, students will see their individual work in relation to the whole project, and hopefully themselves, as an important part of the class. Basic Outline: Writing the story: A story is written as a group. Research may be necessary prior to the writing of the final draft. Each child writes a story and draws a picture to go with the story. Writers and illustrators are then chosen. Designing the Quilt: The group designs a quilt after reviewing the designs of Faith Ringgold. Creating the Fabric: The class is divided into three groups - writers, illustrators and creators of the border fabric. Making the Quilt: Students organize the pieces according to their design and sew them together. For shorter residencies, I sew the pieces on a machine while the students watch. Quilting: A batting and backing is added to the pieced top. Each residency is customized to fit the needs of the school or organization. The community can be involved by asking a local quilt group to quilt the final product in the cafeteria for the entire school to observe. The quilt can be displayed at the school or donated to be displayed elsewhere. Whatever the use of the final product, each participant has gained a sense of belonging to the group by participating in the process. Available to conduct teacher workshops.

Participated in the webinar:" Building Communities Through Drama" on October 1, 2013.

Completed printmaking classes at the University of Memphis, Fall semester 2015 and Spring semester 2016.


With a B.F.A. and an M.S. from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, Judith Dierkes has continued to update her education with studies abroad, and classes at the Tennessee Arts Academy, the Getty Foundation Southeast Center, the Lincoln Center and the Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts. She is a professional member of the Studio Art Quilt Associates, an international organization that promotes the art of quilting. Her work is permanently installed in the Knoxville Airport concourse, and five of her quilted sky paintings are included in Flight Patterns at the Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport. Judith enjoys the solitude of her own artistic process as well as collaborating with students as an artist-in-residence.

AIE Program

Preferred Age Level: All ages
Geographic Availability: Statewide
Time Availability: Open
Special Needs: