Back to Blog March 6, 2024

Tyler Foundations Courses Collaborate on Cloud Quilt

Author: Jordan Cameron
Cloud Quilt displayed in Tyler's yellow hallway

A unique type of quilt blanketed the central portion of the yellow hallway on the Tyler School of Art and Architecture’s second floor recently, a visual patchwork of designs that reflect hugely varied concepts of weather.

This student art installation, called Cloud Quilt, is a collaboration among the Foundations Department’s three first-year studio courses: Drawing, 2D Design, and 3D Design. Guided by the theme of “weather,” students were asked to consider how speed and direction of motion can be visually communicated to mimic the movement and noise of a weather event.

But, students also could represent an information cloud, political storm, social upheaval, or ecological calamity. Faculty for each of the 18 participating sections had discretion in how they presented the assignment so that it aligned with the curricular goals for each course.

Cloud Quilt

For example, in the course 2D Foundation Principles, students were asked to apply the three major contrasts of color in developing clear expression in their work. 

Each artwork had to be 12” x 12” in dimension, but beyond that there were no limitations to material, resulting in a grid of diverse mediums, including paintings, wire sculptures, plaster, and digital designs. This mirrors the expansive interpretations of the broad inspiration of “weather.” 

The installation, which features over 150 different works of art, itself also developed in stages, as the units were completed. Both faculty and students participated in hanging the works, and throughout that process, another level of serendipity emerged as unintended relationships, odd juxtapositions, and harmonious connections in artwork appeared as the installation progressed.

Ruby Shtino's 3D tile for the Cloud Quilt grid

Ruby Shtino's piece

Ruby Shtino, a first-year student who plans to major in ceramics, enjoyed creating a piece in her 3D Design course the most, which she contributed to the installation. 

“We used plaster, oil-based clay, and found items like cardboard and plastic to make the textures. Since this project was all about clouds and weather, I made a little cloud with raindrops. The surface decoration was my other favorite part, and I had fun painting all over the textures and drawing in little raindrops all around,” she said. “It was really cool seeing a liquid material like plaster come together to be three-dimensional with textures and color, and to see all of the other students’ work come together!”

Sophia Thome's piece (bottom middle)

In Sophia Thome’s 2D Design course, students were encouraged to use a symbolic interpretation of weather. 

“When creating my piece, I thought about the corrupting energies around the world right now, and how different events are affecting the climate as well, such as carbon emissions and wars. I made a representational piece depicting a wildfire, to symbolize the many fiery rushes of emotions of the world right now,” she described.

“I made a bellowing smoke that closed in around the space in my piece, along with a fire that rushes upwards with it. There's a star or a glimmer of light in the background of my piece, as a way to show that there will be hope to look forward to or to seek amid the tragedies at hand.”

“It was very interesting to see the quilt and how different it looked when it was complete because everybody has so many different interpretations of what weather can mean to them and what it can look like,” Thome said.

Cloud Quilt