Once upon a time I studied how clam eggs divided and developed! This led to my love of clams and a series of quilts dedicated to a very old quahog, Ming. In 2006, scientists dredged up a live clam from the North sea. The London Sunday Times nicknamed the clam “Ming” because it was “born” in 1499, during the Chinese Ming dynasty and lived for over 500 years.

I wondered what Ming missed during those 507 years so Ming became my artistic muse. Initially, my intent was to address playful topics and translate my ideas in bright colors in my naïve art style. Many of the quilts are colorful, whimsical and idiomatic. However, much of the artwork is serious, topical and wrapped in social commentary.

Clam eggs (oocytes) from the surf clam, Spisula solidissima.
“Ming Dreamed of Moving to Italy”, 18″ x 27″
“Time Paradox”, 18″ x 27″
“Strings Attached”, 18″ x 27″
“Wired to Snap”, 18″ x 27″
“Happy as a Lark”, 18″ x 27″
“Playing Dress Up”, 18″ x 27″
“I Too am Spent”, 18″ x 27″
“Home De-ranged”, 18″ x 27″
“Not theTimid”, 18″ x 27″
“_____?_____!” 18″ x 27″
“Linwood, KS”, 18″ x 27″
“Sojourner”, 18″ x 27″
“Art School”, 18″ x 27″
“Rita Levi Montalcini”, 18″ x 27″
“Some Scars Still Bleed”, 18″ x 27″
“Un-Word of the Year”, 18″ x 27″
“With Hope”, 18″ x 27″
“With Thanksgiving”, 18″ x 27″
“Just One Word”, 18″ x 27″
“Paper Dolls”, 18″ x 27″
“Retreat into Your Shell”, 18″ x 27″
“What’s for Dinner?”, 18″ x 27″
“#MeToo”, 18″ x 27″
“Accessorize!”, 18″ x 27″
“Shell-ebrate!”, 18″ x 27″
“Silent Hostility”, 18″ x 27″
“Six Feet of Separation”, 18″ x 27″
“Hafrün”, 18″ x 27″

All photos by Aaron Paden, Lawrence, Kansas

Postcards of the entire series of 28 quilts are available for purchase here.

© Kathy Ann Suprenant. All rights reserved.

All images copyrighted by the artist, Kathy Ann Suprenant, and may not be copied, imitated or used in whole, or in part without prior written permission.