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Bets Ramsey

Bets Ramsey

(b.1928) born and lives in Chattanooga
Fog Days on Cranberry Island, 1970
wool, cotton, nylon, linen and wood wall hanging, 24 x 13.5 inches, 70.36.50

This is a hand pieced and hand quilted wall hanging that utilizes a variety of fabrics, some of which have strong 1960’s colors and motifs. Overall, the impression is of looking down over a river island on a foggy morning. This piece was exhibited by the Tennessee Artist-Craftsman’s Association and organized by the Carroll Reece Museum, East Tennessee State University.

Ramsey received a B.A. in art, from the University of Chattanooga in 1950 and an M.S. in craft and design from the University of Tennessee in 1972. She was a founding member of the American Quilt Study Group (AQSG) and the Tennessee Association of Craft Artists (now Tennessee Craft).  Ramsey founded the Southern Quilt Symposium (SQS) in 1974 and directed the symposium for 17 years and curated a major quilt exhibit drawn from nation-wide quilt artists, museums, and private collectors at that same event. Her annual exhibit at the Hunter Museum was the first continual art quilt series that was placed in an art setting. In 1980 Ramsey began a weekly column, “The Quilter,” that ran in the Chattanooga Times until 1998, producing close to 900 articles in 18 years.  From 1983-1987 Ramsey co-directed the Quilts of Tennessee documentation project with co-director Merikay Waldvogel, which resulted in a book and a traveling exhibition.

Ramsey’s fiber art and quilts have been shown in galleries and museums across the U.S. and abroad and at least 45 of these exhibits featured her as the solo artist. She has also curated some 60 exhibits herself, produced 5 exhibit catalogues, and written countless essays, articles, and book reviews. She has also written four books.  On April 14, 2009, Ramsey received Tennessee’s highest honor, the Governor’s Distinguished Artist Award.