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Kristine A. Luber

Visual Arts

City:Shawnee, KS


Kristine A. Luber has a degree in elementary education and has worked in non-traditional education settings. As a religious educator, she designed banners for worship and led children, youth, and adults with intellectual disabilities in creating religious art projects. She sews liturgical vestments, and she has been a member of the costume team at Topeka Civic Theatre for over 20 years. It is a rare day when she does not have a needle in hand to sew “something.” In recent years Luber has begun her own textile work, specializing in textile collages incorporating photographs printed on fabric, thread painting, and bead work She sews fabric bowls and fashions flowers and other women’s wearables from men’s neckties and scraps left over from home sewing, quilting, and upholstering projects. Her artwork has been displayed at shows and galleries in Northeast Kansas and beyond, winning awards in Lawrence, Topeka, DeSoto, and Kansas City, Missouri. “I am a fabric artist, not an art quilter, although I use sewing and quilting techniques. I’ve taught art classes at the NOTO Arts Center and had my writing about art published in national periodicals. I’ve spoken about art and creativity to community and quilting groups numerous times. “I make textile collage landscapes by stitching cloth scraps together. Sometimes I print my own photos on fabric which allows me to sew them right into the patchwork. I enhance the collage with machine embroidery which serves to quilt the piece together, and I add shiny beads to mimic nature and catch the eye. I have challenged myself to use fabric to represent hard materials like glass, stone, and metal. Incorporating color, texture, dimension, reality, and surrealism into a piece of art is interesting and fulfilling. “And I make fabric flowers. I sew whimsical semi-realistic flowers and leaves that have wire hidden inside to allow for shaping. These could be wearable or decorative. Sometimes 3D flowers show up in my wall art too. “My materials are all post-consumer – leftover fabric scraps, trims, buttons, yarn, thread, wire, and beads from my family’s past sewing projects, gifts from others, and thrift store finds. Anything I can get a needle through may make its way into my art. My goal is to take textile waste that might otherwise be relegated to the landfill and make it into something beautiful. “In addition to making and showing my art, my experience as a church leader and teacher has given me the skills to share my passion for recycling and my inspiration for using leftover items to make art. I’ve written for national publications and presented programs and trunk shows for quilting guilds, professional groups, and women’s organizations. I have been teaching adults, teens, and children how to make mosaics from broken tile and dishes since the 1970s.”

Public Performance/Exhibition Information

Luber will provide a trunk show of her art which includes fabric landscapes from greeting card size to four feet long and fabric sculptures of a variety of flowers and leaves. Her accompanying slide show includes many additional pieces. She can also do a “show and tell” of her women’s wearables sewn from old men’s neckties, castoff fabrics, sewing notions, and electrical wire. She will model pieces of clothing made from rescued family heirlooms and re-designed or embellished thrift store finds. In her program she includes what inspires her and interesting details about the sources for many of her unique materials. She often says, “If I can get a needle through it, I can use it in my art.” In her many years as a youth minister and later as a teacher at the North Topeka Community Art Center, she led youth and adults in making individual and group mosaics. So, in a completely separate program, she can show how family castoffs, thrift store finds, and other non-porous materials – specifically broken tiles, dishes, and additional found objects — can be made into mosaic art.

Program Fee

$125 an hour up to $500 per day for workshops, plus travel expenses and lodging if required.

Educational Activity Information

Luber will lead a basic sewing workshop designed to show how working with a needle and thread can help recharge a wardrobe with embellishments and restore much-loved textiles to something beautiful – either wearable or as art. Luber can teach youth and/or adults the basics of mosaic construction from planning the design to selecting and breaking the materials to grouting and finishing.

Additional Activity Fee

Program participants will either be required to furnish the materials locally (this is preferred) or pay net cost of items provided by presenter. A materials list will be provided.

Community Activity Information

A community textile project would be to make an indoor or outdoor banner or flag composed of pieces made by members of the group and then connected into a single whole. A community mosaic would require a one- or two-day group workshop setting.

Additional Activity Fee

Program participants will either be required to furnish the materials locally (this is preferred) or pay net cost of materials used. A materials list will be furnished. Additional cost will be incurred if Luber puts finishing touches on the project in her Topeka studio.

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