The Daily Iowegian
---- — OTTUMWA — Wisconsin textile artist and painter, Patricia Strong, will present her latest works in an exhibition titled “Theophanies: How the Soul Appears” at the Indian Hills Community College Art Gallery beginning on Monday, Feb. 17. There will be a public reception for Strong on opening night from 7-8:30 p.m. Strong’s exhibition will close on Thursday, March 13.
Strong, of Fond du Lac, Wis., was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease in 1980. She was hospitalized for 80 days, given her last rights, and told that she had a 3.5 percent chance of coming out of the surgery alive. The Mayo Clinic gave her three to six months to live. She survived, and has since undergone a tumultuous life of multiple hospitalizations and surgeries.
When Strong begins work on a new painting, she says the colors just “fall from her brush.” In fact, Strong has always felt her hands were spiritually guided while creating art, and attributes her success and her 23 years of battling Crohn’s Disease to God. In one four-year period, she experienced only 10 months of remission.
“Theophanies are our interpretations of God,” explains Strong. “I’ve had three meetings with the Almighty and have a better understanding of my purpose.”
The results of these meetings are evident in every facet of her work. Strong describes the focal point of each piece as being the “flame.” From quilts to painted furniture, the kaleidoscope of colors and fusion of textures are intricately arranged with the goal of achieving burning bush intensity. In some of her cubism-style quilts, one six-inch-square area may have over 200 pieces of stitched slivers of fabric.