Janet Bergeron

Norwalk, IA


I have been sewing all my life.

As a child I learned hand sewing, moving onto a treadle machine, and then onto a very heavy steel Singer sewing machine. I made clothes for school and early work years. Fiber creations as art were limited to Halloween until a young man I knew died of AIDS and his friends wanted to create a panel for the AIDS quilt to honor him. I volunteered. This was an expression of how much he meant to all of us and it was a truly moving experience to create.

I worked at Living History Farms and had access to a lot of the costuming there. It inspired me to make clothing again, but more for historical and costume reasons. I joined a belly dance troupe and made costumes, competing in an international costume contest and winning Best Novice with an outfit created from crocheted telephone wire and pull chains!

I always loved art and own many art books. Major influences on my work besides my affinity for rural life have been Bauhaus artists, Ellsworth Kelly, and other modernists. As my passion developed, I took several years of drawing and painting at the Des Moines Art Center, as well as Shibori and other fabric manipulation techniques from nationally known teachers in the art quilt world.

I am the Iowa representative for the Studio Art Quilts Association, a professional organization for Fiber Artists. My fiber pieces have been juried into many national shows.