1983

The Zappa Quilt

The Zappa quilt had two distinct outcomes in my work.  On the one hand, I thought I wanted fame and when I had even a taste of it I did not like the bitterness there and I stepped away, changed my direction and my art went more or less underground.  On the other hand, this remains my greatest work if measured in the level of connection to human life that it engendered.

Here you will see images of the scrapbook I made from the fan letters I got from wonderful, crazy Zappa fans around the world.  I met some of them when my travels went their way – fantastic people ready to share with me just because I had been given all those panties and bras!  Here also you will see the one and only hate letter my work engendered – a reminder that human intolerance can come up and strike us in the face for so many reasons.

Did you know?

The Zappa quilt was purchase by the Hard Rock Cafe chain for what was then about 1/4 of my salary for a year. It now hangs at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Biloxi in Mississippi

The Zappa Quilt

Currently hanging in Biloxi Mississippi at the Hard Rock Café, you can also find images of the quilt online. All the panties in the border have the edge held straight with a cardboard, on which someone somewhere in the Western US wrote a message for posterity. Frank’s message was “science.”

Frank Zappa Friends

The connections made with fans during the time I made the quilt, and as I finished it, with some even coming over to help sew was amazing!

More shots from the Zappa Opening

What an amazing event for someone just 30 years old. It felt as though fame as an artist was around the corner. Then I realized it wasn’t fame I wanted. I now know its connection and fame gets in the way of that.

Shots from the scrapbook - what the fans sent me

The fans made the work of this piece seem easy. Every week or so I would open my mailbox to find something outrageous. I sent them back an equally outrageous letter saying thanks.

Shots from the scrapbook. 2 - Dreams come true! I made USA today! - images and messages

As a fan of Frank Zappa’s music I want more information, as a relatively civilized human being I am disgusted! – sums up the responses.

Shots from what the fans sent me. 3 Hate mail

My first hate mail , not hatting me but the project – from an older spinster teacher I had in high school who told me I was above the “stench” of this project.