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The Carnegie Center for Art and History in New Albany, Indiana is proud to announce the opening of a new exhibit, Heartbeats: Art Quilts by Penny Sisto, on display July 22 through October 15, 2011. In this new exhibit, internationally recognized fiber artist Penny Sisto has embraced her interest in Native American history and culture. Her quilts are rich in color and layered with the expressive faces and figures she includes to convey the story she wants to tell. Her previous exhibitions at the Carnegie Center include Faces of Faith: the Search for the Divine, which inaugurated the newly renovated changing exhibition galleries in 2009, and Yearning to Be Free: Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness in 2007.

In her artist’s statement for Heartbeats, Sisto writes, “Every artist has a deep belief from which Art springs. Mine is this: I want to be a Witness for Truth, and in my Belief System, the Truth is this: we live on Stolen Land! And Heartbeats is my stitched journey into this Belief.” She continues, “It is a journey into Opposites, starting with the contrast between the sharpness of my needles, and the softness of the cloth, between the ache of honoring the Past, and journeying into hope for a Healing Future. We can see this pattern of opposites throughout the violent History of Humanity. This pull and tug of our Land’s thread is not unique to America, think of the histories of Tibet, of Africa, of Asia. The only question for me, for each of us, is where do we stand, and how do we stitch together OUR fractured blanket? … We live in this Place, at this Time, and yet every step we take falls into the footsteps of those who walked this land before us. And every door we open lets in the Spirits of those who will follow us. May we walk in Harmony between these Two Worlds.”

Penny Sisto lives in Floyds Knobs, Indiana and has exhibited throughout the United States and abroad. International presentations of her work include the exhibition of a grouping of Holocaust quilts at the Gatehouse of Auschwitz and a selection of her Slavery series quilts that were displayed at the Royal Armories Museum in Leeds, England in 2008. Sisto has won numerous awards and honors for her artwork and has been the subject of two public television programs. She is known for the difficult subjects, such as AIDS, poverty and racism that she addresses in her works, as she advocates for social justice and peace.

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