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Andalusia Chamber holds ribbon cutting for first annual quilt show at Cotton Street Gallery

By Media

Andalusia Star News, November 7, 2023

The Andalusia Area Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon cutting for Cotton Street Gallery’s first annual quilt show on Wednesday, Nov. 1. Among those in attendance were CSG Founder Sue Wiggins, cutting the ribbon; CSG Advisors Teresa Nelson and Roger Powell; Judy Caputi; Madeline Hawley; Zelda Wilson; AACC Director of Membership Services Maggie Holmes, left of ribbon; Chamber President Jennifer McClung, right of ribbon; Chamber board member Katherine Taylor Jones; City Councilman Presley Boswell; Dist. 4 Commissioner Tommy McGaha; and Sue Bass Wilson. The quilt show will run throughout November, and the public is invited to vote for their favorite quilt from 1 to 5 p.m. on weekdays. The winner will receive a cash prize of $200.

Cotton Street Gallery will host first quilt show in November

By Media

Andalusia Star News, October 25, 2023

The Cotton Street Gallery will host its first annual quilt show from Nov. 1-30 from 1 to 5 p.m. daily and seeks quilters to enter this year’s contest with two cash prizes available.

Quilters are invited to submit one quilt of any size for an entry fee of $15 before Monday, Oct. 30, and are asked to call 334-504-8824 to schedule a time for drop-off. Quilts must be submitted by the original piecer.

“I am very excited about our first annual quilt show coming up in November. We are pleased with the response we have seen from quilters all over and have reached out to 46 quilt guilds. We invite the public to join us for this special event and need your help in choosing the people’s choice for the best quilt of our show,” Cotton Street Gallery Founder Sue Wiggins said.

Quilt judge Madeline Hawley will select the Best in Show Award winner. This recipient will collect a $500 cash prize that was donated to the gallery by the Andalusia Rotary Club. In addition, a People’s Choice Award winner will be chosen from votes cast by those attending the show. This recipient will collect a $200 cash prize. Quilters may offer their quilt for sale. The gallery will receive a portion of the proceeds from each quilt sold.

Wiggins asked Teresa Nelson about holding a quilt contest. Nelson retired from PowerSouth and has two daughters and three grandchildren. She currently serves as the advisor for Cotton Street Gallery’s Quilted Treasures division.

“Our area has many talented quilters of all ages and all styles from traditional to modern. Cotton is king here, and cotton fabrics and battings are very important components of our quilts. There will be different styles to see because each quilter has his or her interpretation of what is beautiful. This is where the excitement comes in. We all have different likes and dislikes and bring our life experiences to our quilts. Being a quilter, I am aware of the local talent in our community and am excited to see what these quilters enter. I am always inspired when I attend a show and think this one will be no exception,” Nelson said.

Nelson described quilt shows as inspirational, emotional, and impressive.

“The quilts inspire us to push ourselves outside of our comfort zone and create works of art. They can also be emotional in that they can portray events in our lives, creating memories by using a loved one’s clothing to piece together a story of that life. Quilts impress us to use color and techniques we might not have considered previously and are works of art that can speak to each person differently. Quilters enjoy presenting their works of arts and fellowshipping with viewers and other quilters.”

Proceeds from the show will go towards supporting Cotton Street Gallery’s AIR Andalusia. AIR is a unique artists-in-residence program focusing on the textile events. Wiggins stated one of the gallery’s future goals is to have artists residing near the facility.

Quilting is a favorite hobby in Nelson’s family as her mom and sister both quilt.

“I have made many quilts and have a genuine love of fabrics. I remember quilts hanging from the ceiling in a quilting frame at my grandmother’s home and many of her friends sitting around the frame quilting and talking and laughing. It was a wonderful time of fellowship,” she said.

Hopes are that the quilt show will become an annual event during the fall.

“This is our first show, so we will see what kind of interest there is in future events. I think we have a chance at a new tradition here at the Gallery. I would like to thank Sue Wiggins for her leadership in this event and just would encourage all quilters to enter their work. All stages of quilters are welcomed from beginner to accomplished. Just look what notoriety the primitive quilts of Gee’s Bend have attained. All quilts have a story to tell, and I hope we have many stories to share with the attendees. Happy quilting,” Nelson said.

Cotton Street Gallery focuses on textile traditions, artist in residency program

By Media

Andalusia Star News, June 14, 2023

After retiring from a career in the arts, an Andalusia resident has returned home to open a new art gallery that is designed to honor the city’s past traditions as well as assisting artists practice their craft through a residency program.

Sue Wiggins grew up in Andalusia and graduated from Andalusia High School before spending much of her adult life in the northeastern United States where she spent 45 years assisting companies in building art collections. She said returning to Andalusia and opening a non-profit residency art program is part of her vision to help artists succeed.

“So many of these artists deserve an opportunity to focus on their art and not have to hold down three jobs and use inferior materials. Given the chance to focus on their art was something I wanted to do in my retirement. The residency program is general in its application, but specific to the culture of the location of the program. When (Mayor Earl Johnson) and I talked, it was clear we wanted to recognize the world of fabric fiber and that textile culture of our area. That is what led me to do it here in Andalusia,” Wiggins said.

The Cotton Street Gallery is home to AIR Artists, Inc., which stands for Artists In Residency, a venture that aims to revitalize small towns by creating dynamic arts and crafts that celebrate a region’s natural resources. In Andalusia, the artists chosen for the residency program would focus on textile-based art. Textile art would include items made of cotton, wool, silk, and other fabrics.

“The goal is to bring in artists who apply for residency program who will have a place to live, a stipend, and studio space. There will be an application process for the artists and they will be vetted by a group of selected individuals. Our long-term goal is to occupy the land on the other side of the parking lot with a technology center and residency housing,” she said.

Early on, resident artists will work from the Cotton Street Gallery; however, there are plans to expand with the construction of technology center and an artist residence. Concordia Architecture is working with AIR Artists on those plans.

While the Cotton Street Gallery is not home to a resident artist, yet, it has already started in fulfilling its mission to bring awareness and education about the field of textile arts through community workshops and is home to Quilted Treasures, a collection of new and antique handmade quilts, as well as Pat’s Brats, a line of children clothing. All sales from the gallery benefit AIR and the artist residency program.

Cotton Street Gallery focuses on textile traditions, artist in residency program Andalusia Star News, June 14, 2023

So far, the Cotton Street Gallery has hosted several classes with topics such as scarf-making, needlepoint, and another titled, “How to Use Your Sewing Machine.” Not including classes being held in June, the gallery has already hosted 68 students for these workshop classes.

Currently and continuing through June, the gallery is hosting a children’s art program. Last week, the children learned about fabric dying and will continue with lessons on felted wool geodes, Kumihimo braiding, and tablet weaving. Space is still available, although limited, for the classes, which cost $20. They are designed for ages 5-12 and are held each Wednesday in June from 1 to 3:30 p.m. The classes are taught by Randy and Ann Glick of Evergreen. Andalusia Kiwanis Club is the sponsor of the event.

In July, the gallery will hold a monoprint workshop with printmaking artist Celeste Pfau. The class will be held July 12-15 and cost $150 per student.

Pfau will also be assisting with a Bamboo Exploration Workshop from July 12-15 from 5 to 7 p.m., nightly. Those attending will assist Pfau in the construction of a bamboo fort/art installation, learning about bamboo manipulation techniques while building a temporary outdoor natural materials art installation. This is described as a family-friendly event for children and adults.

Wiggins said she is pleased with the participation in these classes so far, although not surprised. “The people attending these classes is a testament to the interest in textiles and its importance to our community,” she said.

The gallery will host crocheting and cro-tatting classes in the near future, including one designed specifically for men. “We’ve been focused on providing textile technique classes for the community,” Wiggins said. “Techniques would include things like needlepoint, crocheting, tatting … all the old techniques our grandparents used to do.” The fall will also bring the gallery’s first quilt competition that will award a $500 best-in-show prize. The competition will be judged by a renowned quilt judge from Georgia.

Wiggins and others involved in the Cotton Street Gallery are already planning a big event for next spring with a “Walkway Soiree,” featuring the work of fashion designer Vicky Tiel. Currently a resident of Baker, Florida, Tiel established her fashion career in Paris and has designed clothing for celebrities and movies, including the red dress worn by Julia Roberts in the hit movie, “Pretty Woman.” Teal still has the prototypes of these clothes, which will be donned by local models. “We are now in the process of finding local models for the walkway show,” Wiggins said. The “Walkway Soiree” is scheduled for April 2024.

Along with her efforts at the Cotton Street Gallery and with AIR Artists, Wiggins is also busy establishing other residency programs, including a residency program in Georgiana for the field of music and hopes to have other residency programs in the fields of fine arts and fine crafts. For more information about AIR Artists visit airartists. org. For more information about the Cotton Street Gallery, including its listing of upcoming classes and programs, visit or call 334-504-8824.