ArtPrize-winning artist brings her work to Holland

Ann Loveless (left) and Carrie Rodgers-O’Neal, Lake Effect Gallery, Holland
Ann Loveless (left) and Carrie Rodgers-O’Neal, Lake Effect Gallery, Holland
Photo: DeVries Photography/Carmel Brown

By Kelsey Smith

Ann Loveless won first place at ArtPrize not just once, but twice. Loveless, a household name in the quilting world, is a landscape quilt artist based out of Frankfort, and she recently brought her work to Lake Effect Gallery in downtown Holland.

“Winning ArtPrize was pretty surreal,” Loveless said. “I still look back and think, ‘Did I really do that?’ Each year I did ArtPrize, it was really positive, and my pieces just kept getting bigger.”

Loveless creates intricate pieces of art by using fabric and a mix of quilting techniques, including three of her own. She works from photographs and draws much of her inspiration from the outdoors — especially Lake Michigan and Northern Michigan’s natural beauty. 

“It’s always nice when someone says, ‘Oh my gosh, I just feel like I could walk right out there and jump in the lake,’” Loveless said. “That’s always a good compliment — that they want to be there, that the art gives you a feeling.”

“And that’s a big part of the art we have here, it’s beauty and it brings joy,” added Carrie Rodgers-O’Neal, artist and owner of Lake Effect Gallery. “We were blown away that Ann approached us. We just feel so honored to have her work here. Immediately when we had her art, pieces were selling before we even had them out on the floor.”

Loveless was in ArtPrize for four years, winning in 2013 and 2015. She was the first artist to win the public vote twice. In 2013, she won with her 20-foot-long, four-panel landscape quilt, “Sleeping Bear Dune Lakeshore.” 

In 2015, Loveless and her husband, Steve, entered together. Their winning artwork, “Northwood Awakening,” is a 25-foot-long, spring trillium scene and a mix of Steve’s photographic print and Ann’s art quilt.

“I became the rule changer,” Loveless laughed. “Now, you can’t enter ArtPrize again after you’ve won first place.” 

Between her winning years, Loveless wrote and published her book, Landscape Art Quilts, Step-By-Step.

“I wanted to share my technique — I call it fabric collage, where I add in yarns, netting and other natural fibers besides just typical quilt cotton fabrics,” she said. “I’ve been to a lot of quilt classes around the U.S., and after taking classes, I developed my own technique, so I thought I’d put it down in writing. I just wanted to share my knowledge with others.”

You can pick up a copy of her book, as well as pieces of her art, at Lake Effect Gallery.

Ann Loveless

Lake Effect Gallery
16 W. Eighth St., Holland