Quilt artist visits Kennedy School students

By Gregory A. Scibelli - Staff Writer
Windsor - posted Fri., May. 20, 2011
Quilt artist Ed Johnetta Miller talks to a fifth-grade art class at John F. Kennedy School.  Photos by Gregory A. Scibelli.
Quilt artist Ed Johnetta Miller talks to a fifth-grade art class at John F. Kennedy School. Photos by Gregory A. Scibelli.

Fifth-graders at John F. Kennedy School were treated to a visit from an artist on May 17, as Ed Johnetta Miller took a break from her international touring to spend some time with the young students.

Miller visited Carol Giardi’s art class and presented her work to four fifth-grade classes, spending time doing an art project with them and enticing them with name-dropping of the many popular celebrities she has met or worked with over the years.

“She is such an interesting person and she has been so many different places and done so many different things,” said Giardi. “I have known her for many years, and she is a very strong communicator, and I hope she inspires these students.”

Miller performs her art through quilt-making, a very exact craft. She makes her own quilts and also spends time instructing others on how to make quilts. One of her more well-known students is Phylicia Rashad, who was best known for playing Claire Huxtable on the 1980s sitcom, “The Cosby Show.”

Miller discussed her time touring around the world, including her stay in Japan, where she hosted an international quilt festival. She has sold her quilts to many other well-known celebrities.

“There are a lot of people out there that really appreciate that kind of art,” said Miller. “Some of the celebrities I have sold quilts to may be known to the kids, but I don’t really know much about them because when they come see me, they’re just regular people who appreciate the arts.” One of those patrons of the arts includes basketball great Michael Jordan.

Using paper patterns and materials, Miller led the students in making a sample patterned quilt. She showed students how to use all the different shapes and colors to make a quilt that will mean something to them.

Miller comes from Hartford and said she enjoys visiting schools and spent time as an artist-in-residence for many years.

“I’m very happy I was able to come back to John F. Kennedy,” said Miller. “I have not been able to visit for a long time.”

It has been 10 years since Miller’s last visit. It was her fourth time at the school. The John F. Kennedy PTO has sponsored the artist visit program for 15 years now.

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