80@80: The Artwork of Phyllis Small

From March 20 through May 8, 2021, The Windsor Art Center presented 80 @ 80: The artworks of Phyllis Small.

Turning 80 years old is a huge milestone, and to celebrate it, Phyllis Small will be exhibiting 80 artworks, one to mark each year of her life. Spanning Small’s artistic career, the works in this exhibition will vary from extra-large wall hangings drifting down from the gallery rafters to notecard-size pieces. This retrospective highlights the variety of Phyllis’s media over the years as well as the thread that is consistent throughout her career. Her earliest works included drawing, painting, and silk screening, but roughly midway through her life, she began to shift from traditional fine art media, such as acrylic, collage and serigraph, to paper and fabric construction and ultimately to quilting.

Phyllis’s textile creations include paper quilts, fabric on paper, 12”x12” quilts, small and large wall hangings, bed quilts and – influenced by the pandemic – quarantine quilts. Quilting may seem like a big shift from her early works, but this exhibition makes it apparent that her approach to assemblage, color and pattern in her quilts is really an elaboration of her instinct to collage!

Events & Workshops

  • Opening Weekend: Saturday, March 20, 10a-4p & Sunday, March 21, 11a-4p. Grab & Go treats! FREE
  • Virtual Artist Talk/Gallery Tour: Artist Phyllis Small, speaks about her artwork, process, and studio practice.
  • Workshop–A Stitch In Time:  Sunday, April 11, 1-4p Phyllis Small will instruct you on how to create a colorful fabric collage using hand stitching. Cost: $40 plus $10 materials fee paid directly to instructor. Min. 5 participants, max. 10.
  • Mother’s Day Vendors: Visit the gallery on Saturday, April 24, 10a-3p and on Sunday April 25, 10a-3p, to do a little Mother’s Day shopping.
  • Art Activity for Seniors (55+): Grab & Go collage quilting activity bags will be available at the Art Center for pick up. FREE.
  • Nana & Papi Pajama Story Time Series: (Virtual) Local artists/grandparents have been invited to read their favorite bedtime stories in this 4-week series, please click on the links below to see the stories that were read!

YouTube Videos

WEEK 1 (Reader: Wanda Seldon): So Much by Trish Cooke
Friday: April 9 (7pm)

WEEK 2 (Reader: Lucy Sander Sceery): How Little Lori Visited Times Square by Amos Vogel
Friday: April 16 (7pm)

WEEK 3 (Reader: Sam Hinckley): The Runaway Bunny by Margaret Wise Brown
Friday: April 23 (7pm)

WEEK 4 (Reader: Joe Sam.) Invisible Hunters by Harriet Rohmer and illustrated by Joe Sam.
Friday: April 30 (7pm)

This exhibition was made possible by a grant from the The Edward C. and Ann T. Roberts Foundation with additional support from Leonard & Betty Hellerman, Clearwood Building, and other individuals, businesses, & organizations in our community.


Parking is free and accessible; please park in the large lot across from Windsor Station Apartments.

About Phyllis Smalls

“I have always had a passion for art. I am a fiber artist, combining my background in collage and printmaking with the medium of fabric. My inspiration to create quilts comes from what I see around me every day. I find color, shape, and line hard to resist. I love all colors and experimenting with the infinite combinations. Creating art with textiles to me, is fun and exciting. I also find it relaxing, therapeutic, and necessary to my well-being. Color, shape, line, texture, and especially the feel of fabric, inspire me to create. The tug is irresistible; it is the process, as much as the end result that I love. I live in West Hartford, CT with my husband of over 50 years. I earned a BA degree in Chemistry and hold a private pilot’s license. My husband and I fly our Cessna 182 to Martha’s Vineyard and other parts of the country where I am eternally inspired by the patchwork landscape below us.”