Voyage Raleigh

As you know, I have a studio in Durham, NC where I have family and textile colleagues. Voyage Raleigh contacted me for an interview and you will find it very personal.

If you want to know more about aspects of my art practice, like challenges and inspirations, please click on the link to read the article. And if you want to know what I was like as a child, you definitely want to read this article by Stephanie Hernandez!


Museum of Arts and Design acquires work by Deborah Kruger

A New Home for Accidentals and Ropa Pintada

In a year full of sales, shows and prizes, here’s the best news yet. My favorite contemporary art museum in New York City, the Museum of Arts and Design (MAD), has acquired two of my environmental artworks. The mural titled Accidentals and the huipil-inspired Ropa Pintada will be moving to their new home in New York in 2023. 

MAD thrilled to consider acuisition

I’m sure you are asking yourself, how did this happen? While I am not at liberty to share ALL the details, I can tell you that a big supporter of my artwork also directs a charity. She suggested that the charity buy the work and donate it to the museum. Having never done a transaction like this, I wrote to Elissa Auther, Ph.D., the Chief Curator and Deputy Director of Curatorial Affairs, to inquire about how this all works. I had been introduced to her by another New York curator just before Covid struck. 

To my delight, Dr. Auther replied right away and put me in touch with the Collections Curator. She told me that MAD would be thrilled to be considered for the acquisition. Over the next six months, I learned a lot about how a museum acquires work. And I had the opportunity to discuss which pieces MAD would like to have. 


Museum of Arts and Design:

Elissa Auther, Chief Curator and Deputy Director of Curatorial Affairs

Instagram: @eauther

Watch for the 4-year exhibition in 2024

My donors wanted MAD to choose work that would be on display. While this is not always something a museum can assure, in my case, Dr. Auther was particularly interested in Accidentals because it is such a large piece and the museum has the space to show it to great effect. Ropa Pintada made the cut because as an Arts and Design Museum, MAD periodically has exhibitions with garment and fashion themes and there would be future opportunities to include this piece.

In May 2024, MAD will mount a 4-year exhibition with rotating displays of their New Acquisitions. My work will be on view as part of this exciting new show. I will keep you informed about this show as it takes shape. You can be sure that my Metro-New York friends and family will be on hand to celebrate with me.

Related Reading:

Handwerken Magazine

You just never know where the next article is coming from

I was contacted by a writer from the Netherlands last fall about being interviewed for Handwerken Magazine. She sent me many questions to answer and I sent her answers for the interview and images of my environmental artwork.

One day my daughter’s sister-in-law (who has a Dutch husband) wrote to me on WhatsApp to say that her family in Amsterdam had seen an article about me. And then a long lost cousin in the Netherlands also wrote to say that she had also seen the article and that Handwerken is an important art magazine. If you want to buy an issue, you can order one from: 


(Click on the image to view full article)

Museo de Arte & Diseño adquiere obra de Deborah Kruger

Un Nuevo hogar para Accidentals y Ropa Pintada

En un año lleno de ventas, shows y premios, aqui esta la mayor noticia hasta el momento. My museo de arte contemporáneo favorito en la ciudad de Nueva York, el Museo de Arte & Diseño (MAD),ha adquirido  dos de mis obras de arte ambientales. El mural titulado Accidentals y la pieza inspirada en los huipiles Ropa Pintada viajaran a su nuevo hogar en Nueva York en el 2023.

MAD emocionado de considerar la adquisición

Si te preguntas, ¿cómo es que sucedió esto? Aun cuando no estoy en libertad de compartir TODOS los detalles, puedo contarte que un gran patrocinador de mi obra también dirige una caridad. Ella sugirió que la caridad comprara las obras y las donara al museo. No teniendo experiencia anterior en una transacción como esta, contacte a Elisa Auther, Ph.D., Curadora Jefe y Directora Adjunta de Asuntos Curatoriales, para averiguar cómo es que todo esto funciona. Le conocí gracias a otra curadora en Nueva York justo antes del inicio del Covid.

Para mi sorpresa y gusto, Dr. Auther respondió a la brevedad y me contacto con la Curadora de Colecciones. Ella me comento que MAD estaría encantado de ser considerado para esta adquisición. A lo largo de seis meses, aprendí mucho acerca de cómo un museo adquiere obras. Y tuve la oportunidad de discutir que piezas le gustaría a MAD tener.


Museum of Art and Design:

Elissa Auther, Chief Curator and Deputy Director of Curatorial Affairs

Instagram: @eauther

Espere la exposición de 4 años en 2024

Mis patrocinadores querían  que MAD eligiese obras destinadas a exhibición. Mientras esto no siempre es algo que un museo pueda asegurar, en mi caso, Dr. Auther estaba particularmente interesada en Accidentals porque es una pieza tan grande que el museo tiene el espacio para mostrarla en todo su esplendor. Ropa Pintada  logro el corte porque como Museo de Arte & Diseño, MAD periódicamente tiene exhibiciones de moda e indumentaria y abra futuras oportunidades de incluir esta pieza.

En Mayo 2024, MAD montara una exhibición de 4 años, rotando la exhibición de sus Nuevas Adquisiciones. Mi obra estará en exhibición como parte de este emocionante nuevo show. Les mantendré informados acerca de este show según vaya tomando forma. Puedes estar seguro de que mis amigos y familiares del area Metropolitana de Nueva York, estarán listos para celebrar conmigo.

Lecturas Relacionadas:

UPLIFT: Helping the Women of Mexico through Art

Before I tell you about all the wonderful Mexican women I work with, let me set the stage by telling you a little about me. When I was young, I spent many weekends making clothing from scratch with my mother, her twin (my Aunt Shirley) and my cousin Ellen. We worked in teams cutting out pattern pieces, pinning, sewing, and pressing open the seams. By Sunday at least two of us had new blouses, dresses or new outfits for upcoming weddings or Bar Mitzvahs.

During my working years, I managed a medical billing company staffed by women, a truly pink collar job. In its heyday, I employed 11 women most of whom were not college graduates (including myself).

Now that I am retired from my day job, I finally have the time to be  a full-time astract artist making the museum-scale work that I’ve always dreamed of. In order to create these massive wall murals and sculptures, I employ 5 Mexican studio assistants.

Avivanto artist in front of Accidentals
Sandra and Debora in the studio
Samantha sewing strips of feathers

Empowering women is a life goal

I was listening to a podcast earlier this year (while I was hiking across Scotland!) and an interview with Coach Dawn Staley on Fresh Air touched me to the core.  Dawn is an American basketball Hall of Fame player, coach and three time Olympian. She is currently the head coach for the South Carolina Gamecocks. When she talked about the ‘sanctity of the team,’ I realized that I also feel that working with and empowering women is a central, deeply satisfying and spiritual part of my art practice.

With the exception of Sandra, my full-time assistant who is university trained, most of my studio assistants are Mexican women with grade school educations. It’s common for Mexican women to leave school early to help their large families with cooking and cleaning. Three of these women are in the same family: Alicia and Lourdes are sisters and Samantha is Alicia’s daughter-in-law.


Alicia enjoying a quiet time trimming prints

Overcoming Cultural differences

We have all had to adjust to the cultural differences between us. I have introduced them to fine art, professionalism, consistent and compassionate employment and a myriad of new skills including screen-printing, machine sewing, weaving, painting, inventory maintenance, video and other art-related techniques.

They have rarely worked for a foreigner (extranjero in Spanish), gone to a museum or gallery or been praised for their work. I have learned to work to Banda and Mariarchi music and work with people who rarely plan for the future, which is appealing spiritually, but maddening when on a deadline.

Alicia and Lourdes screen printing

What Alicia and Samantha have to say

Womens blog - Alicia and Samantha pinning work on wall
Alicia and Samantha pinning works on wall

Serenity, safety and satisfaction

We work together to make all the components required for my environmental artwork. In the process of making this art, we all enjoy a special serenity, safety and satisfaction. 

I’m definitely back in my comfort zone making things with a community of smart and motivated women.

Artist Talks with Deborah Kruger about her exhibition AVIANTO

Beginning on Saturday, September 3rd, artist Deborah Kruger will offer a series of three free artists talks at the main gallery of the Train Station Museum at the Gonzalez Gallo Cultural Center.

Each Saturday at 12:30pm, Deborah will focus on a different aspect of her artwork.

Saturday- September 3-12:30pm

The first talk will center on her art practice, art philosophy and specific techniques. Although everyone is welcome, her comments will be of particular interest to artists and creatives.

Saturday- September 10-12:30pm

In this talk, Deborah will discuss the Jewish themes that run through her work. Although her work is not overtly Jewish, her cultural heritage is reflected in the content and making of her work. Everyone will find this talk of interest and being Jewish is not a requirement!

Saturday- September 17-12:30p

The third artist talk is geared for the general public and Deborah will discuss why she works with recycled plastic bags, and the environmental themes that are central to her work.

The artist welcomes questions at all of the Artist Talks. She is happy to explain aspects of the meaning and making of her work that are of interest to her audiences.

The Artist Talks will begin promptly at 12:30pm. There will be chairs available to anyone who needs them.

Gonzalez Gallo Cultural Center
González Gallo 1500, Centro, 45915 Chapala, Jal.

World Textile Association 25th Anniversary Exhibitions

During the first year I lived in Mexico, I work accepted into two exhibitions celebrating the World Textile Association (WTA) Biennial with the theme of Air. Butterfly Effect was accepted into the large format exhibition at the Diego Rivera Museum in Mexico City and Remnants 18 was included in the exhibition on Recyclability at the Cultural Center in Oaxaca. 

This year, I was invited to exhibit in two exhibitions celebrating the 25th anniversary of WTA. The first exhibition is for small works 25 x 25 x 25cm, in keeping with the 25th anniversary theme. I decided to make a small basket for this show in Miami. Red Feather Basket 2 is reminiscent of an earlier basket form and I enjoyed returning to this format. The original basket Red Feather Basket 1 (now in a private collection) was made with fiber, encaustic and waxed linen and wire threads.

The new basket uses my signature feathers made with recycled plastic bags and also incorporates the waxed linen thread around the mouth of the piece. The feathers on the new basket have images of endangered birds of Mexico and Colombia and also endangered indigenous languages such as Yakme, Totzil, Cho’lol and Purépecha.

The second exhibition will be held at the Galeria de las Esculturas in Xalapa, Veracruz, Mexico. This mid-size work exhibition will include Remnants 18, the piece that was originally in the Recyclability show in Oaxaca 12 years ago. I donated this piece to the WTA collection and am excited to see the work on view again.

The celebrations for 25 years of WTA will take place in 23 Venues in 13 countries including Chile, Spain, Costa Rica, India, Korea, Argentina, Brazil, Italy, Turkey, Colombia, Uruguay, Bolivia and the US.

The World Textile Association (WTA) is the brainchild of Pilar Tobón, a Colombian artist who now resides in Miami, FL. The goal of the organization is to support textile artists around the world by giving them international visibility and opportunities to exhibit in museums and fiber-friendly institutions.

2022 WTA Nuevo Aire

Remnants 18, 2011, 31 x 16.5 x 1”, fiber, encaustic, oilstick, paint, waxed linen, wire thread


The World Textile Associate (WTA) is celebrating its 25th Anniversary with fiber exhibitions at 23 venues in 13 countries. WTA selected Deborah’s piece titled Remnants 18, which is in the WTA collection.  

Dates: Nov 19, 2022 – Feb 12, 2023

Location: Galeria de las Esculturas
Avenida Rafael Murillo Vidal s/n,
Campo Nuevo, Xalapa Veracruz 91069
Tel. 2288137753

Opening Reception: Saturday November 19th 

More information:

See my blog for further commentary:

2022 X International Biennial of Contemporary Textile Art: 25 Years WTA

Red Feather Basket 2, 2022, 10 x 10 x 10”, screen-printing on recycled plastic bags, sewing, wrapped cord, waxed linen thread

About: The World Textile Associate (WTA) is celebrating its 25th Anniversary with fiber exhibitions at 23 venues in 13 countries. Deborah was invited to 25 Year WTA exhibit at MIFA in Miami with her new Red Feather Basket 2 featuring her signature recycled plastic feathers.

Dates:Nov 3 – Dec 15, 2022

Location: Miami International Fine Art (MIFA)
5900 NW 74 Ave. Miami FL. 33166
Phone: 305.470.0009

Opening Reception: Thursday Nov 3rd

More information:

Horsehair and the process of waiting

Box of horsehair!

Lucky Me!

Many years ago, I had a studio at the Arts & Industry Building in Florence, Mass. There were over 70 artist studios and small businesses tucked into this old brush factory. One of my neighbors on the fourth floor was a fellow who restored violin bows. Violinists from around the country sent him their broken bows and he fixed them. As part of the repair process, he had to cut off the horsehair left on each bow. And lucky me was the recipient of wonderful boxes of discarded horsehair! 

As you can imagine, this was a treasure trove for an artist and I found ways to incorporate the horsehair into some of my pieces. At the time, my work was quite small and I wasn’t able to use it in great amounts. But I always imagined that some day I would have a creative brainstorm and find a way to use the horsehair.


....and then inspiration strikes

Over the last ten years, I moved my studio from Western Massachusetts to Durham, North Carolina and also to Chapala, Mexico. And the horsehair followed along, waiting patiently for its turn to shine. I never discarded the boxes of horsehair and felt confident that someday I would figure out how to use it.


Horse Hair showing sewing
Three sets
Horse hair on vessel

For you collectors of odd things!

I am currently preparing for several museum shows, which require making large pieces. One of these is an installation of ceramic inspired sculptures called Vessels/Vasijas. They range in size from 4 feet to 7 feet high. I’ve been stuck on one of these pieces for months and nothing I have tried has worked. And then inspiration struck! I took out the horsehair and started sewing them into 5 inch tufts. They are exactly what the piece needed! 

It will take another couple of months to finish this sculpture, but now I have an exciting, new direction and finally the horsehair will make its long-awaited appearance. So for all of you  collectors of odd things, have confidence in your choices and know that if you feel really drawn to something, it will find a way into your work.