American Folk Art Museum Logo

22 Aug 2019

Critical Walk-Through: LJ Roberts on Weaving Community

Contemporary artist LJ Roberts will discuss their textile practice that celebrates queer histories and communities, while investigating the overlap of queer and trans politics, activism, protest, and craft, and explore connections to the exhibition WALL POWER! Quilts from the Werner and Karen Gundersheimer Gift.

A Critical Walk-Through is a guided tour that is meant to offer an alternative perspective to the works on view. It includes conversations with artists, scholars, and curators, providing an intimate opportunity to engage with the central themes and histories found in the artwork. The program is limited to 25 individuals.


LJ Roberts is a visual artist who creates large-scale textile installations, embroideries, artist books, and collage. LJ’s work has been shown in exhibitions at numerous institutions including The Victoria and Albert Museum, The Brooklyn Museum, Yerba Buena Center of the Arts, Museum of Arts and Design, The Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art, The Museum of the City of New York, and the Smithsonian Museum of American Art where their work is in the permanent collection.

LJ also maintains a critical writing practice that bridges craft and queer theory. Their writing can be found in the anthologies Extra/Ordinary: Craft Culture in Contemporary Art, published by Duke University Press, and Craftivism: The Art of Craft and Activism on Arsenal Pulp Press. LJ has been the past recipient of a MacDowell Colony Fellowship, the Fountainhead Fellowship at Virginia Commonwealth University, and residencies at IASPIS (International Artists’ Studio Program in Sweden—Stockholm), Ox-Bow School of Art, ACRE, The Textile Arts Center, and The Bag Factory in Johannesburg, South Africa. In 2015, LJ was one of nine recipients of The White House Champions of Change Award for LGBTQI artists, and received the 2019 President’s Award for Art and Activism from the Women’s Caucus for Art. They are a 2019–2020 Artist-in-Residence at Pioneer Works in Brooklyn, NY. LJ lives and works in Brooklyn and teaches at Parsons School of Design.

Event photos by Matthew Sherman


Images: L.J. Roberts, The Queer Houses of Brooklyn in the Three Towns of Breukelen, Boswyck, and Midwout during the 41st Year of the Stonewall Era (based on a 2010 drawing by Daniel Rosza Lang/Levitsky with 24 illustrations by Buzz Slutzky on printed pin-back buttons), 2011, poly-fill, acrylic, rayon, Lurex, wool, polyester, cotton, lamé, sequins, and blended fabrics with printed pin-back buttons, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Elaine Reuben, 2012.43, © 2011, L.J. Roberts. Photo courtesy of the Smithsonian American Art Museum.

Mennonite Quilt: Joseph’s Coat, artist unidentified, United States, early twentieth century, cotton, 87 3/4 x 84 in., gift of Karen and Werner Gundersheimer, 2018.2.13. Gavin Ashworth.



6:30 pm–7:30 pm

$5 members, students, artists, seniors; $8 general public

Purchase ticket