Dre McLeod is a contemporary fiber artist based in Ohio, known for her captivating textile creations. She earned her BFA in Fashion Design from the Savannah College of Art and Design in 2008, where her passion for fiber arts first took root.

With a distinctive artistic voice, Dre's work has been shown at galleries in West Virginia, Ohio, and California, and has work displayed all over the US and abroad. Her thought-provoking pieces have garnered attention and earned her a growing community of collectors throughout the United States.

Combining her love for repurposed, vintage, and rescued textiles with influences from historical art movements, Dre's artwork redefines the boundaries of traditional quilting. Through her intricate appliqué and textile compositions, she explores themes of self reflection and human connection.  

Continuously evolving her practice, Dre pushes the boundaries of fiber art, expanding its possibilities as a medium.

Artist Statement

Using repurposed, vintage, and rescued textiles, I create works that challenge the traditional notion of quilting and invite viewers to interpret meaning based on their own emotional response to the works.

Drawing inspiration from my Appalachian roots and the quilting traditions of my foremothers, my work is an evolution of the quilting craft. Departing from conventional patchwork, my textile compositions depict shapes, objects, and narratives, influenced by historical art movements such as Baroque, Art Deco, Bauhaus, and The Golden Age of Illustration. With textiles as my medium, I strive to contemporize these influences, infusing them with my unique voice.

In my artistic journey I aim to shift the meaning and perception of what a quilt can be. Within each work, I try to create luscious, soft, and sumptuous moments that provoke emotional responses and allow for individual interpretation. Each work carries personal significance for me, stemming from my experiences with mental illness. Through art, I navigate my inner emotions and find solace, and I aspire to offer viewers a similar comforting and introspective experience.  The softness and tactile nature of textiles, inherently associated with comfort, become a metaphorical embrace, inviting the viewer into a gentle and contemplative space.

I aim to create art that could be achieved through other mediums but is intentionally conveyed through the transformative and comforting nature of textiles.

Dre McLeod Original Art by Dre McLeod

When did you realize you wanted to pursue art professionally?

About 10 years ago I went through the whole “I’m gonna go to grad school” thing that so many of us do. And I had a plan in place to do it, but before I went through with anything, I sat with myself and finally decided that’s not what I really wanted to do with my life! What I have always wanted to do is be a professional artist so I finally started down that path!

Whether fellow artist or friend, who has continued to inspire your work?

My friends and people who follow my work inspire me to keep doing it and to keep pushing myself and evolving my practice. It’s amazing how much a little encouragement can do for you.

Original Art by Dre McLeod

What do you enjoy exploring through your art?

I enjoy exploring my own psyche and the ways in which my artistic practice can help me navigate emotions, mental illness, and the external world. Aesthetically I really enjoy exploring modern, personal responses to different artistic genres throughout history.

Looking back, what advice do you wish you could give your younger self?

I wish I had told my younger self not to believe anyone who said I couldn’t be an artist for a living and that I had to “pick something.” I might have started on my journey and found my artistic voice sooner! Intuition is powerful and I wish I had known to follow mine as a child.

What is one thing you hope your audience walks away with after experiencing/viewing your work?

I want my audience to contemplate the vastness of what fiber art and quilting can be. I also want them to interpret the meaning and narrative of the work based on their experience with it. And hopefully, ultimately find comfort in the work.

Dre McLeod