ELLEN KOCHANSKY owns and designs for EKO. In rural South Carolina, she has made quilts and textile art for over 30 years. She has served as an American Canvas panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts and as a trustee of the American Crafts Council. Her works are in many public and private institutions including the Museum of Art + Design in NY, and the Mint Museum in Charlotte, NC.
“When we concentrate on a material object…the very act of our attention may lead to our involuntarily sinking into the history of that object. Transparent things, through which the past shines! Objects, inert in themselves but much used by careless life, (you are thinking of a hillside stone over which a multitude of small animals have scurried) are particularly difficult to keep in surface focus: novices fall through the surface, humming happily to themselves, and are soon reveling with childish abandon in the story of this stone, of that heath. A thin veneer of immediate reality is spread over natural and artificial matter, and whoever wishes to remain in the now, should please not break its tension film. Otherwise the inexperienced miracle-worker will find himself no longer walking on water, but descending upright among staring fish.” – Vladimir Nabokov
The Rensing Center nourishes the imagination. It fosters individual renewal, community connection, and interdisciplinary interaction among people in creative, environmental, and entrepreneurial fields.
On twenty-seven acres in the beautiful southern Appalachian foothills near Pickens, SC, the Rensing Center is more than just the land, the people, the gardens and the buildings. Our 501c3 non-profit organization models a way of life less addicted to cheap energy, and more blessed by what actually fulfills us.
We are a residency program, providing living and workspace to self-directed applicants looking for an isolated rural, creative landscape, for periods ranging from three weeks to three months. Focus may be creative, professional, environmental, or all of these.
Owner EKO Quilts, 1984-present
Syracuse Univ., BFA Costume Design & Textiles, 1969
GRANTS & HONORS
Artist in Residence, McColl Center, Charlotte NC Fall 2006
Cultural Commissioner at large, Pickens County, SC 2003-present
American Craft Council Trustee 1990-92, Emeritus, 1993
Artist in Residence, Artpark, Lewiston, NY, 1988, 2003
MARS Millenium Project, National Endowment for the Arts, 1999
National Endowment for the Arts, American Canvas Panelist, 1997
Revival Design Camp, Founding Director, 1997
SC Individual Artist Fellowship 1978, 1993
Ripple Effect Sustainable Design Group, Board of Directors, 2000
COLLECTIONS & INSTALLATIONS
American Craft Museum Permanent Collection, NYC
White House Permanent Collection, Washington, DC
Bank of America, Gateway Center, Charlotte, NC
Mint Museum of Craft + Design Permanent Collection, Charlotte, NC
Columbia Museum of Art & Science, Columbia, SC
Gerald Hines Partnership, Chemed Center, Cincinnati, OH
Milliken & Co. Permanent Collection, Spartanburg, SC
Spartanburg Museum, Spartanburg, SC
Hundreds of other public and private collections
Six Continents of Quilts, American Craft Museum, NY, NY, 2002
Objects for Use, American Craft Museum, NY, NY, 2001-2002
White House Collection, National Museum of American Art, 1995
Teacher: Penland School, Arrowmont, many national conferences
Mentor: AMBIT and other international internship programs
Juror: St. Louis Art Fair, Cherry Creek Arts Festival, American Craft Council, 5 years