In a career spanning over 40 years, Ellen Kochansky has actively promoted the arts, the preservation and extension of craft traditions, and environmentally responsible practices.

She founded The Rensing Center, a non-profit creative/environmental residency program, to further these goals and to connect the creative process to our need to live more gently on the earth. Her artistic practice is rooted in her experience as a textile artist, designer and quilter, and her work has always stretched those definitions to include experimental fiber and mixed-media art, public and private commissions as well as community-based and site-specific installations.

For her company, EKO, she designed and manufactured custom quilts from 1989 to 2004. She has been an American Craft Council trustee (1989-1993), a National Endowment for the Arts American Canvas panelist (1997), and a founding director of Ripple Effect Sustainable Design Group (1999-2001). She has twice been chosen craft fellow by the SCAC.

Ellen has shared her experience through teaching and workshops, including Penland, Arrowmont, and the Innovation Institute (McColl Center, Charlotte), and as a juror for national art shows such as Cherry Creek, Evanston, and American Craft Council, as well as South Carolina’s Governor’s Awards for the Arts. Her work is included in The Mint Museum, The American Museum of Art and Design in New York, and the White House collection, and she has been cited in various books, articles, and television programs, notably CBS Sunday Morning and the book Six Continents of Quilts.

Explore what we’ve created through our hands-on learning and art-making experiences, past and present.