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Born in Oregon, Juanita (Mia) Morgan, has lived in the Midwest most of her life residing in both Kansas and Missouri. Morgans’ love of art began at the age of fourteen when she began drawing cartoons and portraits. By the age of 16 she attended vocational school with a focus on graphic design, layout design, and printing. Over the years Morgan has continued her professional development as an artist by studying under other artists in the Kansas City Metro Area. Her career has provided her opportunities to explore her creative side in unique ways from her position as a Tri-Chem distributor/instructor to memorial design.
In 2011, when a tornado destroyed a neighboring community, Morgan decided to collect jeans for the victims and families in Joplin, MO. She was overwhelmed by the response and collected over 14 truck loads of denim pants in various sizes and conditions. Morgan began quilting with the fabric from the jeans that were not unusable for wear. She was so inspired by the unique stitching designs and embellishments that she discovered in the various pieces. Morgan now considers herself a fiber artist using primarily recycled and repurposed denim to create her unique art pieces.
Repurposing what would normally be discarded, Morgan is able to incorporate the various elements of the found materials into her compositions. Labels, rivets, zippers, seams, and buttons can all be found in her fiber paintings. In just five short years she has been able to repurpose more than 5,000 pairs of jeans. For Morgan, the opportunity to take otherwise unwanted and unusable items and turn them into a work of art that can adorn the walls of her patrons around the world gives her great joy."There is no such thing as "away." When we throw something away it must go somewhere." – Annie Leonard
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