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Wednesday, September 7, 2011

S.F.'s Heavy Metal Quilter Ben Venom Appears on NPR's All Things Considered

Posted By on Wed, Sep 7, 2011 at 8:30 AM

We were into Ben Venom before anybody. Well, OK, that's not true -- but we were into him before National Public Radio and the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts were.

In April we awarded Venom (a.k.a. Ben Baumgartner) and two other artists our annual Masterminds grants. We chose them from scores of applicants. Venom is the behind the heavy-metal fabrications that emphasize "fabric" -- simply put, he makes quilts from t-shirts of heavy metal bands.

Ben Venom shows textiles who's boss.
  • Ben Venom shows textiles who's boss.

But even if the product only has a niche market, it's picking up wider appeal as form of snuggleable art.

The seamster's works are featured in the Yerba Buena Center's "Bay Area Now 6" exhibition. And just a couple of days ago, Venom's voice -- interspersed with heavy-metal music clips -- hit the airwaves on NPR's weekend edition of All Things Considered.

Again, we were into him before, well, these other guys. If that makes us heavy-metal quilt hipsters, then rock on.

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Ellen Huet

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