Wondrous Strange: An Alternative History in Embroidery, the inaugural exhibit for the 2024-2025 Arts and Music Department Call for Artists, features 18 embroidery pieces by Connie Toebe. Wondrous Strange: An Alternative History in Embroidery is on display on the 8th Floor of Harold Washington Library Center from February 11 to March 23.
Toebe finds artistic inspiration for her embroidery in old 19th century fashion prints and scientific illustrations, which she presents with a twist by creating quirky and whimsical worlds for those fashionable ladies to live in.
Toebe has been an artist since childhood, where she was introduced to coloring and drawing. She earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where she studied painting, photography and filmmaking. Her works include shadow puppets, online interactive storytelling and diorama boxes. However, her life took a big shift during the COVID-19 pandemic. During that time, Toebe discovered embroidery. It started as a way to pass the time, but quickly became a passion. Her whole artistic practice changed, and because of that passion, embroidery is her main media for self-expression today.