The Hell of Persistent Pretending

video by Colleen Harvey


Maggy Rozycki Hiltner was born in 1975 and grew up in Pennsylvania. She comes from a family of makers: her mother and grandmothers needlepointed pillows, made quilts, and stitched or knitted their clothes and toys; her father built odd things, cooked outrageous meals, and painted murals in their home. She earned a BFA in Sculpture with a concentration in Fibers from Syracuse University and was a Studio Assistant at Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts in Gatlinburg, Tennessee.

Rozycki Hiltner is a full-time artist living with her husband and two daughters in Red Lodge, Montana. Her work has been included in numerous national and international exhibitions in museums and galleries, and has been published in the US and abroad.

artist statement

One of my favorite activities when visiting a new city is to scour the antique shops for embroidery. I collect mainly flowers and foliage but am especially drawn to the animals that are meant to be cute but instead come off with a sinister snarkiness. There’s a sadness to antique shops, and for me, especially in the embroidery - the many hours that were devoted to stitching these now discarded treasures. I like to think that in using these found bits and pieces in my work, I’m giving them a new life, a way to be precious once more. And I’m fascinated by how memory works. Why do some scenes and stories stick and others are only vaguely available to me? Why are some of my most recurring memories so emotionally charged while others are thoroughly mundane. I’ve found that in recreating these moments in my work, they change in how I hold them in my mind. My hope is that if the image I’ve created feels true, it will transmute for the viewer, evoke a recognition in them. Our anxieties, insecurities, joys and pains are oddly common. ‘Is it autobiography if parts of it are not true? Is it fiction if parts of it are?’---Lynda Barry I love to create images that at first appear whimsical or vibrantly happy but on closer inspection are not quite so. Sometimes it’s a malicious undertone to the relationships, or a lack of self-control on the part of the characters, or maybe an otherworldlyness hidden in the everyday. I like how this subtext works against the comfortable and innocuous medium of fabric and stitching.

I’ve tasked myself with questioning the artifacts of my culture by changing their context and content. Working with handmade remnants of the past, I repurpose them to comment on the present.

Working in found materials, I employ a multitude of anonymous assistants. I try to celebrate and elevate their abandoned handwork.

solo exhibitions

2020 Maggy Rozycki Hiltner Reuben Saunders Gallery, Wichita, KS Vantage Point Amelia Center Gallery, Gulf Coast State College, Panama City, FL 2019 Vantage Point Robert Hillestad Textiles Gallery, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE What Lies Beneath Emerson Center for Arts and Culture, Bozeman, MT Vantage Point Holter Museum of Art, Helena, MT 2018 Vantage Point San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles, San Jose, CA Not Quite Sew Ruth Funk Center for Textile Arts, Melbourne, FL 2017 Vantage Point BNY Satellite Gallery, Contemporary Craft, Pittsburgh, PA What Lies Beneath Missoula Art Museum, Missoula, MT 2016
Vantage Point
Lawrence Arts Center, Lawrence, KS

Vantage Point
Yellowstone Art Museum, Billings, MT

Vantage Point
Mesa Art Center, Mesa, AZ
tart Gallery, Bozeman, MT

Familiar Faces
Gallery of Visual Arts, University of Montana, Missoula, MT
Summer Providence
tart Gallery, Bozeman, MT
Cruel Truths/Kind Lies
Toucan Gallery, Billings, MT 2009
Familiar Faces
Tinlark Gallery, Los Angeles, CA 2008
The Seditious Stitch
The Center, Hailey, ID 2007
One Way Or The Other
Steckline Gallery, Newman University, Wichita, KS 2005
Maggy Rozycki Hiltner
Urban Institute for Contemporary Art, Grand Rapids, MI

Sweet and Strange Narratives
Earle Wright Gallery, Cowley College, Arkansas City, KS 2004
Domestic Plastic
Friendship Gallery, McPherson College, McPherson, KS

Subversive Stitches
Western Illinois University Art Gallery, Macomb, IL 2003
Domestic Plastic
Steckline Gallery, Newman University, Wichita, KS 2002
Maggy Rozycki Hiltner
Trish Higgins Fine Art, Wichita, KS 2001
Clayton Staples Gallery, Wichita State University, Wichita, KS 1999
Mixed Media Textiles
The Wellness Center, Billings, MT 1998
Few, Some, Many: Stitched Imagery and Sculpture
Northwest Gallery, Powell, WY 1997
Symbols and Vestments
Westcott Community Center, Syracuse, NY

selected exhibitions

2020 Hindsight Is 2020 Emerge Gallery & Art Center, Greenville, NC Broad Spectrum 2020 Northcutt Steele Gallery, Montana State University, Billings, MT Quarantine Amelia Center Gallery, Gulf Coast State College, Panama City, FL North x Northwest Biennial: Women’s Work Yellowstone Art Museum, Billings, MT Aloft SAQA Global Exhibition, Long Beach, CA 2019


Valley Art Center, Chagrin Falls, OH

Small Works: SDA Member Show

Contemporary Art Projects, Webster University, St. Louis, MO

North X Northwest

Yellowstone Art Museum, Billings, MT

Form, Not Function: Quilt Art at the Carnegie

Carnegie Center for Art & History, New Albany, IN

Fiberart International

Contemporary Craft, Pittsburgh, PA

Conceptual Realism

SAGE Community Arts, Sheridan, WY

2018 Reinterpretation as Resistance SJSU Art Galleries, San Jose, CA Speaking Volumes: Transforming Hate Holter Museum of Art, Helena, MT Making Change: The Art and Craft of Activism Museum of Design Atlanta, Atlanta, GA Montana Found Radius Gallery, Missoula, MT Salina Biennial: Contemporary Art from the Mountain-Plains Region Salina Art Center, Salina, KS 2017
Subversive/Domestic Shenandoah Valley Art Center, Waynesboro, VA Small Works: SDA at 40 Oregon College of Art and Craft, Portland, OR Art of Time National Watch and Clock Museum, Columbia, PA Hindsight: Four Alumni SUArt Galleries, Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY txt me
Alice C. Sabatini Art Gallery, Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library Topeka, KS 2016
Social Justice: It Happens to One, It Happens to All
St. Mary's College Museum of Art, Morago, CA

Breaking Bread
Stapleton Gallery, Billings, MT

Uncommon Threads: a Celebration of Fiber Arts
Bigfork Art & Cultural Center, Big Fork, MT

Fool's Paradise
Turman Larison Contemporary, Helena, MT

Complex: the Art in Mixed Media
Embroiderer’s Guild of America Headquarters, Louisville, KY

Notions: New Work by Maggy Rozycki Hiltner & Shalene Valenzuela
tart Gallery, Bozeman, MT

Extreme Fibers: Textile Icons and New Edge
The Dennos Museum Center, Traverse City, MI
Extreme Fibers: Textile Icons and the New Edge
Muskegon Museum of Art, Muskegon, MI

Visaural: Sight, Sound and Action
Nave Gallery, Sommerville, MA

Kansas City Artists Coalition, Kansas City, MO

A Common Thread: Stitching and Embroidery
San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles, San Jose, CA 2014
Quilt Visions Biennial 2014
Vision Arts Museum, San Diego, CA Art We Use
Dairy Barn Arts Center, Athens, OH Focus: Fiber 2014
Erie Art Museum, Erie, PA
The Connective Thread: Wearable to Sculptural Fibers
Gandee Gallery, Fabius, NY

Sweet Corn Suckers and Hot Honey Bears: David Hiltner and Maggy Rozycki Hiltner
Turman Larison, Helena, MT
BAM Biennial 2012: High Fiber Diet
Bellevue Arts Museum, Bellevue, WA

DIAMOND LEAVES: Artist Books From Around the World
Central Academy of Fine Arts Museum, Beijing, China

Love Letters
tart Gallery, Bozeman, MT

Material Matters
Peerless Gallery & Worksite, Omaha, NE

In Stitches
Long Beach Island Foundation of the Arts and Sciences, Loveladies, NJ

"And then..." Narratives by Pattie Chalmers, Gerit Grimm, and Maggy Rozycki Hiltner
Lillstreet Art Center, Chicago, IL 2011
Rocky Mountain Textile Exhibition
Nicolaysen Museum, Casper, WY Green: the Color and the Cause
The Textile Museum, Washington, DC

Textile Arts Center, New York, NY

Girls Girls Girls
Jenkins Johnson Gallery, New York, NY 2010
Turman Larison Contemporary, Helena, MT

Stitch: Modern Embroidery
Haydon Art Center, Lincoln, NE

By Design: Threads
Custer County Art Center, Miles City, MT

Out of the Wild
Art Star, Philadelphia, PA

More Than Fiber: A Creative Approach to Material
Goggleworks Center for the Arts, Reading, PA 2009
Generously Odd: Craft Now
Lexington Art League, Lexington, KY

XX/4 Fisch Haus Invitational

Fisch Haus, Wichita, KS


NURTUREart Gallery, New York, NY

It’s just like I’ve always been there

My House Gallery, Philadelphia, PA

Raised in Craftivity

Wignall Museum, Chaffey College, Rancho Cucamonga, CA


Paper Jam

My House Gallery, Philadelphia, PA

Figuratively Speaking

Visions Art Museum, San Diego, CA

Time Flies

Tinlark Gallery, Los Angeles, CA


2020 Tony Simmons. "The Artist's Touch: Sewing a 'Vantage Point' for the world" Panama City News Herald (Feb 25) Anna Paige. "Fabric artist Maggy Hiltner pokes through quilting stereotypes" Billings Gazette (Jan 17) 2019

L. Kent Wolgamott. “Embroidered cloth panel Hillestad Gallery installation takes smart look at environmental destruction” Lincoln Journal Star (Oct 31)

Allyssa Gutierrez. “Artist displays alarming environmental trends”

The Daily Nebraskan (Oct 8)

Ryan Berry. “Inaugural North X Northwest to showcase…”

Billings Gazette (Sept 12)

Staff Writer, “Enjoy guide: Then & Now”

Billings Gazette (June 12)

Jo Anne Triplett. Form Not Function: Quilt Art at the Carnegie”

LEO Weekly (May 22)

Jeremy Chisenhall. “…‘Form, Not Function’ exhibit highlights innovation in quiltmaking” Insider Louisville (May 2)

Staff Writer. "True to Form: Contemporary Quilts Come to Carnegie Center"

News and Tribune (May 9)

Rachel Hergett. “…Hiltner pushing boundaries of folk art”

Bozeman Daily Chronicle (Feb 8)

Marga Lincoln. “Helena’s Holter Museum of Art to feature 2 new shows”

Independent Record (Jan 10)

2018 Excellence In Fibers Catalog Fiber Art Now, Vol 8 Issue 2 Winter 2018/2019, p 45 Art Beat. “ Speaking Volumes: Helena exhibit challenges bigotry” Lively Times (Oct 30) Ellen Fischer. “A wrinkle of irony….” Melbourne Beach Insider, Issue 27 (July 5) pp 11-12 Mary Chamberlain Harlan. "Craftivism…” Metal Magazine, August Mary Beth Vallar. “The Fabric of Life” Vero Beach Magazine, August Cory Walsh. “In ‘Montana Found’, objects are imbued with new meanings” The Missoulian (Mar 8) 2017 Jaci Webb. “Red Lodge artist Maggy Rozycki Hiltner asks ‘Why So Serious?” Billings Gazette (Oct 24) Jeff Rose. “…Vantage Point arrives in downtown Pittsburgh” LOCAL Pittsburgh (Oct 19) Danielle M. Antonetti, “What Lies Beneath” Missoula Valley Lifestyle (July), pp 24-30 Erika Frederickson. “…reconstitutes the symbols of American quilting” Missoula Independent (May 25) Cory Walsh. “Sharp Message, Soft Material” The Missoulian (Jun 16) 2016
Shirley Kay Wolfersperger. "Complex: The Art in Mixed Media"
Needlearts, Volume 47, Number 3, June 2016
Jaci Webb. "Billings, Red Lodge artists among state innovation award winners"
Billings Gazette (Dec 21)

Jaci Webb. "Red Lodge artist Hiltner is new Artist-in Residence at YAM’s Visible Vault"
Billings Gazette (Sept 10)

Kristi Niemeyer. "Congrats to..."
Montana Arts Council State of the Arts (July/Aug) p3

Melissa Campana. "Vantage Point"
Phoenix New Times (Aug 13)

Nic Wiesinger. “Vantage Point at Mesa Arts Center”
The Arts Beacon (June 19)

Image. “Providence”
Shuttle, Spindle & Dyepot (Issue 182, Spring 2015) p.51
Junko Yazaki, editor. "Maggy Rozycki Hiltner"
Stitch Show BNN, Tokyo, Japan (July) Staff Writer "Two Fiber Art Exhibits at UM"
The Missoulian (March 8)
Sharie Pyke "Art Auction 45...What artists say"
The Billings Outpost (Feb 28)
Alexis M. Adams "Textile Twist"
Big Sky Journal, Arts 2012 pp 120-125
Sally Deskins "Well Crafted Collaboration"
The Reader, Omaha (May 27)
Brigitte Martin "Essay by Jill Foote-Hutton"
Humor In Craft, Schiffer Publishing, (March)
Alexis M. Adams "Maggy Rozycki Hiltner"
Yellowstone Valley Woman (Dec/Jan) pp 34-37
Janet Koplos "The Meaning of Green"
American Craft (Aug/Sep) pp 26-27
Susan Stamberg "Celebrating Green: As Color, As Concept, As Cause"
NPR (April 20)
"Fiber artist puts new spin on homespun"
Billings Gazette (Feb 12)
Ashley McLean Emenegger. "Season Openers" Editors' Picks
THE magazine (Sept)

Stacy Davies. "Macrame Made Hip"
Inland Empire Weekly, (Feb)
Rachel Abrahamson. "Dreamweavers, The substance of textile arts"
Boise Weekly (April 2)

Karen Bossick. "One Way or the Other - a unique look at nostalgia"
The Wood River Journal (Feb 19)

Laura Caruso. "Maggy Rozycki Hiltner at The Center, Hailey"
SunValleyonline (Feb 15)

public collections

National Watch and Clock Museum, Columbia, PA

Ruth Funk Center for Textile Arts, Melbourne, FL

University of Iowa Children’s Hospital, Iowa City, IA

Yellowstone Art Museum, Billings, MT

© 2020 Maggy Rozycki Hiltner, Sophie Hiltner