Paducah Welcomes Ian Berry, Textile Artist from the UK

At first glance, you may look at Ian Berry’s collection “Art in Denim” and think you are seeing blue-toned photographs or indigo-colored oil paintings. In reality, what you see before you are many layers and shades of denim jeans. Up close, you would become aware of the depth and texture and see how each small piece of denim has been considered and crafted out of jeans with washes and fades which help to create that painterly tone.

“Art in Denim” began after Ian noticed a pile of old jeans took note of the contrasting shades of blue. Throw in some scissors and glue, and Ian soon transformed to one of the most talked about young artists. UK’s Daily Mail calls him a “Jean-ius”. He’s also earned worldwide recognition by Art Business News as a “Top 30 Artists Under 30 in the World.”

The American Quilter’s Society (AQS) and Paducah Arts Alliance (PAA) have joined forces to bring Ian’s work to Paducah. Ian arrived on April 8 and will be here collaborating with a number of local organizations through April 22.

“The online community led me to be invited here, but give me this real community any day. I have met the most amazing, warm, and kind people you could imagine. They all have come to hear me speak and do lectures, but in truth it’s I who am amazed by them and their brilliant community.”

As a young, male textile artist, Ian wants to attract and inspire young people and help them to open their imagination beyond any preconceived concepts they may have about textile art.  He spent his first week In Paducah interacting with art students at Paducah Tilghman High School, McCracken County High School, and the Paducah School of Art and Design. Goodwill and Salvation Army donated more than 60 pairs of jeans for student projects, and Ian arranged for Cone Denim, the historic denim mill in North Carolina, to send a shipment of selvedge denim scraps.

“The students enjoy working with denim jeans–something that they are very familiar with as clothing–and turning the denim into an artwork,” said Berry.

See Ian Berry’s Work

This week Ian takes the stage as a featured artist at AQS QuiltWeek– Spring Paducah. Art in Denim by Ian Berry will be one of the Special Quilt Exhibits on display April 18-21. Ian’s work is located on the first floor of the Convention Center and will be open with the purchase of show admission Wednesday-Friday, April 18-20, 9 AM-6 PM,  and Saturday, April 21, 9 AM-4 PM.

To learn more about Ian, visit his website at or follow him on social media.