Poster Artist Information

Downtown Festival & Art Show Poster Features the art of Cindy Grisdela

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The 37th Annual Downtown Festival & Art Show is proud to present this year’s poster and T-shirt image by artist Cindy Grisdela.

Cindy Grisdela, from Reston, VA, is an award-winning fiber artist with over 30 years’ experience creating eye-catching quilts. She specializes in improvisational quilt designs and dense free motion quilting, and she travels extensively showing and selling her work at well-known fine art and fine craft shows all over the country, as well as teaching and lecturing to guilds and groups.

From her studio looking out over a lake, Cindy draws inspiration for her contemporary wall quilts from the view of nature outside her window. Her abstract art quilts are designed without a preconceived pattern, a little bit like jazz music, where each decision about color and shape influences the next.

The color is the first step. Putting colors together intuitively, Cindy uses fabric the way a painter might use paint to create graphic compositions that engage the viewer from a distance, yet invite a closer look.

The texture is the second step. The stitching lines provide contrast and dimension to the piece, integrating the different elements into a cohesive whole. Cindy does her stitching on a sewing machine, but it is entirely hand driven. There’s no computer program or marking ahead of time. She stitches the motifs freehand using the needle and thread of the machine like a pencil or a brush.

Cindy was born and raised in Gainesville, FL. Creating with various forms of fabric and thread has been a part of her life since her mother taught her to sew as a child, and she is self taught as a fiber artist, with lots of experimentation along the way. Her formal education includes a BA in Fine Arts from the College of William and Mary and an MBA from George Washington University.

Cindy’s work is represented by, and can be found in a number of private collections all over the country. She is a member of the Fiberworks Studio at the Torpedo Factory in Alexandria, VA, as well as the author of Artful Improv: Explore Color Recipes, Building Blocks & Free Motion Quilting, published by C&T Publishing.

For more information, please visit Cindy’s website and blog at or follow her on Instagram and Facebook @cindygrisdelaquilts

T-shirts and posters with Grisdela’s image will be available at the 2018 Downtown Festival & Art Show, which is Saturday, Dec. 1 from 10 a.m.-5 p.m., and Sunday, Dec. 2 from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. The festival fills historic downtown Gainesville, from City Hall to the Hippodrome Theatre, with art, fine cuisine and live music on four stages. A collection of 240 of the nation’s top artists will display their original oils and acrylics, vibrant watercolors, breathtaking sculptures, elegant jewelry, decorative ceramics and stunning photography. Children can also create their own masterpieces at the “Imagination Station,” which offers a vast selection of free, hands-on art activities. Visit for more information or call the City of Gainesville Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department at 352-334-ARTS, and like us on Facebook at

For additional information about this year’s poster, please contact Sunshine Andrei, Event Coordinator, at or 352-393-8536.