Photo Courtesy of Cat Schmitz


Fiber artist and award-winning designer Cat Schmitz will debut her “Much Needed Love” public and interactive art installation on Governors Island as part of ArtCrawl Harlem’s 2022 Boundaries & Connections Residency House at 406B Colonels Row from June 1- July 17, 2022.  “Much Needed Love” is an installation that explores courageous boundaries in the face of adversity and uncertainty. The theme of boundaries and connections resonates within the series of art offering respite and color as we blossom into a world in search of connection and creativity. Visitors will be transported into an explosively colorful and vibrant room full of patterns across several media: rugs, quilts, sculpture, and acrylic paintings.

Elements of installation and exhibit will include paintings, rugs, quilts and a cement sculpture. The public art component is a 5ft mountain sculpture which will be installed on the lawn of the residency house to greet visitors as they enter the “Much Needed Love” exhibit on the interior of the house. The sculptures, patterns and shapes within the series are particularly meaningful; The noodle evokes laughter and silliness, reminding us to be loose and playful. The ladder is inherently about finding your own ladder to climb and stop climbing someone else’s ladder. Clouds encourage a sense of wonderment and dreaming of what’s possible. The Dot is about comfort. It’s lumpy and uneven but it’s familiar and exists to let us take a pause and breathe for a minute before diving off into the unknown.

“Three years ago, I was sitting in a gray pantsuit wondering if this was it. Now I’m here pitching an installation for Governor’s Island. Now, I’m going for my own dreams on my terms,” shares Cat Schmitz. 

Attendees can meet Schmitz on Saturday, June 4th during the opening weekend “Much Need Love” Artist Talk when she will share her process and guide visitors through her installation.

Through her creative process, Schmitz explores themes of self-love, courageousness, and play in her work. She’s worked for companies such as Sesame Street, History Channel, Verizon, R/GA, and FJORD Design. She is currently a freelance Art Director at Sesame Street where she oversees digital experiences and games.

ArtCrawl Harlem Boundaries and Connections residency program recognizes the importance of artists having the space, freedom and resources to create. Ulysses Williams, ArtCrawl Harlem Executive Director states“The ability to return for a third season is a testament to the significant place that visual artists hold within our community as storytellers, dreamers and truth tellers. ArtCrawl Harlem offering space and time for artists to advance their work and careers is very important to us.”

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Cat Schmitz is a designer who creates patterns that channel the joy of being a seven-year-old romping around in the mud and the safety of getting a hug from someone you love. Her patterns live across textiles that are sewn into cuddly quilts, rugs that are just as much play as they are function, and wallpaper that brightens up any space.

Don’t mistake her bold and lively patterns for toxic positivity. Schmitz’s artwork is influenced by her experiences as a domestic abuse survivor and from a childhood plagued with addiction. Her work recognizes that the world can be a brutal place and that we all need safety, comfort, and love.

Schmitz is an accomplished and award-winning designer who has worked with brands like Sesame Street, History Channel, Verizon, R/GA, Facebook, Google, and more. She is currently a freelance Art Director at Sesame Street. She was the valedictorian of her MFA class at Parsons School of Design and was Magna Cum Laude in her undergraduate class at New York University.

Schmitz first debuted her colorful patterns at her solo show in 2019, called Be Your Own Queen. In 2021, she opened her studio doors to the public at Gowanus Open Studios where she unveiled her line of fabrics, rugs, and wallpapers. In 2022, Schmitz is expected to show her work on Governor’s Island and at the National Arts Club in Gramercy.


ArtCrawl Harlem was founded in 2008 as Harlem’s first trolley car guided art tour and later incorporated as an educational non-profit art gallery tour in 2016. ArtCrawl Harlem’s mission is to support and promote Harlem’s creative community and historical legacy through dynamic arts, cultural programs, and educational initiatives.

ArtCrawl Harlem promotes the exposure of professional and emerging artists, Harlem art galleries and cultural institutions.  The aim is to elevate Harlem on the greater metropolitan cultural map, while providing both education and quality experiences to visitors, tourists, and members of the community.

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