Most recently, Phyllis Lear has begun to explore the fabric yo-yo (Suffolk Puff) as an art form. Traditionally used as a quilting technique, she appropriates the yo-yo as a module for building fine art pieces. Many of these quilted works speak to current events as well as personal experiences.
The women in Lear’s family – her sisters, mother, grandmother, and godmother are all excellent
seamstresses. Lear clearly recalls her Grandmother Lear hand-quilting in the middle of her tiny
living room – the quilt taking up nearly all of the available space.
Lear received the 2005 Visual Artist Fellowship from the Louisiana Division of the Arts and was
the recipient of the Donald F. Derby Endowed Professorship in 2017. She presently teaches at Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana.
Her work has been exhibited internationally and is in private collections from Toronto to New Orleans.