Biography

A woman with brown hair, glasses and a black shirt smiles at the camera. In the background is an art piece with vertical stripes in magenta, brown and gray.

Christine Hager-Braun creates contemporary abstract fiber art from fabric and thread focusing on the themes of resilience, determination, and the importance of our emotional well-being.

The inspiration for her fiber art is rooted in the artist’s own history but more so in the stories shared by others about their experiences with mental health problems, chronic illness, and invisible disabilities.

Having suffered from depression and chronic daily migraines herself as well as having witnessed the long and painful battles of family members allows Hager-Braun to address the topics of her art with a first-hand experience, with a sincere wish to change the taboo in our society, and the genuine empathy for those who struggle.

Yet Hager-Braun’s work does not focus on the pain, the darkness, or the shame but instead emphasizes possible ways to cope, to adapt, and to enjoy life by holding on to hope, accepting change, and finding balance.

The support from family, friends and health care professionals fostered the artist’s courage to be vulnerable, and to move from suffering in silence and isolation to becoming an outspoken ally. Hager-Braun aims to educate, advocate and normalize the dialog around these taboo topics using her art made from soft fabric as entry point for hard conversations.

Hager-Braun exhibits her fiber art in juried solo and group exhibitions on a regional, national and international (Taiwan) level. She won awards in a variety of exhibitions, she is the two-time recipient of the Grant for Emerging Artist presented by the Durham Arts Council (Durham, NC) and the Artists Support Grant awarded by the Durham Arts Council together with the North Carolina Arts Council. The artist is represented by the Gallery of the Hillsborough Arts Council (NC) and the Piedmont Craftsmen Gallery (NC); her work can be found in national and international (Canada, England, Germany and Spain) private as well as corporate and hospital collections.

Christine Hager-Braun is originally from Germany and holds a MS in Biology and a PhD in Biochemistry, both from the University of Regensburg, Germany. In 1999, she moved to the US to pursue a career as scientist in HIV research but became a full-time artist in 2006. Currently, the artist lives in Durham, NC, together with her husband and their three rescue dogs.

Artist Statement

My current abstract art revolves around the themes of resilience, positive mindset, and inner strength.

My artistic exploration starts with conversations about mental health problems, chronic illness or invisible disabilities. The more I open up about my own experiences, the more others share. I try to capture the spirit of our exchange, the raw feelings, but also the approaches of coping, the aspects of healing, the small victories of daily life.

In my studio practice I then select one element, one thought or emotion, and turn it into a visualization of the energy the conversation conveyed to me. I depict the energy through the choice of colors, through the degree of fragmentation of the lines, through the orientation of the lines either vertically or horizontally.

Fiber art piece "Shared Experiences" with overlapping ovals in denim blue, brown and teal on beige background
Shared Experiences, Fiber, 24 x 36 x 1.75 in

As we face opposing forces in our lives – joy and sorrow, harmony and conflict, hope and despair – my art often has a juxtaposition of light and dark colors. But as there is rarely a clear-cut path through life, the shapes in my work do not have hard edges. Instead, they are only an approximation, a best effort, the deliberate embrace of imperfection.

Working with my hands, selecting and manipulating fabrics, sewing little pieces together, assembling many voices into one bigger story fosters my own continuous reflection on my past and my present but more than that allows me to share universal lessons stemming from individual pain and personal triumphs.

Two decades ago, I used my creativity to express myself visually when I did not have words in the silence, isolation and darkness of my depression. Now I speak openly about my and other people’s experiences and hope to provide visual encouragement through my art to promote a dialog about mental health, chronic illness, and invisible disabilities.

Resume

(You can find my full-length Curriculum Vitae as a PDF-file: CV-2024)

JURIED SOLO EXHIBITIONS

Quilting for Mental Health, Virginia Quilt Museum, Harrisonburg, VA, 2024
Shared Experiences – Making the Invisible Visible
, Cary Art Center Gallery, Cary, NC, 2024
Embracing Imperfections,
Overcash Gallery, Central Piedmont Community College, Charlotte, NC, 2022
Alchemy of Resilience
, Campbell House Galleries, Arts Council of Moore County, Southern Pines, NC, 2019
Peace of Mind, Allenton Gallery of the Durham Arts Council, Durham, NC 2017
Layers of Life, Page-Walker Arts & History Center, Cary, NC, 2015
Looking Closely, Ella Fountain Pratt Legacy Gallery, Durham Arts Council, Durham, NC, 2012
Artquilts – Emotions in Fiber, Herb Young Community Center, Cary, NC, 2008    

INVITATIONAL EXHIBITIONS

Celebrating 60 Years of Fine Craft, Piedmont Craftsmen Gallery, Winston-Salem, NC, 2024
Reflections – a Group Exhibition by Threads, curated by Christine Hager-Braun, Campbell Galleries at the Arts Council of Moore County, Southern Pines, NC, 2023
Insight, 3-Person exhibition with Paper Artist Audrey Pinto and Photo Sculptor Mar Hester, Eno Arts Mill Gallery, Hillsborough, NC, 2022
Winter Show 2017
 – GreenHill Center for North Carolina Art, Greensboro, NC, 2017/2018
Filaments of the Imagination – A Group Show by Threads, Semans Gallery of the Durham Arts Council, Durham, NC, 2017
Threads Connections – Exhibition of the Threads Textile Study Group, Frankie G. Weems Gallery, Meredith College, Raleigh, NC, 2014
ARTQUILTSrivers (juried invitational)
    National Tainan Living Arts Center, Taiwan, 2012
    Taichung County Culture Center, Taichung, Taiwan, 2012
    East Carolina University, Gray Gallery, Greenville, NC, 2013
    Cary Arts Center, Cary, NC, 2013
Here and Now – There and Then, Block Gallery, Raleigh, NC, 2012 (juried invitational)
More Than Just the Sum, Featured Artist (juried invitational), Visual Art Exchange – Exchange Gallery, Raleigh, NC, 2011
Brighten my Day, Office of the City Attorney of Durham, Durham, NC, 2011
Autumn Harvest, Southeastern Community College, Whiteville, NC, 2011
Books II by the Threads Textile Study Group, Page-Walker Arts & History Center, Cary, NC, 2010      

SELECTED JURIED EXHIBITIONS

A Celebration of the ADA, Arts Access Gallery, Raleigh, NC, 2024
Piedmont Craftsmen New Members, Piedmont Craftsmen Gallery, Winston-Salem, NC, 2024
Sew to Speak, BlackRock Center for the Arts, Germantown, MD, 2024
UpstART Gallery: a Jim Lee Project, UpstART Gallery in conjunction with Pop Box Gallery and The Art Chose Me, Durham, NC, 2023
Scaffold
Artspace, Raleigh, NC, 2023
Handcrafted, Maria V. Howard Arts Center, Rocky Mount, NC, 2023
Textile Expressionism,
Virtual Exhibition by the Studio Art Quilt Associates, 2022
Harmony,
Broadway Galleries, Alexandria, VA, 2022
FRESH 2022,
Artspace, Raleigh, NC, 2022
DAG’s 67th Annual Juried Exhibition,
 Durham Art Guild, Durham, NC, 2021
Words Fail, Virtual Exhibition by the Studio Art Quilt Associates, 2021
Intertwined 2020: Contemporary Southeastern Fiber Art, Quinlan Visual Arts Center, Gainesville, GA, and Turner Center for the Arts, Valdosta, GA, 2020
The Art of Mental Health,
Rubenstein Art Center, Duke University, Durham, NC 2019/2020
Sacred Threads
, Floris United Methodist Church, Herndon, VA, 2019
Sacred Threads – Traveling Exhibition, various venues in the US, 2019 – 2021
Sacred Threads, Floris United Methodist Church, Herndon, VA, 2017
Contemplation and Compassion – Artwork by Meredith Bridges and Christine Hager-Braun, Hillsborough Arts Council, Hillsborough, NC, 2017
62nd Annual Juried Exhibition of the Durham Art Guild, SunTrust Gallery, Durham, NC, 2016
Niche Awards Finalists Gallery, American Crafts Show, Washington, DC, 2016
2015 Handcrafted, Maria V. Howard Arts Center, Rocky Mount, NC, 2015
Material Matters, Union Street Gallery, Chicago Heights, IL, 2014
B14 – Wiregrass Biennial, Wiregrass Museum of Art, Dothan, AL, 2014
Layers of Nature (2-Person Show), Gallery of the Hillsborough Arts Council, Hillsborough, NC, 2013
7Stitch: Contemporary Textile Art from Kentucky and Surrounding States, Claypool-Young Art Gallery, Morehead State University, Morehead, KY, 2013
Art Quilt Elements 2012, Wayne Arts Center, Wayne, PA, 2012
Texture and Pattern, Fredericksburg Center of the Creative Arts, Fredericksburg, VA, 2011
Wayne County’s 32nd National Juried Fine Arts Exhibition, Arts Council of Wayne County, Goldsboro, NC, 2011
Sixth Annual Fiber Arts Festival, Sixth Street Gallery, Vancouver, WA, 2010
30 Small Works, Gallery Up, Rock Hill, SC, 2010
Wayne County’s 31st National Juried Fine Arts Exhibition, The Arts Council of Wayne County, Goldsboro, NC, 2010

SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS

Reflections – Exhibition by VA and NC Members of the Studio Art Quilt Associates,
Page-Walker Arts and History Center, Cary, NC 2024
– Petersburg Area Art League, Petersburg, VA, 2023
2023 Durham Art Guild Members’ Showcase,
Truist Gallery, Durham, NC, 2023
2017 Durham Art Guild Members’ Showcase
, SunTrust Gallery, Durham, NC, 2017
2016 Durham Art Guild Members’ Showcase, SunTrust Gallery, Durham, NC, 2016
2015 Durham Art Guild Members’ Showcase, SunTrust Gallery, Durham, NC, 2015
Living with Art: real art for real people (SAQA Regional Exhibition), Chantilly, VA, 2014
ARTQUILTSconnections, Curated Members Exhibition of the Professional Art Quilters Alliance – South, Page Walker Arts & History Center, Cary, NC, 2014
2014 Durham Art Guild Members’ Showcase, SunTrust Gallery, Durham, NC, 2014
In.ter.face: Connections (SDA Members Exhibition), SaySi Gallery, San Antonio, TX, 2013
ARTQUILTSfreezeframe, Curated Members Exhibition of the Professional Art Quilters Alliance – South, Page Walker Arts & History Center, Cary, NC, 2013
Merge and Flow, SDA Members Exhibition, Katherine E. Nash Gallery, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis Campus, MN, 2011
No Fear, Curated Members Exhibition of the Professional Art Quilters Alliance – South, Page Walker Arts & History Center, Cary, NC, 2010
Miniatures Exhibition, The Hillsborough Arts Council and Gallery, Hillsborough, NC, 2010

COMMISSIONS

3 Torah Covers and One Parochet for a Synagogue in Cary, NC, 2021
3 Torah Covers and One Silk Parochet for a Synagogue in Cary, NC, 2017
4 Art Quilts “Leaves of Trees Native to Minnesota” commissioned for St. Mary’s Hospital, in Rochester, MN, 2015/16
3 Art Quilts “Symbols of Longevity” commissioned for the Jacobson Building in Rochester, MN, 2013
Art Quilts for private collectors

GALLERY REPRESENTATION

Piedmont Craftsmen Gallery, Winston-Salem, NC, 2024
Gallery and Gift Shop of the Hillsborough Arts Council, Hillsborough, NC, 2013 – present

GRANTS

Artist Support Grant 2022-2023 presented by the Durham Arts Council and the NC Arts Council, 2023
Grant for Emerging Artists 2011-2012 presented by the Durham Arts Council, Durham, NC, 2011
Grant for Emerging Artists 2007-2008 presented by the Durham Arts Council, Durham, NC, 2007

AWARDS

Gallery Choice Award ARTQUILTSconnections, Page-Walker Arts & History Center, Cary, NC, 2014
Award for 2nd place B14 – Wiregrass Biennial (juried), Wiregrass Museum of Art, Dothan, AL, 2014
Award for 2nd place Texture and Pattern (juried), Fredericksburg Center of the Creative Arts, Fredericksburg, VA, 2011
Honorable Mention, Wayne County’s 32nd National Juried Fine Arts Exhibition, Arts Council of Wayne County, Goldsboro, NC, 2011

PUBLICATIONS

Catalog for Sew to Speak Exhibition, 2024
Curated Quilts Journal Linear 2.0, Issue 24
Apply Yourself to Solo Exhibitions – contributing text for the article, SAQA Journal 2023 Vol. 33 No. 3
Online Catalog for Reflection – SAQA Regional Exhibition at https://www.saqa.com/art/exhibitions/reflections-saqa-regional, 2023
SAQA Art Quilt Quarterly, Issue No. 20, 2020
Catalog for Sacred Threads 2019
Catalog for Sacred Threads 2017
SAQA Journal, the Quarterly Journal of the Studio Art Quilt Associates, Vol 26/1, 2016
Catalog for Art Quilt Elements 2012
Catalog for the Taiwan International Quilt Exhibition 2012

PRESS

“Insight featuring Audrey Pinto with guest artists Christine Hager-Braun and Mar Hester”, video produced and published by the Orange County Arts Commission with videography by Bourne to Film, August 18, 2022, Hillsborough, NC
“Central Piedmont Community College in Charlotte, NC, Features Work by Christine Hager-Braun”, Carolina Arts Magazine, Issue August 2022, page 13
“Orange County Arts Commission in Hillsborough, NC, Offers Group Exhibit”, Carolina Arts Magazine, Issue August 2022, page 27
“Rising Stars: Meet Christine Hager-Braun” VoyageRaleigh Magazine, online publication 08-24-2021
Arts Council Presents Fabric Art, Photography Exhibits, The Pilot, 09-04-2019, Southern Pines, NC
Art Quilts and Judy Keene’s ‘abstract windows’, by art critic Blue Greenberg, Herold Sun, May 05, 2017 (online edition)
Carolina Arts Magazine, Issue March 2017, pg 41
“Fiber Finalist”, News & Observer, 12-20-2015, Raleigh, NC
UNC-TV’s North Carolina Weekend, 10-10-2013, Research Triangle Park, NC
“Art Through a Scientific Lens”, Herold Sun, 03-23-2012, Durham, NC

PRESENTATIONS

Invited speaker for the lecture “Embracing Imperfection”, Central Piedmont Community College, Charlotte, NC, September 14, 2022
Invited speaker for the SAQA annual conference (initially scheduled for Toronto, Canada, then held as a virtual conference), March 21, 2020
Invited panelist for the discussion “The Art of Mental Health”, Rubenstein Art Center at Duke University, Durham, NC, December 6, 2019
Invited speaker at “A Light Within” Artist Salon, Arts Council of Moore County, Southern Pines, NC, September 12, 2019
Featured artist at “Salon: An Evening of Arts and Culture”, Page-Walker Arts & History Center, Cary, NC, November 6, 2015
Layers of Life – Artist Talk for the Duke Campus Club “Art Adventures”
Lectures at various quilt guilds, 2015 – present

PROFESSIONAL ACTIVITIES

For the Professional Art Quilters Alliance – South:
Elected Vice President April 2014 – April 2015
Elected Board Member January 2013 – April 2014
Elected President April 2007 – April 2009
Acting President pro tempora February 2007 – April 2007
Vice President pro tempora Spring 2006 – February 2007
Curator for ARTQUILTSreflections, Members Exhibition of PAQA-South 2008
Member of the Exhibition Committee for ARTQUILTSwhimsy (2014), ARTQUILTSfreezeframe (2013), ARTQUILTSilluminations (2010)

For the Studio Art Quilt Associates:
Translation Liaison, 2014 – present
Member of the Membership Committee 2013 – present

Other:
Juror for the 2021 exhibition “Favorite Quotes” by the Art Quilt Association of Grand Junction, CO
Juror for Senior Games 2017, Category Heritage Arts, Durham, NC
Juror for Lazy Dayz 2014, organized by the Town of Cary, Cary, NC
Juror for Durham CenterFest 2013, organized by the Durham Arts Council, Durham, NC

PROFESSIONAL AFFILIATIONS

Studio Art Quilt Associates, Member since 2013
Durham Art Guild, Member since 2013
Hillsborough Arts Council, Member since 2013
Threads, the Textile Study Group of the Meredith College, Raleigh, NC, Member since 2008 (invitational)

EDUCATION

Ph.D. in Biochemistry, University of Regensburg, Germany, magna cum laude, 1997
M.S. in Biology, University of Regensburg, Germany, 1994

Press and Publications

Carolina Arts

“Cary Art Center in Cary, NC, Offers Works by Christine Hager-Braun”

July Issue, 2024, page 30

Carolina Arts

“Central Piedmont Community College in Charlotte, NC, Features Works by Christine Hager-Braun”

August Issue, 2022, page 13

Carolina Arts August Edition Page 13

Orange County Arts Commission with videography by Bourne to Film

“Insight featuring Audrey Pinto with guest artists Christine Hager-Braun and Mar Hester”,

Video released August 18, 2022, Hillsborough, NC

Artists Christine Hager-Braun, Mar Hester and Audrey Pinto
Artists Christine Hager-Braun (left), Mar Hester (center) and Audrey Pinto (right)

Carolina Arts

“Orange County Arts Commission in Hillsborough, NC, Offers Group Exhibit”
 
August Issue, 2022, page 27
Article in Carolina Arts - Edition 822 - page 27

Art Quilt Quarterly

by Studio Art Quilt Associates 

“Sales Robust at Art Quilts Elements”

Issue No 20, 2020, page 12-14

Northern Red Oak
More Than Just the Sum: Northern Red Oak, Fiber, 24.5 x 18.5 in

The Pilot, Southern Pines, NC

Vol 99, No 71, September 4, 2019

“Arts Council Presents Fabric Art, Photography Exhibits”

Progression #1, Fiber, 38 x 51 in

Sacred Threads 2019

Quilts about Joy, Inspiration, Spirituality, Healing, Grief, and Peace & Brotherhood

Exhibition Catalog, page 60

Illumination #1
“Illumination #1”
Illumination #1, Fiber, 48 x 36 in

Sacred Threads 2017

Quilts about Joy, Inspiration, Spirituality, Healing, Grief, and Peace & Brotherhood

Exhibition Catalog, page 171

Wall of Depression by Christine Hager-Braun
Wall of Depression, Fiber, 43.5×43.5×2 in

The News & Observer, Durham/Raleigh, NC

“Fiber Finalist”

Arts Section, December 20, 2015

Sunset #2 by Christine Hager-Braun
Sunset #2, Fiber, 25.5 x 50.5 in
Lavender Fields #5 by Christine Hager-Braun
Lavender Fields #5, Fiber, 21 x 31 in

Art Quilts Elements

Exhibition Catalog 2012, page 37

“More Than Just the Sum: Northern Red Oak”
Fiber, 24.5 x 18.5 in

Taiwan International Quilt Exhibition 2012

Exhibition Catalog, page 12 + 13 and page 53

 

Fluid Sculptors I
Fiber, 50 in high x 50 cm wide

The Herald Sun, Durham, NC

March 23, 2012

“Art Through a Scientific Lens – Art quilts on exhibit at DAC inspired by nebulas, microscopic slides, metal”

Orion Nebula - Fullview
Orion Nebula and NGC 1975, Fiber, 41 x 45 in
Newspaper Clipping for my solo exhibition in 2012
Newspaper clipping showing text