Thursday, July 17, 2014

A Revelation

That's what the first room of the Pilgrim/Roy exhibit at Boston's Museum of Fine Arts was to me. The room was dimly lit, as though by lantern or candlelight. The quilts in that room were shot through with cheddar orange--garishly bright orange solid fabric in backgrounds or piecing.  Except in that light, the way the quilts likely looked on the beds they were made for in the late 1800's, in that light they glowed, as though lit with an inner fire. It was magical and revealed why women of the era would have loved that color--who wouldn't?

The rest of the show? Quilt upon quilt of excellent workmanship, representative of so many styles we know and love. Log cabins--some of silk and velvet, Mennonite and Amish quilts of graphic simplicity, an intricate Baltimore Album. Another historical tidbit--the Baltimore Album was made by many women, each contributing a square. Ah hah.

Displayed alongside the quilts were examples of modern art reflecting quilting sensibilities. Vivid color combinations, abstraction and op art, or my favorite, a piece by Sister Mary Corita Kent, 'N is for Caution (Throw Caution to the Wind)' hung beside a double wedding ring with purple background and quilts without pattern, created with abandon. Quilts and Color.. If you can't get to the show, buy the book!

Friday, July 4, 2014

Center for Maine Craft

Alison and I met at the Center for Maine Craft located in the West Gardiner service plaza to hang the Art Quilts Maine exhibit. The Center is a high-traffic location--anyone travelling past Augusta goes right by, and a steady stream of people are in and out of the service plaza. Many take a break from their travels to enjoy (and maybe purchase) Maine crafts. The exhibit runs through July 31. The collection reappears later this year at Kimball St Studios in Lewiston, for the month of November. 

Rana O'Connor
Six artists contributed to this collection. In addition to a few wall pieces (you can see my two Chairs on the back wall, for instance) I brought along a box full of Quiltini pins,a smaller item I developed and quickly got addicted to making earlier this year. Each pin is crafted from bits of quilted fabric sealed with a satin stitch. Then the fun begins! Embellishments include beads, glitter, stamps, rhinestones, paint and found objects.