Sunday, June 22, 2008

The Opening

The Opening
Material Matters: Quiltmaking in the 21st Century
Columbus Museum of Art
June 20-August 31, 2008
The Opening of this show was the busiest that the Museum has ever seen!! I heard it said that between 800 and 1000 people were there on Thursday 19th. I was lucky enough to be one of them!! The juried show was organized jointly by the museum and Quilt Study Design Symposium. Thirty nine artists were represented, some with one piece some with two.
I couldn’t get very good photographs as you might expect with such a large crowd! But there are a few above. 22 of the 39 artists were able to attend. It was an exciting night with the quilts looking truly at home in a museum setting. There were a number of extremely large pieces including Barbara Watler’s 4 part tree piece – approximately 10 ft high and 20 ft across – all finely machine appliqu├ęd. Rise Nagin had a gorgeous filmy installation that filled half a gallery and you could walk between the layers. The museum has printed a handsome catalogue though some of the images (including my pieces, sadly) were not reproduced well.
After the Opening, the artists were invited to a private party for yet more gossiping and analysis!! We went back the following day also to get a really good look at the quilts. Whenever I visit a museum show I always choose 3 or 4 pieces to “take home” and my choices this time were a minutely and sensitively stitched piece by Pamela Fitzsimmons, the Australian artist. She had manipulated and coloured silk with natural dyes and rust and t hen stitched a simple pattern echoing some of the surface textures of the Australian deserts.
Mary Ann Jordan had a beautiful bold dye painted piece that gave a 3D effect with the spreading of the dye. One of Dominie Nash’s Stills from a Life was so lively and clean and clear – a breath of fresh air. Bob Adams had a discharged piece with variously coloured machine quilting that was rich and surprising as you took a closer look. Those were the 4 pieces I’d take home!!!

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