My mother quilts. With a vengeance. She spends most of the hours of most of her days quilting. She makes quilts for everyone: Her children, her friends, people at church, people she barely knows and all of their children. We never wonder what birthdays or Christmases are going to bring us because it is almost always a quilt.
My mother is a fine quilter, and I always appreciate her gifts, but her quilts don’t necessarily get me stirred up and excited. And I don’t usually think of them as works of art. More like lovingly, sweetly made crafts.
A new exhibit at Living Arts, though, has taken everything I thought I new about quilts and turned it upside down.
“Modern Materials: The Art of the Quilt” features the work of 24 fiber artists from across the nation, featuring two Oklahoma artists: Tulsa’s Jean Ann Fausser and Oklahoma City’s Elia Woods.
My initial response to the quilts on display at Living Arts’ still-new space at 307 E. Brady was shock. I was amazed by what these artists formed out of fabric and thread. They completely redefined the words “fine craft.”
Susan Else’s “Above the Boardwalk,” which features a quilted, spinning Ferris wheel, complete with passengers.
Kevan Rupp Lunney has constructed a large “Pod,” inside which sits a pink bud.
Check out the detail. This is an up-close view of only a small section of Jill Rumoshosky Werner’s “Fan Dancer.”
The exhibit, sponsored in part by the recently formed Brady Craft Alliance, debuted at Oklahoma City's Artspace at Untitled Gallery in July 2009.
The director of that gallery said, “Quilting has a unique culture wherein, historically, it has been a traditional craft where the product is utilitarian; versus modern quilting quickly becoming a contemporary art form to be hung on the wall or sat on a pedestal.
“Many quilters tell narratives through their work, while some address social issues through their art. Others simply use quilt art as their chosen medium for self-expression. Quilt artists use a variety of fibers and quilting materials, and some incorporate a range of other materials, from photographic film to tiny plastic suitcases.”
The exhibit remains on display through Feb. 25. Gallery hours are Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays from 1-5pm, Thursdays from1-9pm and Fridays from 1-9pm. Get more information at www.livingarts.org.
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