Last weekend I met up with other Ohio SAQA members in Oberlin, Ohio, to see Artist as Quiltmaker XVIII. The show, hosted every two years by the Firelands Association for the Visual Arts (FAVA,) presented a good overview of styles in art quilting.
FAVA’s banner promises it’s not your grandmother’s quilt show and the show delivers. Some of the pieces are exquisitely crafted and would please the most demanding of show judges. Others are more, er, experimental, in nature.
I noticed more use of digital images this year, usually highly edited and blended seamlessly with other elements.
Jill Kerttula’s “Boundless” combines an edited digital photo with various commercial fabrics, couching, slashing, and hand and machine quilting.
Anna Chupa’s “Pieces Petals Leaves and Eaves: Bellevue Park” blends layers of digital house photos with kaleidoscope like repeating images of some architectural features like windows. You could take it as a fireworks display above rows of houses.
Wen Redmond’s “Cormorant’s Perch” melds different interpretations of one photo with different fabrics.
Margaret Abramshe’s “Nan” is based on a photo of the artist’s mother taken in the late 1950s-early 1960s. After manipulation, the photo was digitally printed on whole cloth and painted with various media.
There were several abstract pieces, such as Gerry Spilka’s “Red Jive,” one of the larger pieces at 91 by 49 inches.
I don’t know whether to consider Liz Kuny’s “Troublemaker” as abstract or as an errant strip falling off an ironing board or shelf. As always, Kuny’s workmanship is impeccable.
“Two Quilts” by MJ Daines is just that, separated by about four feet. It took me a while to figure out how to view this work. They are meant to go with each other.
On a more whimsical note, Holly Cole’s “Warthog Memory” (detail) commemorates a troupe of warthogs that cut through the artist’s campsite in Africa. They are drawn on organza and layered over hand dyed fabric. The only quilting I could find was in the ditch stitching around the organza panel.
Susan Fletcher Conaway’s “I Felt A Connection” obviously references a traditional quilt block, but she chose to outline the block with string, raveled threads and strips from tee shirts, for the most part. A few of the diamonds are carefully hand appliqued. Most of the fabrics are cut up old textiles.
Maggie Dillon’s “Poppy Picnic” is based on a vintage image and uses batiks in a fabric collage. The technique appears popular in art quilting circles, and several teachers offer courses.
One final note about the show – the prices the artists placed on their work. They ranged from $450 to $14,000.
If you’re in the area and want to see the show you have until July 29. There’s lots more to see beyond what I’ve shown.