Saturday, August 15, 2009

Visit to Quilt National

Yesterday Macy, Lori and I went to the Dairy Barn in Athens, Ohio to see the Quilt National 2009 exhibit. The Dairy Barn was originally a functioning dairy barn and was scheduled to be razed in the 1970s. With 9 days to spare, the barn was placed on the National Register of Historic Places and has become a respected arts center and gallery space.

Lori is also an art quilter and Macy does embroidery and sewing and has a nice art collection of her own. It was a real treat to view the show with other fiber artist so we could discuss what techniques were used and how the quilts were constructed. And while there were a few that weren't to my taste, most of the quilts were innovative and inspiring.

As a visitors, we each got to vote on our favorite quilt for the "People's Choice" award. It was very hard to pick just one, but the one I picked was "City" by Paula Kovarik. The colors are much more vibrant in real life and the quilting is very whimsical with fish and people and city motifs. This quilt won the McCarthy Memorial Award and was the cover for the 2009 Quilt National book.

Two of my other top choices were "Miscellany" by Erin Wilson and "Little Fish in a Big City" by Kathy York. The colors in Miscellany are more vibrant in real life and the tiny piecing is exquisite. "Little Fish" needs to be viewed from the side and not above as shown in the photo as the buildings, the red and orange squares shown, are actually 3-D and rise up from the quilt and the yellow pieces that divide the quilt into 4 quadrants are acutally 3-D fish acting as taxis with little people on top. 

If you get a chance to visit, I highly recommend it. Several of the quilts looked very different when viewed from far away, and it's hard to get that same effect with photos. The exhibit goes through Sept. 7 and then will travel to St. Charles, MO; then parts of the exhibit will go to Columbus, OH; Lancaster, PA; and Paducah, KY.

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