Contemporary Quilted Textiles: A Sparkling Gem with Many Facets
I’ve written a number of these epistles about art events in Hastings. I think I’ve covered every art show since the Hword was launched. This new show at Graham Gallery is one of the most unusual, from a media standpoint, that I’ve reviewed. The artist combines fabric, beads, thread and an overflowing of talent, technique and craftsmanship as her palette.
When you meet and talk to the artist, Molly Anderson, you certainly will agree that her ‘look’ and personality fits or blends with her art. A little bit non-traditional and a whole lot of pure inventive talent.
I am first to admit that quilt and art didn’t always go together for me. The elite fine art community didn’t leave much room for crafts or, for that matter, functional art. A very good friend of mine in Boulder, CO is a ‘quilter’. She opened my eyes to how an Americana craft can rise to museum acceptance.
If you haven’t been to the international quilt museum in Lincoln, NE, I highly recommend the visit. However, before you travel there, see the show here. Molly takes the ‘quilting’ genre to heights beyond even what you will see in Lincoln.
All of the principles that painters use are evident in all of Molly’s creations. Composition, design, edges, unity, variety, color and values, and center of interest, to name a few. Of course, beyond the objective toolbox she adds the subjective elements of idea and emotion. The complete package is needed to achieve excellence in art. Her creations include landscapes, still lifes’, and design motifs that tell stories. She confides that she uses very traditional quilting methods, many she learned from her grandma. She talks about English paper piecing, Broderic perse, applique and rocking stich methods which to me is all part of a foreign language. I was able to translate that these old techniques have been adopted by Molly’s own style and she has allowed them to take on a persona of their own. The simplicity of the past, joining hands with the sophistication of the Anderson touch, results in a “Newquiltism” (I think we have coined a new word to describe this synergy).
Enough about the nuts and bolts. The art itself is what really shines. The craftsmanship is worthy of Queen Elizabeth’s own wardrobe. Beautiful handwork and creative stitchery combine to create a kaleidoscope of layers, overlapping patterns, shapes and colors. The added sparkle, of the reflecting glass embellishments, is a pleasant addition. A review of the show in its final installation brought on an alliterative wording group. The show is intriguing, interesting, insightful, inspiring and you can’t but help, enjoy.
Sometimes you hear that a great presentation is a diamond in the rough. This show is more. It’s a perfectly cut, multifaceted sapphire, that sparkles.
The show runs now through July 14th at Graham Gallery, 617 West 2nd Street in Downtown Hastings.
Tags: graham gallery
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