"Rolling into Spring", Sonya Bardella

Quilt art generally has more in common with fine art than it does with traditional quilting as displayed in the “soft paintings” in the Brigham City Museum’s International Art Quilt Invitational Exhibition on view June 16 through Sept. 1, 2018. The prized quilts are by artists from Italy, the Netherlands, Germany, Australia, the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States.

Quilts that are sculptures in motion are a floating iceberg, a child somersaulting into spring, Sandhill Cranes pecking at red chile pods in a field, a red wheelbarrow glazed with rainwater and cool camels in Egypt. Barbara Barrick McKie of Connecticut visited Egypt in 2007, and the comical expressions of the camels with their pompons and tassels as well as the hieroglyphics seen everywhere fascinated her. She recorded the sights with her camera and used them as reference material for her quilt.

Two foreign subjects sewn into the quilts are “Orvieto Memories” and “Gossiping Ducks and Hungry Tiger.” Lisa Walton of Australia taught quilting workshops in Orvieto, a small city perched on a rock cliff in Umbria, Italy. While drinking coffee in a local shop, she saw a distinctive, semi-circular, wrought-iron frame over the door and decided to incorporate the motif into a quilt. Linda Anderson of California visited China in 2016 and attended a performance of Tang Dynasty dance and music. Three men, part of a percussion group, were dressed in clothing and using instruments of this historic period in Chinese history. The title of her quilt reflects the back and forth exchange of sounds between gossiping ducks, while a growling tiger, spoken by the large drum, waits nearby, hoping for his meal. Anderson created the quilt image from three different photographs she took at the performance.
Stateside subjects include “Poppy Dreaming” and “Waterwheel, Berry College, Roan, Georgia.” There is a poppy reserve north of the Los Angeles basin and, in a good year, it is covered with poppies from hillside to hillside. The reserve has influenced many of Rose Hughes' quilts. Hughes resides in Kentucky. Stephanie Wilds of North Carolina constructed the waterwheel quilt for her husband, who is passionate about alternate energy. The quilt is based on the waterwheel at Berry College. The wheel was originally built by students in 1930 using an old iron hub donated by automobile magnate Henry Ford. At 42-feet in diameter, the waterwheel is abnormally large.

McKie is the Featured Art Quilter in the exhibition. She has had many careers, including research microbiologist, bridal gown designer/manufacturer, homebuilder, computer consultant and professional art quilter. McKie has won awards at the American Quilter’s Society show in Paducah, Kentucky, the International Quilt Festival in Houston, Texas, and the Denver National Quilt Festival, to name a few. Characteristics of her work are strong texture, contrast, graphic appeal and either nature’s colors or vibrant color contrasts with a rhythmic movement that comes from an inner musical sense. Her themes involve nature, still life and people. Five of McKie’s quilts will be presented in the exhibition.

Funds to support this exhibition have been provided by Village Dry Goods and the Box Elder County Tourism Tax Advisory Board.
The museum is located at 24 North 300 West. Admission is free. Hours are Tuesday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 1 to 5 p.m. For further information, please phone (435) 226-1439 or visit www.brighamcitymuseum.org.


Article written by Mary Alice Hobbs


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