Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Quilts on parade

The Kentucky Museum of Art + Craft's member show ends this month, and on a recent visit I was struck with the number of quilts on display -- and the wide variety of quilt styles and techniques they represent.  Thought you might be interested too.  My first comment, of course, is that it's great to see quilts in all-media juried shows alongside the paintings and sculpture, and to find 6 quilts out of 36 works on display is even better.

Heck, why don't I start with my own quilt?  It's entirely pieced, using commercial cotton onto which I wrote a bunch of political rants focusing on the security theater of taking your shoes off and running your garden produce through the X-ray machine twice.  But they're cut up into tiny, unreadable bits.

Kathleen Loomis, Crazed 10: Red Alert, 2010, 79 x 71" (detail below)

Then let's get a closeup of the quilt in the corner of that photo. 

Denise Mucci Furnish, Wheel of Fortune, 2011, 37 x 69" (detail below)

Denise acquires old quilts in advanced degrees of decrepitude, then paints on them with acrylics.  Sometimes the painting reflects the underlying quilt pattern, as in this piece; other times you can discern the quilt pattern only by noting its seams as texture.

Jane Burch Cochran, War Baby, 2009, 69 x 49"  (detail below)

You've probably seen Jane's work before if you've hung out in quilt circles; she has exhibited widely and her signature style, dripping with embellishment, hasn't changed much over a decade or more.  She often incorporates old garments into her work; this piece also includes phototransfer of letters sent to a WW2 soldier talking about his new baby.

Melinda Snyder, Mark Making II, 2010, 57 x 24"  (detail below)

Melinda combines different fibers in her elegant, formalist pieced compositions; this one includes cotton, silk and linen.  The inset panels are painted, making a nice contrast with the solid colors of the "frames."  She's an art teacher by day and a couple of years ago, when my granddaughter was in her fifth-grade class, she had the kids paint on fabric, which was then incorporated into her quilts.  I don't know whether she's still outsourcing the painting this way or doing it herself.

C. J. Pressma, Secrets, 2011, 99 x 69"  (detail below)

C. J. started his art career in photography and has been making his photos into quilts for several years.  With a wide-format printer that accepts fabric on a roll, he can make a huge quilt with only one seam down the middle.  His images, of course, are heavily manipulated before printing, to combine bits of many different photos into a montage.  Many of them came from graffiti, posters, billboards and other "found art" that he photographed.

Jo Ann Grimes, Last Man Out, 38 x 53" (detail below)

Jo Ann is the only one of the quilters in this show whose work I am not familiar with.  She uses photorealism, executed in heavy threadpainting.

The show, at KMA+C in Louisville, continues through October 15.


  1. Dear Kathy,
    Thanks for sharing the photos. Fascinating work; all inherently quilts, yet each handled so differently.

    Linda Laird

  2. Wonderful quilts, thanks for sharing your photos!