The Ann Street Gallery’s newest exhibition is comprised of more than 40 quilted works by 20 artists, who are experimenting with this fiber-based artform while pushing boundaries and challenging expectations.
The quilting process is a needlecraft of sandwiching multi-layers of fabric and padding together, utilizing an over-stitching design as a decorative element in the finished work. For many cultures, it is a traditional practice passed on generation to generation for millennia. While quilting’s origins are unknown, one of the earliest depictions is a 3,400-yr. old carved figurine of an Egyptian Pharaoh wearing a quilted mantle.
As an artform, quilting has evolved far beyond those early days, enjoying a resurgence and playing an important role with contemporary artists interested in alternative art-making traditions. In the fine art world, the process of quilting and quilts in general, are no longer defined as exclusively functional items made solely for domestic use but viewed more as art objects valued for their aesthetic worth. This major shift in attitude towards fiber-based works started to change in the 1950’s, as artists began using fabrics in innovative ways. A trailblazer in this area was artist Robert Rauschenberg and his seminal work “Bed,” where the artist utilized a log cabin quilt splattered with paint as part of his textile assemblage.
Visitors to The Contemporary Art of Quilting exhibition can immerse themselves in this rare opportunity to view a compilation of cutting-edge quilt interpretations that are resplendent in design and concept. These works range from three-dimensional pedestal pieces to wall sized installations, showcasing a variety of styles that highlight thought-provoking responses to issues on community, consumerism and politics. By employing fabric, needle and thread as a means for personal creative expression, this group of contemporary artists are advancing the quilting practice as a viable artform well into the future, while honoring its ancient past.
The Art of Contemporary Quilting opens on Saturday, March 7 at the Ann Street Gallery, 104 Ann Street, Newburgh. Reception is 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
For more information regarding, The Art of Contemporary Quilting contact Virginia Walsh, Director at (845) 784-1146, email@example.com, or visit .annstreetgallery.org. Virginia Walsh curated the exhibition-it will be on view through Saturday, April 18.