Springfield Library and Museums Association

Springfield, MA



Crossing Boundaries: Contemporary Art Quilts


Nancy Crow, Color Blocks #22, 1992

Thirty-nine quilts by today's leading quilt artists will be on display in special exhibition Crossing Boundaries: Contemporary Art Quilts, at the George Walter Vincent Smith Art Museum from February 28-April 18, 1999.

The exhibition celebrates the emergence of the art quilt from an old and revered quilt tradition. Both contemporary art quilts and traditional quilts are defined as a sandwich of fabric layers secured by stitching. However, the traditional quilt was intended to function as a decorative bed cover. Today's quilt artist, on the other hand, has shifted the quilt from the bed to the gallery wall. Frequently, techniques and materials are borrowed from other media such as painting, photography, and printmaking to bring greater self-expression and vibrancy to the work.

Deborah Melton Anderson's quilt, "The Back Boat House," is one example of this innovative approach. Pictures of an old boat house, clearly reflected in the water, form the center of the quilt. The images were produced with photo transfers from color laser copiers. Other quilts incorporate sequins, beads, buttons, metallic thread, or found objects to produce striking effects. Designs range from dramatic geometrics to abstracts to complex allegorical motifs.

The quilts in this exhibition are the work of 39 members of the Art Quilt Network, a nationwide collaboration of quilters who support one another and promote creativity in a noncompetitive atmosphere. Crossing Boundaries presents some of the strongest work produced by its members over the past few years.

Together, the quilts represent the larger art quilt movement and include varied styles, techniques and themes as well as a diversity of artistic vision. Although some of the pieces included in Crossing Boundaries have appeared in other exhibitions and have been included in publications, these quilts have never before been shown together in a group e8hibition.

This is the only New England showing of this nationally-touring exhibition which is circulated by Smith Kramer, Inc., a fine arts service company located in Kansas City, Missouri.

A companion exhibit at the Connecticut Valley Historical Museum, Stitches in Time: Quilts and Textiles from the Museum Collection, will present a historical perspective to the art of quilt-making. The collection, all from the Connecticut Valley area, includes various types of quilts and textiles that were common during the last century.

rev. 11/22/10

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