Fortunately the art world has John Walsh, a passionate collector who has spent the past 20 years building a stunning collection of contemporary art quilts and at the same time, supporting the artists who make them.
Part of his collection is on view at the Texas Quilt Museum right now. And if you're lucky enough to be visiting this wonderful museum during International Quilt Festival, you'll have a chance to see this exhibition.
|Texas Quilt Museum, La Grange, Texas|
He explained the definition of the typical art quilt - a three layered textile held together with stitching, of course. But then he went on to say, with art quilts, he often quotes his favorite George Gershwin ditty: "It ain't necessarily so!" Some of the art quilts are two layers. Some are pieced, but not quilted. Some are tops stitched and painted onto canvas. Some have embellishment and leather on the surface, even ceramics. At least one quilt in the collection weighs about 160 pounds!
The exhibition was curated by Sandra Sider. She was scheduled to speak as well, but unfortunately she had laryngitis.
I've seen several exhibitions at the Texas Quilt Museum over the past two years - this one may be the best one yet! The quilts are hung beautifully and every inch is filled with these rich works of art. It's a perfect showcase for the quilt world as tens of thousands of visitors descend on Houston in a few weeks for Festival and I hope a whole lot of you are able to make a trek out to La Grange.
In the meantime, here's a few websites and blogs of some of the artists whose work really stood out for me.
Susan Shie - she creates these whimsical, folk art scenes and then covers each piece with intricate tiny, tiny lines of text and stories. The writing looks like pen and ink, but is actually airbrushed. (This image is not the same one in the exhibition.)
|Susan Shie, Sisters, or The True Story of Sisters on Diets, 2006.|
|Terry Hancock Mangat, Water Quilt. 2009.|
Here's an interesting blog post on Barbara Brackman's blog about Anna and her influence on Nancy Crow and many others over the years.
|Anna Williams, String Quilt Top. 56 x 47 in|
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