The Oconee Cultural Arts Foundation (OCAF) is hosting the exhibition “Quilt Stories of Time and Place” through April 7 in the Members Gallery.
The exhibition features nine quilts by textile artist Beatrice Brown that display the timeline of motifs used in fabric quilting designs dating from ancient Egypt (Betty Boop’s Garden) to the present-day applications of the designs as depicted as painted on barns, known as “Barn Quilts.” The exhibition will feature four of Brown’s barn quilts.
Brown states, “A quilt is just three layers of fabric stitched together. Yes. But, to understand the essence of quilt making, it may be helpful to see one as analogous to a drop of ocean water — that one drop is just a part of an immeasurable and unfathomable source of creative energy.”
Quilting and quilts are a significant art form that serves as a lens into history, traditions, social and political movements, memories and myths. “Not your grandmother’s bedcovers anymore, quilts are a global enterprise, a form of cultural expression, a community building exercise that positively impacts both the creator and the receiver, a subject of art history as well as a gateway to business enterprises of significant market value,” states Brown about the history of quilt making.
“No doubt there are stories behind every quilt that you see. Stories of war and peace, sickness and pandemics, bondage and freedom, births and deaths, deeds and wills, humanitarian causes, and celebrations of excellence---all records of the human experience defined by time and place in fabric and thread.”
In this exhibition are works that depict ways in which the icons of daily life, symbols of home and womanhood, have been used to beautify residences, parlors, and bedrooms.
Among these works is the oldest motif in American quilt history in the Delectable Mountains quilt as it was designed in 1688. It was influenced by John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress, a Christian allegory considered to be one of the most significant works of theological fiction in English literature.
Other works in this exhibition include the creative innovation from Hawaiian culture; fabric design influenced by the “mourning of the Empress Eugénie for her husband, Napoleon III;” in the “New Glory” quilt, the somber, yet stunning creativity of the “plain folk” in the Amish Diamond; and more.
The opening reception for the exhibition is free and open to the public on Friday, March 3, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.
The exhibition is open to the public during the hours of Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. For more information, call (706) 769-4565, or visit www.ocaf.com.
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