Hearts, Art, and Diversity celebrated in summer exhibits at the Texas Quilt Museum

Published 9:09 am Thursday, June 15, 2017

LA GRANGE, TEXAS – Summer sizzles at the Texas Quilt Museum with three brand new exhibits running June 29-October 1, 2017. There will also be a free lecture by Dr. Sandra Sider, Museum Curator, on September 9 at 3 p.m., “Celebrating Five Years of Texas Quilt Museum Exhibitions.” Here’s a rundown on each exhibit:

• Hearts and Flowers: Antique Quilts from the International Quilt Study Center & Museum
From the world-class collection of the IQSC & Museum at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, come these 20 delightful antique pieces, mostly from the 19th century and pieced or appliquéd. The works feature an emphasis on floral motifs and prints, along with the Hearts and Spades pattern in a pre-Civil War quilt.

As colorful cotton fabrics became readily available in the U.S. by the 1840s, women could indulge in the making of appliqué quilts. They cut out shapes from solid-colored fabrics and small-scale prints, and layered the pieces onto white backgrounds, creating quilt blocks and borders full of fanciful rose-covered wreaths, pots of flowers, graceful vines, and designs of feathers, berries, and birds.

• Dynamic Diversity: Quilts by African-American Artists
During the past few years, several exhibitions have featured African-American quiltmakers, with an emphasis on racially relevant issues. For this exhibit, organized by Museum Curator, Dr. Sandra Sider, the Museum invited 11 noteworthy African-American artists to showcase a favorite quilt by each of them, regardless of the subject matter.

“The artistic focus of these makers reaches far beyond black audiences, and I wanted to encourage them to share their passions in this exhibition,” Dr. Sider explains. Visitors will see art quilts concerning the environment, Texas history, American politics, personal loss, music, archaeology, New Orleans, graffiti, migratory workers, and a tribute to noted African-American quiltmaker/scholar Faith Ringgold.

• Art Quilts of the Midwest
This exhibit was developed from the 2015 book of the same name and edited by textiles/craft writer Linzee Kull McCray. Both address ways that the environment can shape one’s visual aesthetic. Midwestern quilt artists responded to a range of subjects, from the injustices of the current or historical world to vacation memories. Others found the visual and emotional landscape of daily life—weather, gardens, neighbors (or lack of them), community events, and food—prime motivators.

This exhibit was juried by Emily Martin, Mary Merkel-Hess, and Linzee Kull McCray. Dr. Sider says “Like most art exhibitions with a regional theme, the works here pique our interest and satisfy our curiosity with focused interpretations of landscape and local culture, while a few artists cast a wider net to encompass national issues.”

The Texas Quilt Museum is located at 140 W. Colorado St., La Grange, TX 78945. It is open Thurs.-Sat. from 10 a.m.-4 p.m., and on Sun. from Noon-4 p.m. Learn more at www.texasquiltmuseum.org.