In conjunction with the classes that the Quilters of Gee’s Bend will be teaching in September, we’ve partnered with two fabulous art venues to exhibit and offer for sale more than 25 quilts this summer.
Planning an exhibition of this scale is new to us. First we flew to Alabama and photographed all of the quilts that we felt best told the story of Gee’s Bend’s style…the syncopation and rhythm of color and shape that define this art (by now you’ve probably read that Michael Kimmel of the New York Times wrote: “…some of the most miraculous works of modern art America has produced. Imagine Matisse and Klee (if you think I’m wildly exaggerating, see the show) arising not from rarefied Europe, but from the caramel soil of the rural South in the form of women, descendants of slaves when Gee’s Bend was a plantation…”). Then Liz and Kathy from the Penobscot Marine Museum (Searsport) and Christine and Arlene from Maine Fiber Arts (Topsham) came over week to choose the quilts they wanted to display in their shows. Katharine Cobey made the trip from Cushing to advise all of us and Alice Seeger kept notes and photographed the afternoon so that we may better share the complete story later.
How do fiber lovers divide quilts? Tentatively at first because everyone was sensitive to the feelings of others…but once things began to roll it was clear that the shows would be different and complimentary. The MFA show will be a smaller, graphically exciting preview, open in July and August. The Penobscot Marine Museum will display a wider range of the quilts (including older works) with an educational component August 2nd-September 7th. They will also have other items for sale like quilt blocks, potholders and baby quilts.
If the Gods agree with our plans, the quilts will arrive in Searsport in June and the final steps of staging the shows will lead to a few more photo opportunities for those of you who can’t get here before September. Did we mention that many of the quilts can go home with you? Mine’s the one on the Fiber College rack card but there were 4 others I would have liked to call mine too…it will be fun to see the ones you think are best.