Don't Fence Me In: Contemporary Quilts

An exhibit of unique quilts chronicling the American West
Saturday, May 9, 2009
12:00pm @ Central Library

The American West and quilts have always gone together—but never quite like this. The Library presents the exhibit Don't Fence Me In: Contemporary Quilts beginning Saturday, May 9, at the Central Library, 14 W. 10th St.

Recommended reading:
The Art of Quilting

Related event:
Judith Trager discusses contemporary quilting, June 14

The 57 quilts in this exhibit take a decidedly modern look at the icons of the West with each one telling a different story. The quilts are either two feet square or two feet by three feet and pack a great deal into a small space.  Some explore themes of abandonment, like Carol Watkins' "Times Past: Rocking Chair," which shows a rocking chair against the backdrop of a vacant house. Others explore newer themes, like Jaime Bolane's "Horse Zen," a haunting combination of Japanese calligraphy and split rail fences.

Other artists seem to delight in wordplay.  The "Cow Pie" dessert of Gay Lasher and titles like "Amarillo Armadillo" and "Da Fence Rests" assure that these quilters will never be accused of taking the West too seriously.

The artists are just as creative in technique as they are in concept and theme.  Embellishments added to the quilts include digital photos, mirror shards, rusty bolts, agate arrowheads, bottle caps, and hardware cloth. Hand dyeing, silk screening, appliqué, and embroidery are almost commonplace among the quilts.

The exhibit remains on display at Central Library through June 21. The quilts are on loan from two Colorado quilters' groups, the Piecemakers and the Quilt Explorations. The Library will host exhibit organizer, Judith Trager, on Sunday, June 14, to discuss her interpretation of contemporary quilt design.

Listen to the audio
Kansas City Public Library Beta