Commemorative quilts have long been made in honor of people, places, and historic events. Even when the quilts themselves have not been obvious in their visual reference, names given to old patterns for quilts reflected concerns of the day, such as the political “54-40 or Fight.”
The commemorative quilt above, “The Puzzle,” was made when a close relative was undergoing cardiac surgery. It helped to work through my feelings of anxiety and to note the importance of the event in my life.
Soon “President Obama: A Celebration in Art Quilts” will open in Silver Spring, Maryland, featuring art quilts from across the United States and other countries. All of the pieces I have seen on the artists’ websites and blogs have been remarkable and show the passion and excitement many people are feeling about our new President.
The press release is below, and more information can be found on the blog of curator, Susan Walen.
PRESIDENT OBAMA: A CELEBRATION IN ART QUILTS
Dates: February 9-March 5, 2009
Opening Reception: Friday, February 13, 6-9 pm.
Location: Cafritz Foundation Arts Center
930 King Street
Silver Spring, Maryland
This show, organized by Susan Walen, includes the work of 60 fiber artists from all across the United States and as far away as Australia. This is a quilt show of amazing diversity — among the quilters and their art. Our work is in tribute to our new President, in gratitude for the hope and inspiration he has brought us. We present these quilts at an unforgettable moment in our country’s history.
Many of the participating quilters in this project have had the honor of being interviewed by Karen Musgrave of the Allance for American Quilts. Our stories will be saved in the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress (www.allianceforamericanquilts.org/qsos).
I hope many of you will be able to come to see these quilts. It’s a remarkable show, for the art, of course, but equally for the passion and the sense of history described in our Artists’ Statements. We hope to produce a book on this show, the proceeds of which will go to scholarship funds at Montgomery College, many of whose students, much like our new President, are self-made people, coming up the hard way.