Ukiah Corner Gallery front windows to display ‘Textile Evolutions’ – The Ukiah Daily Journal

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“Textile Evolutions” is the name of the June quilt show in the front windows of the Corner Gallery. The quilts, comprised of new work by members of the Mendocino Quilt Artists, definitely portray the evolution of quilting in directions beyond your grandmother’s traditional patchwork.

Quilting in America was originally a craft developed by women (and some men) who invented and adapted sewing techniques to get the most out of worn-out textiles. Useable scraps of cloth from old clothes were pieced together and quilted onto wool blankets to create utilitarian bed coverings. The quilts got finer and fancier with the increasing availability of new yardage, and elaborate block patterns were developed, many with hand appliquéd and embroidered details.

As many peoples’ standard of living improved over the centuries, quilting became more of a leisure pastime than a desperately necessary part of a woman’s long workday. Women from all cultures and walks of life enjoyed getting together and participating in quilting bees, so the social connections became as important as the actual sewing.

“Balanced or Not” by Joyce Paterson

It has only been in the last 50 years that quilting has become a recognized art medium in the United States. Though traditional quilters still thrive in the U.S. and around the world, there is a growing international movement of “art quilting.” Art quilts are created for the sole purpose of being displayed as art on walls in homes, galleries and museums, and the makers frequently have extensive art school training (though that is certainly not a requirement).

The traditional piecing is augmented or completely replaced by collage of multiple fabrics, painting on the surface of the fabric, the use of digital images printed on cloth, elaborate thread painting and/or embellishment with beads and other decorative and recycled materials. Subject matter ranges from landscapes to portraiture to fantasy images to purely abstract studies.

The quilts on display by the Mendocino Quilt Artists cover all of the aforementioned bases. As in historic times, half of the reason the ten members of the group get together for their twice-monthly meetings is to connect with each other. The group has been stable for the last decade, with no new members and only two leaving, so the relationships have become deep and precious. The combination of art and friendship has become a meaningful way for these women to deal with the often overwhelming emotions caused by world events, social and environmental issues, and personal crises. They also support each other to create art that celebrates the joy and beauty that balance the painful aspects of life.

“Textile Evolutions” includes work by Holly Brackmann, Leila Kazimi, Betty Lacy, Marilyn Simpson, Joyce Paterson, Ann Horton and Laura Fogg.

“Strength” by Ann Horton

The First Friday opening of this show is June 3 from 5 to 8 p.m. Live harp music will be provided for the event by Suni Smith. Though masks are no longer mandatory for indoor events, they are still highly recommended, Gallery staff request that masks be worn for the safety of everyone in attendance.

The Corner Gallery is located at 201 S. State St. in Ukiah. Regular gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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