Amazing Quilt Art at the Museum

“Conversations with Gee’s Bend,” the exhibit which just opened at the San Juan Islands Museum of Art, is outstanding both in terms of conception and presentation.

Curated by local artist Annie Howell-Adams, the exhibit highlights quilts made by the women of Gee’s Bend, Alabama, and explores parallels between their works and the other artworks on display here.

I was very impressed with the powerful juxtaposition of textiles with other mediums reflecting a similar aesthetic. Whether the work is made of fabric, wood, plastic or metal, or is a painting evocative of a quilt-like design, the qualities shared by the exhibit pieces include an improvisational approach and variations on repetitive patterns, which often includes bold colors and/or found objects (equivalent to the scrap materials used by the quilters who lived in poverty). From the humble, hand-stitched quilts of earlier decades to electronic textiles that combine art and the latest technology, this exhibit is very commendable, a worthwhile experience and high-quality offering in the community.

James Darcy

San Juan Island