Thursday, August 13, 2009

All Things Quilty Field Trip

Yesterday I treated myself to a whole day of surrounding myself with beautiful things...gardens, quilts, artwork, and even beautiful food! My friend Joanne and I took off first of all for Cary, NC, my former family home, to see the PAQA-South art quilt exhibit called Transitions. For the first part of the summer, it hung in Durham, NC. I did not see it there, but did not want to miss the exhibit in Cary. It will be at the Page-Walker Arts & History Center, a lovely old restored hotel, only until August 22.

The gardens outside are very inviting, and there is some interesting artsy sculpture.

The quilts on the first floor were in rooms with wonderful gleaming wood floors and Victorian furniture, including pianos.

There were no signs prohibiting photography, so I took lots of pictures, but I do not have most of the artist's names to give them credit. I would have loved to have a program to refer to.

I do remember this quilt is by
Kathy York, and was awarded Best of Show. No ribbons hanging here, but the sign next to the quilt notes the honor. The doors, all from Austin, Texas, are photographs on fabric. The young man is her son. Click on her name to read the story of this quilt on her blog.

These three quilts hung together look great despite sharing wall space with fire alarm wall art!

The second floor had more quilts on display. There was one room decorated in Victorian style like a sitting room, but none of the quilts were in there.

In fact, when we first went upstairs, there was a group of about twenty adolescents in the display room (Yikes!), watching a film on a portable screen that totally blocked the quilts. They left soon after we arrived, so we got to linger in this much more utilitarian space. Nothing fancy here except the quilts. Yes, metal folding chairs and folding tables...but the room was bright and airy and the quilts looked great on the walls.

Of course, I was eagerly looking forward to seeing a Pamela Allen quilt in person, and found Woman Waiting in the upstairs room.

My friend had to stand back about seven feet from the quilt to visualize the woman! This one was done while Pamela was spending time with her husband in the hospital during his cardiac surgery. Thus, all hand-stitching and none of her fabulous machine quilting. But I love it!

Look at the fish-net stockings!

Here are two more quilts by the same artist, sorry I do not remember the name. The one on the right is made from rusted fabric. I was very drawn to the one on the left, with a lovely tree and an unusual shape.

Here is one more quilt that captured my interest. It appears to utilize decorator fabric samples...note the grommets at the top border! It also has model train tracks between the first two scenes, and zippers between the last two! Very clever.

On the third floor of the Page Walker house, there is a Cary Heritage museum. I enjoyed this very much since I lived in Cary from 1965-1971, and my dad lived there until 2005. I recognized many of the names and places. They had a display with a uniform from the Cary High School Band. My brother Jeff was in the band in its heyday when they performed at all the major bowls, the Rose Bowl parade, and inaugurations.

After we left the Page-Walker house, we traveled a short distance to Etc. Crafts, a delightful shop in an old house in Cary. It is mostly a quilt shop, but also has pottery and wood sculptures. Lucky me, they had a lot of art supplies at 50% off. I had to come home with an assortment of glitter and some other fun things. And, just our luck, Etc. had a trunk show upstairs with quilts by local pattern designer Karen Comstock. Karen was there in the shop. Her quilts are delightful! Her pattern company is Quiltricks. If you click on the link, you will see most of the quilts that were on display.

We ate lunch in a bistro, Chatham Street CafĂ© & Catering in the heart of Cary. Of course, it featured artwork on all the walls. Beautiful! Here is what I chose: "Spice Seared Shrimp Bruschetta …On grilled garlic ciabatta bread with walnut pesto, tomatoes, seared shrimp, melted mozzarella and goat cheese on a bed of fresh spinach…" Yum! and Joanne selected "Roast Beef and Brie Panini GF…With bacon, balsamic red onions, baby spinach, tomatoes and Mediterranean aioli on rosemary foccacia." What a great lunch!

Then, we toodled on down the highway to North Carolina State University's Student Union, which features the Gregg Museum of Art and Design upstairs, as well as the Stewart Theatre. No photography was permitted in the quilt display at the Gregg, but you can see many of the quilts by clicking on the link, at least while the exhibit is current. I did not think I would enjoy looking at the antique quilts very much, but I was wrong. Beautiful hand quilting and graphic design went into these beauties. In addition, there were charming displays of old sewing paraphernalia, like carved ivory needle cases, packets of powdered dye, thimbles, pin cushions, and tape measures. This exhibit runs until October 4, but I wanted to get there before the students come back next week and traffic piles up. By visiting this week, we even had free parking in the nearby deck.

We befriended the security guard/receptionist for the Gregg, who pointed us to some other wonderful displays in the North and South Galleries on the same floor. One had a display of silk nightgowns and bed jackets, many from the 1920's. The other had pottery,

jewelry, and even a display of designer chairs. A leather and metal chair by Mies van der Rohe, Bauhaus Architect, caught my eye. There were two by Eero Saarinen. There was also a display case in memory of Dr. Leonidas Betts. I knew him...he was my student teaching advisor way back in 1972!

All of the displays, including the Page-Walker and all the galleries at N.C. State, are free of charge. What a wonderful way to spend the day!

1 comment:

Unknown said...

I am interested in your posting because of your reference to Leonidas Betts' pottery collection. He was my student teaching advisor in 1976, a few years after yours.