06 September 2009

Bellefonte Museum Exhibit

I am so very pleased to announce that three of my pieces, as well as all 112 pieces from my Early Morning Club, will be exhibited at the Bellefonte Museum of Centre County. Curator Patricia House has put together an exciting exhibit entitled, A World of Stitches: Applique Art from Benin, Panama, and Pennsylvania. She has selected works from three other Pennsylvania-based artists as well as work from Panama and Benin to show cross-cultural differences (and similarities) in applique.

I invite everyone to attend this really interesting and remarkable exhibit. The opening reception is Sunday, September 27th from 1:00-4:30 p.m. and is free and open to the public. I can't wait to attend, meet the other artists, and see the other pieces in the show. The exhibit runs from September 27th through December 20th and the museum is open Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from 1:00-4:30 p.m.

One of my pieces, Cash's Mountain, is a raw-edge applique landscape. It's hard to tell from the picture, but I quilted and faced the central landscape and then appliqued it to the brown/teal background so that is serves more as a frame and less as a border.

Fragment #4 is an improvisationally pieced quilt fragment that was quilted, finished and then appliqued to the background brown.

Plastic Grid consists of fifteen mini-quilts that finished and then appliqued to the grid background.

In addition to these three pieces, I have spent the last week attaching (appliquing?) all 112 Early Morning Club pieces to two lengths of fiberglass screening. Back when I was creating the Early Morning Club, I dreamed of having the opportunity to exhibit them as a cohesive whole, and am very excited to now have the chance.

Other works in the exhibit include:

Pennsylvania and environs appliqué artists,

  • Bonnie Buckwalter, Bellefonte, Pennsylvania
  • Aldeth Spence Christy, 1939- 2001, Maryland
  • Kimberly Davis, State College, Pennsylvania
  • Sue Reno, Columbia, (Lancaster), Pennsylvania

Panama, Kuna Indians appliqué work by several Kuna community members

Benin (West Africa), Brice Abraham Yemadje, textile artist, Fon Community

Here is the press release for the show:

“A World of Stitches: appliqué art from Benin, Panama and Pennsylvania” is a show of the particular craft of appliqué with examples from three very different cultures. The variety of design, motif and theme afford contrast while the basic craft demonstrates the universality of appliqué. The works in the exhibition are original creations by the artists and include images from the natural world, cultural themes and symbols from holidays and celebrations.

Appliqué needlework is an international craft; from American homes to tribal ceremonies, appliqué has been around a long time and continues to be popular. Remnants of clothing decorated with pieces of fabric to form designs have been found in the tombs of persons from ancient cultures. The technique has been used to create colorful flags for royalty throughout Europe and Africa. Appliqué designs on quilts and dance costumes were very popular in the Americas during the 18th and 19th Centuries. It is assumed that appliqué owes part of its origin to supply. When fabrics were all made by hand on simple looms or imported at great expense every scrap of material was valuable.

This exhibition includes examples of appliqué used to create decorative pieces and useful objects including coverlets, wall hangings, patches for quilt making, flags and clothing. Appliqué', which is a French term, is a type of decorative needlework that involves cutting pieces of one fabric and sewing or otherwise applying them to the surface of another. An image or design is obtained by superposing patches of colored material on a basic cloth.

In our country, women have been the appliqué artists and quilters but in other cultures men created the textiles and made the textile crafts. This continues to be true in Benin (West Africa), one of the three countries featured in this exhibition. In the Kuna culture of Panama women are the textile artists. Their designs are made using many layers of fabric.

The Kuna people live on the San Blas Islands off the northern coast of Panama. Kuna women make a unique kind of appliqué work called Molas. Images in the Molas are very detailed and depict every aspect of their lives. The fabric designs are done in bright colors on dark (usually red) background. Molas range in sizes but are usually made to fit on a shirt or dress bodice.

Works in this show by Brice Abraham Yemadie are done in rich colors using fabrics and sequins. These pieces demonstrate the appliqué tradition as it has evolved in Benin, West Africa. Y. Brice was born in Benin to a family of textile artisans whose roots go back to the Fon Kingdom of Dahomey (now Benin). The French artist Matisse admired this appliqué tradition and the influence can be seen in some of his works. Fon artists sold into slavery brought the appliqué tradition to the Americas.

By exhibiting examples from Benin (West Africa), Panama and our own community, we display contrasts and similarities and suggest possible origins of craftwork. Most importantly, the show demonstrates shared creativity of people from a wide variety of cultures and traditions. The exhibition curator is Patricia House.

Special appreciation is extended to Peggy Sloves and Maya Spence for lending art to the show and to the artists who loaned their works.

The exhibition is partially funded by the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and the Borough of Bellefonte.

Accompanying programs will include craft classes for children and adults and on site activities for families visiting the show.


Sue Reno said...

Wow, Kimberly, what great work! I'd been following your "Early Morning Club" efforts here on your blog as you were creating; how wonderful that it will be exhibited as a whole, along with your larger pieces. I look forward to meeting you and seeing your work at the opening reception.

Kimberly said...

Thanks Sue! And I've long been a fan of your work. It will be lots of fun to meet you and Bonnie at the opening. Now to just finish stitching the last few rows to the fiberglass screening...yes, that's as onerous a task as it sounds!

La Mañosa said...

Kim, your quilts are so gorgeous! Congrats! Thank you for inviting me to attend, I can't wait. I'm also excited to see the molas. I've seen photos but none in person.

Kimberly said...

Thanks Misty! I'm glad you can attend. It should be a fun time. And, I just learned that there is going to be Shakespeare in Talleyrand Park that day too, so there's plenty to do in Bellefonte.

Anonymous said...

This is exciting, Kimmie. I'm hoping I can make it to the show, but I won't be able to on the opening weekend. I have 3 weeks of training coming up till October 9th. I'm disappointed. I'm thinking possibly the following weekend, the 16th to the 19th.

I'm so very proud of you. Your work is beautiful. You've accomplished so much. Congratulations!!

It would be great fun to see all the works from the the other artists, too.