Artists go uptown with Main Street exhibit
I’ve lived in Grand Junction for 12 years, but I became familiar with its Main Street long before that on trips to visit family here. Charming, I called it, with serpentine curves, tree-lined blocks and flower-filled planters. I browsed the specialty shops and marveled at sophisticated artwork on every corner.
Since then, Main Street has had a face-lift, with even more accouterments to draw visitors. Sidewalk dining lends a cosmopolitan air, while several features for children attract many families.
In my opinion, the seven-block thoroughfare was — and still is — Grand Junction’s crown jewel.
Soon, yet another enticement will have folks pointing their feet in that direction. An art quilt exhibit, “Main Street — Grand Junction 2013,” opens July 12 at City Hall, one block north of Main at the corner of Fifth Street and Rood Avenue.
Twenty-nine works of fabric art will be on display through September. All are creations of members of the Art Quilt Association (AQuA), based on the Western Slope.
Tana LaDuke, chairwoman of the exhibit, says it’s fascinating which portion of Main Street inspired each quilter and what techniques each chose to use.
The majority employed two methods — appliqué and painting on fabric — although embellishments and other materials came into play as well.
Three of the 29 pieces were chosen by AQuA members as their favorites, and today I share that trio with you. But do go and see the entire exhibit to experience the full effect of my favorite street.
1. “Vintage Grand Junction” is a direct interpretation of Haggle of Vendors, an antique emporium at 510 Main St., by Angela Kenley of Grand Junction.
“I was intrigued by the collection of items in the window, so diverse and eclectic,” she says.
Working from a photograph, Kenley constructed paper collage panels and photo-transferred them onto fabric. Her quilt measures 40 inches by 34 1/2 inches.
2. Elizabeth “Beth” Bottorff of Grand Junction honored a 90-year-old icon, at 645 Main St., with her pictorial quilt titled “The Avalon,” where she remembers performing on stage as one of the Sweet Adelines singing group.
“Now with its new renovations, it will be improved,” she says.
Bottorff hand-painted her quilt, measuring 30 1/2 inches by 24 3/4 inches, assembled the pieces with a product called Mistyfuse and enhanced the structure with fiber pens, a method taught by national textile artist Lenore Crawford.
3. Tana LaDuke’s son and his friend were viewing Google Earth on the computer, and that gave her the idea for a Main Street quilt “that was out of the norm,” she says. She refers to her “7th & Google” as realistic abstraction.
LaDuke, who has lived in Grand Junction since she was 7 years old, recreated a satellite image of the Seventh Street roundabout with cotton and silk fabrics, adhered to the background with Wonder Under fusible web and machine quilted. Its size is 29 1/4 inches by 38 inches.
“I wanted to have a really different look for my art quilt, something that was totally my creation,” she says.
The exhibit runs through Sept. 30 at City Hall, and many of the quilts will be for sale. Prices range from $50–$850. An opening reception is scheduled from 5:30–7 p.m. July 12.
Besides these three art quilts, visitors will enjoy other familiar downtown scenes rendered in thread paintings and rusted fabric, and embellished with beads, crystals and decorative yarns.
Take a stroll along Main — in true materialistic style.
Email Sherida.Warner@ GJSentinel.com.