Museum threads way through quilt evolution

Bye Bye Beautiful Bee

Aspens II

Kathie R. Kerler of Portland, Ore., won first place and $1,500 in the Evolutions 2010 challenge with her quilt “At the Ocean’s Edge.”

Part of the Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum’s mission is “to embrace the evolution of the art and craft of quilting.”

Certainly, the staff and officials associated with the museum in Golden have seen plenty of growth, development and change over its 20-year history.

In celebration of their two-decade anniversary this year, they chose an appropriate theme for a juried quilt challenge: Evolutions 2010.

The challenge was issued worldwide to all quilters and fiber artists: Help the museum celebrate yesterday’s traditions as well as tomorrow’s innovations. Evolution was defined as the introduction of something new … an idea, method or device.

The results are 20 quilts on exhibit through Oct. 30 at the museum, 1213 Washington Ave., in downtown Golden.

Three top winners received cash prizes of $1,500, $1,000 and $750.

The winning quilts and their makers are:

1.“At the Ocean’s Edge” by Kathie R. Kerler of Portland, Ore. (51 inches by 43 inches).

The quilt was made to raise environmental awareness with the triangular recycling symbol of arrows as her design inspiration. Hand-dyed and commercial prints were used to represent the place where the water and the earth meet.

Kerler used machine piecing, hand quilting and hand couching techniques to construct her quilt.

A quilt maker for 22 years, Kerler likes to incorporate various hand and machine techniques to create exceptional texture in her pieces. She also is a contributing editor for American Quilter magazine.

2.“Aspens II” by Erlene Irwin of Evergreen. (31 inches by 39 inches).

The quilt is part of a series made with hand-dyed and painted cottons and rayon and polyester thread.

Irwin is retired from teaching, nursing and counseling.

“The quilts I make please my eyes and delight my spirit,” she says. “It is my desire that the viewer find that same joy in my quilts.”

3.“Bye-Bye Beautiful Bee; As You Fall, So Shall We” by Deborah K. Snider of Grand Junction. (34 inches by 38 inches).

This quilt expresses Snider’s concern about colony collapse disorder and the demise of bee populations. She shows the bees spiraling into oblivion amidst the bright cacophony of flower and hives.

Snider is an assistant professor of art education at Southern Utah University in Cedar City and lives in Grand Junction. Until recently, she was an art professor at Mesa State College. Snider has been an art quilter for six years, but says she has loved fabric since making her first garment in middle school.

The quilts were juried by Katie Pasquini Masopust of Santa Fe, N.M., an internationally known fiber artist, lecturer and teacher who has won many awards and written eight books about her art quilt techniques.

After the jurying process, two judges selected the three winners from the finalists. The judges were Barbara Barr, a Denver area quilter, and Angie Hodapp, editor-in-chief of Quilters Newsletter magazine.

“The quality and artistic merit of the collection was excellent,” said Barr, who also noted that because it was a themed challenge, the judges had to pay particular attention to the artists’ statements.

“I also like the diverse methods of construction contained within these three works of art,” she said of the winners.

As first-place winner of the Evolution Award, Kerler is invited to present a six-week solo show of her quilts in 2011 at the museum.

If you have an opportunity to view the Evolutions show, be sure to see the exhibit that runs concurrently at the museum — A Tisket, A Tasket, a collection of basket quilts from 1860 to 1930.

E-mail Sherida.Warner


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