ELAINE QUEHL, Quilt Artist, Teacher, Dyer, Designer

Monday, June 13, 2011


Yesterday was the opening of The ArT QuILT ExPERIENCE in Cazenovia, NY. Cazenovia is a lovely town east of Syracuse, and about a 4 hour drive from Ottawa. The show of 64 quilts from 11 countries is split between two galleries, one at Stone Quarry Hill Art Park, and the other at the Reisman Gallery of Cazenovia College. The photo above is of the show catalogue, available for purchase at the show. The cover quilt is "Cityscape 9" by Beata Keller Kerchner of Reinach, Switzerland. It won First Place in the show.

Jonathan Holstein delivered a facinating lecture just before the opening of the show. Mr. Holstein is well known in the art world for launching a show of Amish quilts at the Whitney Museum in New York in 1971 that caught the attention of art critics. Holstein found that many of the antique quilts he and his wife, Gail van der Hoof, were collecting mirrored the design elements of abstract art seen in the New York art world at that time. He wrote two books, "Abstract Design in American Quilts" and "The Pieced Quilt: An American Design Tradition".

Here you can see Mr. Holstein and Bonnie Robinson (one of the organizers of the show) holding one of the works in the Holstein collection. He also spoke about the rigid boundaries that tend to exist in the western world between art and craft. Some other cultures have more fluid boundaries. I have much food for thought after this lecture!

So, on to the show now! Having just attended the Canadian National Juried Quilt Show a few weeks ago in London, Ontario, The Art Quilt Experience Show immediately reminded me how much better quilts show on gallery walls. The lighting in galleries is flexible and shows quilts off to their best advantage. The show was wonderfully diverse in style and there were many compelling works of art. Here are just a couple of my favorites. As to be expected of me, they are nature-themed works. The first is "Autumn Bluster" by Jenny Hearn of South Africa. Jenny also happens to be one of the artists featured in Masters: Art Quilts, and a master she is indeed! You have to see this piece up close to appreciate it. But it is also a work with major inpact from a distance.
This is "Pod" by my friend Betty Busby of Albuquerque, New Mexico. I love the elegant simplicity and movement in this piece, and the colour palette is similar to the one I'm starting to work with for late-season hostas.

My friend Jean used my camera to take a photo of me with my entry "Losses 2".

Guess what else I found in Cazenova? Luscious hostas just starting to bloom! Here's a picture I captured, which may just provide the inspiration for a work I have planned on Hostas in four seasons.
In the mean time, the hosta quilt I'm working on called "Red Stool" (a red stool in a hosta patch) is not going so well. I have to put it aside this week to make my work for the Haliburton faculty show. Hope that works out to my satisfaction!


  1. Thanks for the excellent show and lecture review!
    Jenny's piece is indeed stunning!

  2. Beata Keller-KerchnerJune 14, 2011 at 3:06 AM

    Dear Elaine, thank you for your report of the opening and the lecture. I was so very sorry, but I just couldn't come to the opening. Thank you so much for the pictures.
    Beata Keller-Kerchner

  3. Elaine,I have just discovered your blog, thanks to our mutual friend Heather Stewart. She and I (and her DH) saw Michelle Sirois Silver's show (about Hostas!)in Pender Harbour. You may be interested to see some of her amazing hooked pieces: http://www.michellesirois-silver.com/Gallery.html
    Thank you for your interesting writing. I'm going through your posts when I take a break from stonemasonry! www.buildinggreenbc.com

    Hope to meet you one day. I love your work.

    Gail Hunt


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