Quilts from the Information Age Part I
February 25 - April 15 2023
Opening Reception February 25 4-6 PM
Zoom conversation with the artists Thursday March 23 at 11 AM
Please join us for a group exhibition of contemporary quilts with work by Sarah Gagnon, Sherri Lynn Wood, Grace Rother, Elizabeth Brandt, and Jessica Lewis Stevens.
With accompanying essays by Sarah Gagnon, Jessica Lewis Stevens, and Grace Rother.
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Part of my fascination with quilts stems from just how much they can tell us. Any quilt can provide a glimpse of human life within a larger cultural context. They can even offer insights about things like race and class, because in the United States those signifiers determine the shape of our lives and our lives shape our quilts. As a queer quilt maker I take voice in a narrative that is often hidden, so it is very important to me that my quilts exist within their larger context. As I continue to explore the intersection of race/gender/sexuality/class/environmentalism and quilts I find myself a semi-frequent recipient of “a quilt is just a quilt” emails from fellow white quilt makers who bristle at my approach. I disagree wholeheartedly that a quilt is ever just a quilt. That statement feels like the product of a very narrow concept of what a quilt can be and I reject it fully.
-- Grace Rother, 2022
A quilt holds within it thresholds; pathways to our heritage as women, connections to the work and love of our long-passed grandmothers, doors opening to healing and wholeness. A quilt is made to receive a new baby, to mark a marriage union, to shroud a loved one in death. They have the power to mark our lives, to tell our stories, to be held and to be shared, to heal the hands that make them, to stitch us into place.
-- Jessica Lewis Stevens, Stitching into Place
While some people write about quilts with a focus on the “how to” aspect, sustainability of the craft, or social justice histories within it, my focus is different. My passion is for what I call, a Psychoanalysis of Quilts. I want to know why we quilt, what the craft says about us, and what we can learn from quilts about our humanity.
-- Sarah Gagnon 2022
I see craft —the work of human hands in history—as containing the potential to create, by hand, new patterns/relationships inside living human systems, opening up space for personal agency and social change. For example — I believe something as mundane and functional as threading a needle when engaged intentionally or witnessed within the context of aesthetic experience, can trigger a deep, embodied understanding of our relationship to both the concept and activity of focus. Making a quilt provides the maker and the viewer opportunities to recognize embedded patterns even as new relationships are forged.
--Sherri Lynn Wood
Each piece I work on is created as I go, so I’m always responding to the situation in front of me on the design wall, not spending time up in my head with theories and ideas.
-- Elizabeth Brandt
Image is Elizabeth Brandt, "Modern Language," 2020. 35.75 x 33 inches.
594 Valley Road, Courtyard
Montclair NJ 07043
and by appointment
917 755 9328