This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Exhibition Development Seminar and its groundbreaking exhibition Eyewinkers, Tumbleturds, and Candlebugs: The Art of Elizabeth Talford Scott.
In Scott’s earlier work, though the quilts were utilitarian, they were magnificent in color, shape and historical significance. It wasn’t until the 1980’s that she began pushing traditional quilting boundaries by incorporating a variety of fabrics and fibers to see her ideas come to completion. These quilts formed from unconventional objects combined with fabric create a sense of awe and wonder for the viewer. Her multi-layered work pushes the idea of what a quilt or any fiber piece can look like and what can be used in its making.
By examining the contemporary, collaborative work of the MICA Quilt Raffle Group we see the same play of materials within their pieces. Some follow traditional quilt patterns that have been used for generations while others incorporate objects in surprising ways.
Many of these quilts were made during the pandemic, when being in community and experiencing wonderment were especially needed. Elizabeth Talford Scott’s statement “Take what you have, make what you want” was especially relevant to this group’s methodology. Creating quilts together led to the investigation of traditional forms. Ultimately, they started working virtually, making a collective space, and finding power in the shifting landscape.
This exhibition, focuses on the idea of transitioning from quilts as a medium, to what they might become as stand-alone fiber art pieces. Through an array of materials, the pieces challenge long standing traditions thus expanding possibilities in fiber arts.