The Johnson-Humrickhouse Museum’s exhibition of contemporary art quilts, Pushing the Surface, will be open to the public on May 23rd. The exhibition of 25 works is a dance of color, beauty, ingenuity and story. Although most of the works share the basic structural characteristics of a quilt—joining at least two layers of fiber with stitching, they break from tradition in their design methods. Surfaces may be pieced and patched as one finds in a traditional quilt, but they may also be painted, dyed, laser printed, appliquéd or fused. The techniques are as varied as the subject matter, which is as varied as the effects. In the end the artists create a truly new statement that speaks to mind and spirit like all great art is meant to do.
Participating artists are from across the United States as well as from Ireland and Israel. Many are internationally known, having their quilts featured in books, periodicals and traveling exhibitions. Visitors will see some amazing works such as Jon Stucky’s Love and Passion. His pieced and appliqued quilt shimmers with all the beading, embroidery, hand painting and sequins. His quilts have a vibrancy and complexity that is mesmerizing. Stucky, a Dover, Ohio, native, has works in galleries throughout the U.S. and in Japan. In contrast to Stucky’s highly wrought work, Naomi Adams sticks to one simple design in her quilt, executed in only two colors—black and blue. In Croissanc, Idaho artist Adams uses the image of a tree as a metaphor to express the growth and reconfiguration she personally has experienced. Croissance, a 3-D work, is a masterpiece of design. Hillcrest Cinema by California artist Dan Olfe offers another twist in how an art quilt looks and the way it’s made. Olfe manipulated three images on his computer to create this intriguing and electrifying work.
Pushing the Surface presents an array of distinct and fascinating art quilts. This is the ninth year Johnson-Humrickhouse Museum has presented this biennial exhibit sponsored by the Mary F. Taylor Family. The Ohio Arts Council also helped fund this event with state tax dollars to encourage economic growth, educational excellence and cultural enrichment for all Ohioans.