Lowell – Art Quilts at the Whistler III

Review by Sandy Donabed
One of 4 reviews by Ms. Donabed of the Lowell Quilt Festival.

“Art Quilts at the Whistler III”, juried by Robin Daniels and Beverly Fine displays 38 quilts from 18 states focused on “fine craftsmanship and visual design transcending traditional patterns and functionality” (taken from the exhibit brochure). It was interesting that Elizabeth Poole received Best in Show award for her pieced and stitched torso, this one close to life size, titled “Ozymandias”. Nancy Crasco had two pieces hung in this show- but of particular interest was a diaphanous kimono shape with golden maple seedlings caught between its layers. This on was called “Caribbean Caftan”. Both women also had two pieces in the Small Works show, reviewed here.

Elizabeth Poole, Melani Kane Brewer

On the whole, the work displayed at the Whistler Museum was more mature in nature, the pieces and ideas more fully realized. Barbara Triton displayed her “Brooklyn Bench”, a smaller piece including digital images of her photograph, dyes, fabric and organza. Right next to Triton’s was a piece by Deborah Gregory titled “Verde” where a discharged and dyed piece of cotton is heavily machine embroidered with stitching forming a net design. Both works showed restraint and confident mastery.


Deborah Gregory, Barbara Jade Triton

And finally, a very quiet presence in a corner, was Leesa Gawlik’s “Rice Field”. It contained a sophisticated color scheme of warm neutrals with a simple repeated linear design across the sheen of the silk surface. All the fabrics were hand dyed using natural materials, stencils, paste resists, and over painting. Even the deceptively simple pieces were complex in their structures and techniques. Her other exhibited piece received one of the judges awards.

Whistler 2

Leesa Gawlik, Nancy Crasco, Petra Voetgle

The Whistler House Museum of Art, 243 Worthen St., Lowell, MA 978-452-7641, http://www.whistlerhouse.org, “Art Quilts at the Whistler III”, through August 31, Wed- Sat, 11-4

2 Responses to Lowell – Art Quilts at the Whistler III

  1. Max says:

    Would you care to comment on the hanging of the Whistler Show?

  2. Rayna says:

    The Whistler pieces were hung way too close together and intruded on one another: there was no way to be ‘alone’ with a piece. The show at the Brush was hung much better – although I would still have preferred more space. In both instances, this means accepting fewer pieces.

    The QN segment at the Textile Museum was atrocious because of those brighly colored walls. What were they THINKING?

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