Lowell – Art Quilts New England/New York at the Brush

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

Located in the Brush Art Gallery and Studios, “Art Quilts: New England/New York 2006”, is an exhibit organized by E. Linda Poras and juried by Rhoda Cohen and Esterita Austin. This show was all about surface design- every piece seemed to display some combination of dyeing, painting, printing, manipulation, fusing, transparencies, stamping, felting, knitting and crochet, couching, or free motion embroidery. Some pieces were more successful than others, but we found that Rosemary Hoffenberg’s two pieces called us back for second looks. She had two small pieces, “Middle Earth” (a monoprint with dyeing and block printing) and “For Ray” (discharge dyeing and shibori), displayed next to each other with quiet dignity.

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Rosemary Hoffenberg

Liese Bronfenbrenner included her experimental work with handmade papers, dried hosta leaves, raffia, wool, and hand binding and stitching titled “Quilt for a Woodland Elf”, certainly breaking with the quilt tradition.

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Liese Bronfenbrenner

Standing out for it’s great presentation was Karen McCarthy’s “Deliberate Wanderings #5”, a small piece using hand printed paste papers, printing, disperse dyes, transfer printing and gelatin prints. Using muted but clear colors, this texture study depicted aging wall frescoes, with machine stitching through the printed papers and around the edges. The whole piece had been mounted on a simple painted stretched canvas holding it out from the wall and seeming to float the work. This was a great example of “less is more”.

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Karen McCarthy

Brush Art Gallery and Studios, 256 Market St., Lowell, MA, http://www.thebrush.org, ‘Art Quilts: New England/New York 2006’, through Oct. 29, 2006

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