Monday, April 16, 2007

The Visions Art Quilt Gallery Opening


Illustrating that prescient quotation from our second president, John Adams: "I must study war, so that my son can study industry, so that his son can study art," Saturday night was the inaugural opening of the Visions Art Quilt Gallery in the old Naval Training Center in San Diego.
My dad and Uncle Hal had trained at that very facility in the 1940's before being shipped out to fight in the Pacific theater of WWII...sixty-odd years later, my brother and I were there attending the opening of the new Visions Art Gallery. This will be the permanent home of the prestigious "Visions" art quilt biennial show.
The gallery chose a retrospective of the innovative work by Miriam Nathan-Roberts to kick off their new space. The place was jammed when we got there, and we thought we were early!
Miriam looked so incredibly happy...that was maybe the best part of the evening for me (softie that I am). Viewing her earliest works from 1980, which were traditional Amish nine-patches and Broken Dishes patterns, on through her value-graded lattice quilts, all hand-quilted, and then her current digitally dye-printed and machine quilted pieces gave a nice slice of the complete trajectory of art quilting in this country over the last 30 years or so.
The gallery space was a little small...it was hard for me to imagine the next Visions show having the same number of quilts as shows in the past; they just wouldn't fit. But it is an excellent place to show quilts (except for the ugly wall-heating units).

Even that clunky heater can't obscure how interesting Miriam's work is...

My 57 year old brother Matt has discovered the fountain of youth, but he won't tell us where it is. Here he is next to a portion of Miriam's "The Worms Crawl In/The Worms Crawl Out".

This is called "Moral Fiber", 62" X 68", 1991, and was my favorite of the night.
Miriam put together a brilliant catalog of the show which I am sure you can purchase from either the gallery or her website. The show runs though June 3, 2007.

Congratulations, Miriam!

9 comments :

Kay said...

Terrific quilts. I like the way it combines a very modern look (because of fabric) with some of the graphic qualities of very traditional quilts.

Possibilities, Etc. said...

Beautiful show and amazing quilts. I had looked at them at the link you left. My dad was also at the San Diego Naval thing before going out in the Pacific Invasion Fleet. As much as I admire this Art Quilt showing and the ingenuity of it - I like your Crazy Quilts better. Maybe it's my total love of CQ - combined with your artwork.

Barbara C said...

These are very inspiring quilts. How wonderful that you got to see them, and especially with your brother.

candyschultz said...

Thanks for the very lovely little quilt show. Miriam is a beautiful artist.

Granny Fran said...

Thanks for sharing this wonderful family celebration. I love Miriam's quilts. San Diego is such a fantastic place! There is a definite family resemblance with your brother and sister.

Elizabeth said...

Thanks for this glimpse into the show and the commentary along the way.

Debra Spincic said...

Great pieces! I have no clue how anybody sews these quilts (from a technical standpoint) but I love looking at them anyway.

colorbox said...

what a great quote! I adhere to "we must all study art...so that studying war will no longer be necessary". Society's nourishment and celebration of creativity is so so so vital to building problem solving skills!!!! The examination of "Hitler as an artist" speaks pretty strongly to this, I think. Miriam's work is amazing...the Escher effect is impressive. My stitches are hopelessly wonky. I fear that such clean precision will simply never be my signature. oh well :)

Dale Anne said...

FABULOUS quilts - THANKS for posting them!!!
Too bad they couldn't paint the heat register the same colour as the walls.....it would blend in better!