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.