Oberlin will burst into color and pattern when the 18th Biennial The Artist as Quiltmaker Exhibition of Contemporary Quilts returns to town May 12.
Since 1982, the Firelands Association for the Visual Arts has brought an array of art quilts to Lorain County in this exhibition, which this year comprises works by 41 exhibiting artists from 26 states and one Canadian province.
The selections were made from a pool of more than 425 entries from 171 artists hailing from 37 states and two Canadian provinces.
The Artist as Quiltmaker is joined by a celebration of nearby concurrent exhibitions in the Northeast Ohio region and a large-scale collaborative public-art project with a quilt “bombing” in FAVA’s front yard at the Oberlin Center for the Arts.
The event will open with a reception from 4-7 p.m. on Saturday, May 12 and will be on view through July 29 in FAVA’s gallery at the New Union Center for the Arts, 39 South Main St. The exhibition is free and open to the public.
The 2018 juror, Emily Zilber, is the new editor at the Society of North American Goldsmiths. She was the Ronald C. and Anita L. Woznick Curator of Contemporary Decorative Arts at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston at the time of jury selection.
FAVA deliberately chooses not to define “quilt,” encouraging both established and emerging artists to submit innovative artwork, pushing boundaries, challenging expectations, and resulting in works of both traditional and non-traditional materials.
Zilber’s selection process was based on her belief that the selected artists “draw from and expand on quilt tradition in service of artistic ends, from a diverse and exciting range of viewpoints. They were not chosen for an unquestioning adherence to what traditionally defines a quilt. These artists seek to push and question any such boundaries, but do so with a profound respect for and knowledge of past practices and an understanding of the artistic power inherent in craftsmanship.”