The Dairy Barn in Athens, Ohio
Quilt National is a biennial art quilt exhibition that held on odd-numbered years at the Dairy Barn in Athens, Ohio. This year's show includes 88 quilts from 20 states and 6 countries.
Since Athens in only 2.5 hours away from Yellow Springs, I've been fortunate to go to this show the last 3 times. This year I went with Lori and Kim who are both art quilters. We spent 6 hours in the car and 4.5 hours looking at quilts (3 hours here and 1.5 hours at the Zanesville Art Museum, below). And we had a blast. (In 2009, Lori and I went with Macy, which you can read about here.)
If you're wondering why there's a photo of the outside of the Dairy Barn, that's because you aren't allowed to take photos of the quilts in the show.
My favorite quilt this year was "Meadow Pine 2" by Nelda Warkentin, who has had several quilts in the show in past years and was one of the jurors for this year. Her quilt appears to be mostly painted tulle that has been layered. I found the colors very calming and awed by the way the colors shifted depending on what was layered over the other colors. I just couldn't stop staring at it. She had a similar quilt in the show two years ago.
Two other quilts that I really liked were Bette Uscott-Woolsey's "52 Pickup" (no photo at this time) and Paula Kovarik's "Global Warming, The Great Unraveling." Paula's entry in the 2009 show was my favorite from that year. Her "Global Warming" quilt can be seen on her website: (www.paulakovarik.com/journal/tag/global-warming). It is beautiful but subtle quilt with a lot of intricate yet whimsical quilting that almost seems to be doodling. I strive to do more with my quilting which might be why I'm entranced by her work. And after a little poking around her website, I learned that she is also a graphic designer.
Quilt National is at the Dairy Barn Arts Center, 8000 Dairy Barn Lane in Athens, Ohio through Sept. 5 and costs $7. The Dairy Barn Arts Center is open Tues.-Fri. from 11 am- 5 pm, Sat.-Sun. from noon-5 pm, and they are also open until 8 pm on Thursdays. After Sept. 5 the show will be grouped into different parts and travel to Moorhead, MN, St. Charles, MO, San Jose, CA and Sainte Marie aux Mines, France.
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Kim and Lori outside the Zanesville Museum of Art.
Lori, Kim and I also went to the Zanesville Museum of Art. While Zanesville isn't exactly on the way from Yellow Springs to Athens, it only added an extra hour to the drive. We went to see exhibit "Superlatives:" quilts and fiberarts by seven acclaimed Ohioans: Deborah Melton Anderson, Sue Cavanaugh, Sandra Palmer Ciolino, Rebecca Cross, Nancy Crow, Linda French and June O'Neil. Deborah and Rebecca have had quilts in Quilt National before, Sue had a quilt in the last time and also this year, and Nancy was one of the founding members of Quilt National and has had several quilts in the show. (And again, I wasn't allowed to take photos of the quilts.)
I was really taken by Sandra's quilts where she used hand dyed fabrics and created a unique shape or block that she repeated over and over but changed the size of the block which made it very interesting visually, and she does a lot of quilting on her quilts. She had quilts from her Martello Series and also her Sgabello Series. (Sandra also has a quilt in the Aullwood show "Water, Water Everywhere" that Lori and I are also in.)
Linda French has more of a traditional feel but her technique is amazing and her color choices are sublime. Her quilt "Circles of Life" is very impressive, the curved machine piecing, the intricate machine quilting and the complex hand appliques (all those little circles, and some with trapunto, I think) and not anything I plan on attempting. (The first photo is out of proportion, the other photos are correct).
Unfortunately this show is already over, we went on the second-to-the-last day it was open. The museum does have several quilts in their permanent collection but they aren't always on display.