Innovation, artistry and making a statement are the focuses of “Form, Not Function: Quilt Art at the Carnegie,” an exhibition that kicked off the 2019 edition of its annual show in the Carnegie Center For Art and History on May 24.
The show was curated by three jurors and features 18 quilts that were chosen from hundreds of submissions, according to a press release. In selecting the works to display, the jurors placed a focus on innovation and breaking the mold of traditional quilt art.
“I’m personally interested in seeing how artists can kind of stretch the boundaries beyond standard quilting,” said Daniel Pfalzgraf, the curator at the Carnegie Center who selected the jurors for the show. “So a lot of times when I’m looking for jurors, I try to find some who are traditional quilters, but also some who kind of stretch the boundaries.”
Pfalzgraf did just that this year, as his selected jurors — Terry Jarrard-Dimond, Dr. Carolyn Mazloomi and Colleen Merrill — looked for art that pushed the boundaries and came from artists who thought outside the box. This has led to a great deal of variety in the works selected.
“There are works in it that are exquisite in their technique, and there are works that are exquisite in their concept,” Jarrard-Dimond told Insider. “These things run all the way from very abstract and freeform to very hard-pressed geometrics.”
Jarrard-Dimond, an artist who has had her work displayed in collections including the Coca-Cola International in Atlanta and the Federal Reserve Bank in Charlotte, also said the works submitted for the show were a good indicator about the future of quilt art.
“There were a lot of people represented that I’ve never heard of,” she said. “That means it’s a very healthy medium — a lot of people are coming into it. A lot of new people, a lot of young people. That’s always good for a show.”
Artwork in “Form, Not Function” features unconventional methods of quilting and even some political statements. For example, “Womanscape” by Kathy Nida is a piece that advocates for women’s rights.
“I let memories, good and bad, reconcile with pen and paper; these days, they translate into the texture of fabric, beads, embroidery, paint and pen,” Nida said in a statement about her work. “Recently, more work is political, focusing on women’s rights, climate change, gun control and other issues that invade my brain.”
Nida’s quilt won the Inspired by Nature Award.
Arturo Alonzo Sandoval’s quilt, titled “Pattern Fusion No. 18: Motherboard 9,” focuses on innovation and creativity by using 20th-century industrial materials.
“My interest in exotic materials — Mylar, Lurex, holographic diffraction grating and other high-tech products — has never swayed, and the surfaces created by their use continues to excite me,” said Sandoval in a statement about the work. “My explorations have produced a variety of aesthetic qualities of which reflections emitted from the surfaces of my forms continue to provide an added dimension to my creations.”
Sandoval’s quilt won the Award of Excellence in the show.
“Form, Not Function” will remain on display through July 20 at the Carnegie Center, 201 E. Spring St. in New Albany.
Here are more photos from the exhibit below: