Kimball Art Center launches new exhibits
June 1, 2010
The Kimball Art Center will kick of the summer by launching three new exhibits on June 5:
"Don’t Fence Me In: Contemporary Quilts"
Explore contemporary quilts in the Main Gallery from June 5 through July 25. Two Colorado quilters’ groups, The Piecemakers and Quilt Explorations, take a decidedly modern look at the icons of the West. The 52 quilts in this upcoming exhibit at the Kimball Art Center explore various themes. Carol Watkins’ "Times Past: Rocking Chair" shows a rocking chair against the backdrop of a vacant house, exploring the issue of abandonment. Some colorful quilts of immigrants relate the seamstress’ origins and depict how their art changed with the differences in landscape and culture as they moved west. Others explore newer themes, like Jaime Bolane’s "Horse Zen," which depicts a haunting combination of Japanese calligraphy and split rail fences. Some quilters delight in wordplay. The "Cow Pie" dessert of Gay Lasher and other titles like "Amarillo Armadillo" and "Da Fence Rests" assure that these quilters will never be accused of taking the West too seriously.
Exhibit curator Judith Trager will lead an art talk on Thursday, June 17, at 6:30 p.m. The 45-minute lecture will take a humorous look at the 52 quilts in the exhibition and talk about quilts in the lives of Western women and the importance quilts have had in Western society.
On Friday, June 18, Trager will present a one-day crash course workshop from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Participants will learn contemporary crazy quilt technique and how to use it to achieve landscape and color-wash effects. This style of piecing makes the raw material or "canvas" for quilts that can be complex yet easy to construct. This is not a "scrap quilt" technique–rather the pieces will be cut from new fabric which has been selected for its qualities of texture, color, and suitability to idea. Once a background is created, the student will have a good background for embellishing, painting, appliquéing, and layering a very complex design. This class is for intermediate to advanced level students. Student must have good working knowledge of his/her sewing machine and experience using a rolling cutter such as an Olfa cutter. All fabrics will be cut freehand. Students must bring their own sewing machine to class. Space is limited. Register at least seven days in advance. The cost is $100 (10 percent discount for members).
On Saturday and Sunday, June 19-20, Trager will lead a two-day workshop on
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"Exploring the Surface: An Integrated Approach." The class will run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days and will focus on simple but seemingly complex techniques such as painting, free-motion machine embroidery, layering and appliqué. Students will learn how to integrate these techniques with pieced work to create quilts and clothing that can be interesting and powerful. Space is limited, so students must register seven days in advance. The course fee is $150 (10 percent discount for members). Register by June 9 to receive $5 off.
Justin Wheatley: "House on the Street"
Salt Lake artist Justin Wheatley is fascinated by the way people create their surroundings and inhabit them. His layered images, a combination of photographs and painting, are salvaged fragments of individual places and moments that bring attention to beauty often overlooked in forgotten detail.
As a high school teacher, Wheatley thinks a lot about where his students come from. "You never know what’s on the other side of someone’s life, and there are all these layers in society, so I try to portray that in my work. using mixed media, you can use so many different tools to achieve a depth in the piece that is similar to the complexities in human nature." Justin’s portrayal of houses also addresses the structure and geometry of buildings and the impact of the manmade on the natural landscape.
Enjoy Wheatley’s paintings and mixed media pieces June 5 through Aug. 8 in the Kimball Art Center’s Garage Gallery. Meet the artist on Friday, July 30, from 6 to 9 p.m. during the Park City Gallery Stroll.
Bridget Conn: "Conjure Tales"
Nature was dirty. Food couldn’t grow on trees. Breakfast was cupcakes. "This upbringing actually propelled me into a state of curiosity later in life," Bridget Conn says. "It pushed me into a mode of conservation and sustainability, into a yearning for tradition. Birds at my feeder, plants I grew up with never knowing their names, fruits I never tasted, cycles and seasons I depend on are all part of these curiosities, and a basis for art-making."
Conn is drawn to different approaches to spirituality, and especially to the concept of ritual. Ritual is a means of elevating the importance of simple gestures and observations, and she uses ritual in her art both as a working method, and a subject of exploration. Her work with found objects expresses her desire for a connection to tradition, whether it be cultural, geographic or familial. By collecting objects and conjuring stories with them, Conn creates a personal alchemy that evokes order, understanding and magic in the mundane.
Experience Bridget Conn’s exhibit, "Conjure Tales," in the Kimball’s Badami Gallery June 5 through Aug. 1. Meet the artist on Friday, June 25, from 6 to 9 p.m. during the monthly gallery stroll.
Conn will also teach a two-day workshop entitled "Alternative Photo and Mixed Media" on Wednesday and Thursday, June 23-24, from 6 to 9 p.m. In this class, students will explore image printing on alternative surfaces. On the first day, students will select an image and affix it to a wooden surface. On the second day, students will add various mixed media such as pencil, watercolor crayon and other materials to complete a piece of work. The cost for the workshop is $100 (10 percent discount for members) materials included.
For more information about upcoming exhibits and events at the Kimball Art Center, visit http://www.kimballartcenter.org .