Fantastic Fibers 2015 – Paducah, KY

During AQS QuiltWeek in Paducah, there are all kinds of exhibits to see in addition to the AQS quilt show. The whole town embraces the expansion of its population by 30,000 as the quilters descend, and many of the downtown shops are decorated with quilts. I’ve already written about the Rotary exhibit of antique quilts, and then there is the National Quilt Museum. The latter is exceptional and worth a visit if you anywhere near Paducah at any time of the year.

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In the heart of this small town there is an old market building which houses a historical museum and the Yeiser Art Center. Here, there was a wonderful international juried exhibit, Fantastic Fibers 2015, sponsored by Fiber Art Now Magazine and two former mayors of Paducah. This display included some quilts and a variety of other fiber media such as 3-d fiber sculptures, felted wool, woven materials and more. As quilters, we take our inspiration from many sources and it can be illuminating to look at other art forms. Here’s a sampling of the works that particularly appealed to me.

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This extraordinary piece occupying a large section of wall, Come Fly With Me, by Paula Bowers of Grand Rapids, MI, was made from hand felted fiber. It made a stunning impact from the other side of the room. Close up, it was a beautiful blend of lush colors.

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Snow Bound, by Betty Busby, Albuquerque, NM was a magnificent fiber vase, hand painted and stitched. It stood about five feet tall.

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This art quilt, Fancy Shawl Dancer, by Linda Anderson, Le Mesa CA, was a beautiful piece really capturing the motion of the dancer and the shadow. The piecing, painting and quilting were so intricate and added great depth.

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Three Caged Birds, by Robin Haller, Greenville, NC, is a handwoven triptych. The quilt-like quality of the pattern appealed to me as well as the color combinations.

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On the left is Fiesta, made by Cuauhtemoc Kish, San Diego, CA. I love the composition of this quilt and the use of silks made it very rich. The pair of quilts, From Here to There, by Shea Wilkinson, Omaha, NE depicts the human and robotic brains. The picture does not do justice to the amazingly intricate quilting.

This exhibit ran for two months, so it is now over. It’s possible that it may travel to other areas of the country. If so, I hope you can take a look at the real thing.

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