There were several special exhibits displayed at the AQS QuiltWeek in Des Moines. One was The World Painters Challenge. In 1995, a group of quilters from Japan formed the Nihon Heritage Quilters Guild. They participate in an annual quilt challenge and every few years, the challenge is extended to include other nations. A list of 30 world-famous painters was chosen for 30 quilters from Japan, France and USA. Each quilter was assigned an artist and challenged to design a piece of fiber art either representing a work of their painter of making a design of their choice in the style of that painter. Here are photos of four of the quilts that particularly appealed to me. The famous painters are easily recognizable in these creative pieces.
Benedicte Hanot from France made the Salvador Dali piece. She painted plain white fabric with acrylic paints and machine and hand appliqued a variety of textiles including leather. There is embellishment with embroidery, pearls, driftwood, sequins and machine quilting. The Vincent Van Gogh piece was made by Nancy Kibbey from OR. Her inspiration came while sketching a lawn chair which reminded her of Van Gogh’s painting of The Chair and the Pipe. She included themes from other paintings too, including The Harvest. She used cotton fabrics, both commercial and hand painted, which are fused with raw edges.
Joan Miro’s work is represented by Ginny Steller from OR. Although much of Miro’s artwork is childlike with a sinister twist, she chose a lighter moment depicting a cat in a garden. Dark lines and solid colors define the shapes. Jae McDonald, also from OR, interpreted Gustav Klimt’s Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer. Jae writes, “I’ve often thought of Klimt as a very “quilterly” painter, with his peculiar use of shape, pattern and color.” This is made from hand-painted cotton and lamé, and commercial fabrics embellished with acrylic inks, fabric paints, metallic threads, gold-plated paillets , beads and wire.