Voices

Not your typical quilt show

An interpretation of Paul Gauguin’s “The Three Tahitians” by quilt artist Donna Deaver at a juried exhibition at the Jacklin Arts and Cultural Center in Post Falls. Courtesy of Richard Chan (Courtesy of Richard Chan)
An interpretation of Paul Gauguin’s “The Three Tahitians” by quilt artist Donna Deaver at a juried exhibition at the Jacklin Arts and Cultural Center in Post Falls. Courtesy of Richard Chan (Courtesy of Richard Chan)

For me, stumbling upon brilliant artistic creativity for the first time is always a thrilling experience, especially when the discovery is made in a totally unexpectedly place, as it was this past Sunday.

At the invitation of a friend with three works on display, my wife Deborah and I visited a juried exhibition at the Jacklin Arts and Cultural Center in Post Falls whose theme was “Imagination Unleashed.” And boy howdy was it ever!

This wasn’t the type of artwork that blooms in Northwest-area craft shows and art festivals each year, the handiwork of regional jewelers, wood carvers, photographers, painters and glass artisans. This was, rather, the work of those whose medium of choice is fabric.

It was a quilting show.

I don’t know about you, but when I think of quilting I think of a bunch of white-haired ladies piecing together bits and pieces of fabric scraps while exchanging juicy gossip and complaining about the abysmal language skills of the young.

Ha! Based on this show, nothing could be further from the truth. These quilters are genuine artistes.

Rather than simply strips of fabric placed in geometric patterns, these quilts were practically an introductory class in Western art history, demonstrating perspective, shadow, color, light, and mood through the palettes of realism, impressionism and modern art. Among the more than 70 quilts were stunning interpretations of Paul Gauguin’s “The Three Tahitians” by Donna Deaver, a depiction of an active Mount St. Helens by Terri Ring, and Lynne Gettlefinger’s underwater seascape that could’ve been a scene from Disney’s Finding Nemo. There was even a hat’s-off to modernism by artist Karen Querna called “Sunshine Falls on the Forest Floor.”

Wow.

It makes me wonder how many other half-baked, totally wrong misconceptions there are lurking in my life.

Reach Richard Chan by e-mail at richard-chan@comcast.net.


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