Thursday, August 27, 2020

Behind the Exhibition: Southern California Contemporary Quilts at the Oceanside Museum of Art

by Patricia Frischer

Marty Ornish: Abstracted Recollection, 2014 with part of seven abandoned quilts made into a ball gown. When you make new things from old bits it is suggested you freeze fabrics to rid them of any living creatures for about 2 weeks. 

Beth Smith, Curator (right) joined  Katie Dolgov, exhibition manager of OMA for a behind the scenes look at the newest exhibition at the Oceanside Museum of Art. 

OMA started showing quilts in 2002 when Beth was part of the staff. This show was chosen especially by Beth, Katie and the OMA director Marie Mingalone to represent what is going on today in the quilt community. Digital communication has made a big difference  not only in the creation of quilts but also in researching the artist for this exhibition.   Thirty-give artists were selected, some never shown before at OMA and all because they push the boundaries of the medium.  They all also represents the zeitgeist of Southern California. Seascapes, tide pools, mid-century homes, mountains, palm trees, birds and fires.

These are not traditional quilts but fit into the definition of two pieces of fabric that are stitched together. Traditional quilts are older and functional and use patterns passed down. Modern quilts are geometric and with sold colors. Contemporary quilts are those done all over America. They are very popular with the public and draw thousands of viewers. It is a large industry with professional and amateur quilters, regional shows and conventions.

The artist chosen for this show are at the top of their game and have real excellence. Beth Smith looked at websites and used the internet to make choices and with her long experience in this field, knew most of the artists she wanted to include. This was not an open call. Art that chosen was outside of the box, often with a new uses of materials or extremely complicated and precise techniques.

This information was gained during a virtual presentation and we are hoping to see the actual exhibition in the future. You can watch the entire conversation at this link. 

There is a further streaming event .
SmallTalk: SoCal Quilters Roundup with Beth Smith

Thurs, Sept 24, 7:00 – 8:00pm
The exhibition will be up until Feb 21, 2021.  

Charlotte Bird: Southland Odyssey, 2019 is a nine foot quilted book with different scenes of Southern California.

Neldra McComb: Homage to David Hockney, Palm Springs, 2019

Jane LaFazio: Red 2015, hand felted and hand stitched has a huge variety of stitches and textures. You want to touch it but of course, you can’t. 

Gillian Moss: We Came, We Liked, we Stayed 2019 is a Californian bear in flip flops. Very auto biographical with symbols from her life. 

Libby Williamson: Burn Cycles, 2019 Lots of materials burlap, cheesecloth, zipper, measuring tape. Heavily layered and textured.  102 inches tall. 

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