Thursday, March 17, 2022

See It Now: A Better World at Visions Art Museum

 By Lonnie Burstein Hewitt. Photos by Maurice Hewitt.

Mother Teresa. Drops of Love: A Life Woven with God by Cindy Pryor, Raleigh, N.C. Made of silk, hand-dyed yarn, clay, fabric and crystals, using sketching, digital editing and printing, weaving, piercing and free-motion quilting.

What better time to see a better world than now? And a terrific exhibition with precisely that name is currently on view at Visions Museum in Liberty Station and will be ending its run April 2. So if you haven’t seen it yet, I have just three words for you: Go, Go, Go!

Mother Teresa is probably the most familiar of the figures represented in this showing of 32 art quilts honoring heroes who have done their best to make our world a better place. Most but not all are women, some well-known, some anonymous, and all are riveting examples of the ever-developing art of contemporary quilting.

Sojourner Truth by Denny Webster, Simpsonville, S.C. A former slave who felt called to spread the Truth, Sojourner spoke powerfully about the injustices of slavery and the necessity of giving all women the right to vote. The image here was taken from a 1939 mural painted by Charles White, who also dedicated his life to social justice and human rights. 

Malala by Lea McComas, Golden, CO. Born in Pakistan, Malala was shot in the head by a Taliban gunman for the offense of being a girl going to school. After multiple surgeries, she finally recovered, and went on to found The Malala Fund, offering educational and leadership opportunities to girls worldwide. She received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014. 

Mr. Rogers, Child Advocate by Hope Wilmarth, Houston, TX. Longtime TV personality Fred Rogers made all his young viewers feel loved, and his passion for spreading kindness made him a hero to the artist. She created his portrait using recycled menswear, acrylic paint, hand-knitting and machine applique and quilting.

Fairy Grandmother by Jana Lankford, Damascus, VA. A fairy grandmother comes to the aid of real-life children. The artist’s mother-in-law is her hero, one of 2.7 million grandmothers in the U.S. helping to raise their grandkids.

Visiting from Denver, Colorado, Fernando and Ericka Branch and their daughters, Lauren and London stopped in to see the exhibition and posed with some of their favorites. 

But wait…there’s more!  Even if you’re not a classic auto-phile, you’ll enjoy the humor and quirky techniques on display in the small gallery adjoining A Better World. Inspired by seeing a junkyard full of rusted-out vintage cars, artist Esterita Austin created a series called Classic Wheels, Rusted Memories which includes paintings on parchment  transferred to transparent organza and then machine quilted. We loved her rendition of someone hanging on a smart phone forever—a plastic skeleton sitting in a passenger seat—based on something she actually saw.

Your Call is Important to Us by Esterita Austin.

There’s even more to see in Visions’ lobby, including an excellent gift shop. And ask someone to direct you to the hallway exhibit—a small grouping of striking pieces by members of the San Diego People of Color Guild.

Artworks from the San Diego People of Color Quilt Guild.

We were lucky enough to have Visions’ Education Programmer and Curatorial Manager Renee Bareno lead us through all the exhibits. What exactly is a curatorial manager?  “We curate by committee,” she said. “It’s a little unusual for museums, but it’s becoming a trend, because it’s collaborative, so rather than having a hierarchy, you get to hear voices from the community.” 

This is a great time for a Visions visit, which you could follow up with a stroll around the grounds at Liberty Station. Happy Spring!

Visions Art Museum 2825 Dewey Rd #100, Liberty Station, Pt. Loma
Hours: Wed-Thurs, 10 am-2pm; Fri-Sat, 10am-4pm.  Free Admission.
(619) 546-4872

Lonnie Burstein Hewitt is an award-winning author/lyricist/playwright who has been writing about arts and lifestyles in San Diego County for over a dozen years. You can reach her at

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