Thursday, September 9, 2021

Connecting Our Natural Worlds - SAQA Global Quilt Exhibit (Day 5)

The Connecting Our Natural Worlds exhibit by SAQA showcases art quilts that illustrate the natural wonder of habitats around the globe. Through their own unique artistic interpretation, each artist has identified danger to flora and fauna in their own backyards. The selected pieces inspire viewers to get closer to nature and become better stewards for our environment.  We recently visited this outstanding exhibit at the Brigham City Museum in Utah.

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Lilies of the Valley by Sarah Ann Smith (Maine)

Sarah Ann Smith used dyed fabrics, fusible applique, and machine quilting to create this masterpiece honoring Lilies of the Valley.  She notes that climate change has impacted many natural events. For example, the majority of the maple syrup is now produced in Canada, having shifted north of the border. "Late every spring, I look for Lilies of the Valley, which are called May Blooms in German.  I wonder, with global warming and climate change, will they become April Blooms?"

Summer Light Brigade by Diane Melms (Alaska)

Here is a stunning tribute to fireflies, created with cotton, hand dyed fabric, tulle, paint, and beads.  Diane Melms has managed to capture the glow of fireflies against the dark forested background.  She says, "On warm summer nights, the flickering glow of fireflies would light up the back yard of my family home. The magical light left me mesmerized as these tiny flying lights blinked their way into my heart."  The hand stitching captures the meandering paths of the fireflies.

Sadly, firefly populations are disappearing due to habitat loss, pollution, and many other factors. "We can conserve firefly populations by protecting biodiversity hotspots that support firefly species, and by prohibiting the harvesting of wild fireflies... we can also turn off our outside lights, reduce our use of toxic chemicals, and create natural firefly habitats."

Texas Wild Rice by Nancy Costea

Texas Wild Rice focuses on this graceful but fragile plant that only survives in a two-mile stretch of the San Marcos River in Hays County, Texas. Its long leaves float under water while its stems rise above when the rice blooms. In this elegant art quilt, Nancy Costea used couched yarn to represent the delicate stems, while hand cut and polished copper pieces depict the grains of rice, shown below. 

Iridescent ribbons were used to accentuate the undulating leaves of the plant. The black background represents the sky and creates a dramatic contrast with the green leaves.  Nancy Costea says that educating the public about this plant, and cordoning off the area where it grows, are steps that could help to preserve this unique species.

In Awe by Ruthann Adams (Utah)

This photo printed quilt depicts a spot on the Anasazi Trail beside Quail Creek in the Red Cliffs Desert Reserve in Washington County, Utah. This area is not well known, and probably the best way to preserve it is to keep it that way. Ruthann Adams says, "I call this quilt In Awe, because that is the feeling it evokes." 

Ruthann has captured the ethereal beauty of this desert scene with digital photography, enhanced with quilting and painting.  The colors of the landscape can be seen in these closeup photos.  A small waterfall, cascading into a pool, is shown below.


 Image credits: Photos were taken by Quilt Inspiration at the Brigham City Museum in Utah. As of August 2021, many of the pieces can be purchased at the Connecting Our Natural Worlds web page.

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