Summer — especially as hot as this one's been — strikes me as an odd time to be thinking about quilts, but that's what's on the mind of Judy Hagler, owner of Translations Gallery (773 Santa Fe Drive, 303-629-0713), in her new exhibit, Flow. Then again, the cloth pieces in Flow are not really bed covers but wall hangings, which, if I may say so, are as cool at this time of year as they would be warm in the dead of winter.
Flow was juried by Marilyn Dillard, a founder and the first president of the Front Range Contemporary Quilters group. Entries came from the regional membership in the Mountain West chapter of the Studio Art Quilt Associates, and Dillard selected pieces that illustrated the word "flow" in some way.
It's strange to jury according to a theme, as Dillard did in this case, and I've rarely encountered this approach before. However, there's no arguing with Dillard's good result. By looking for things that suggested "flow," she came up with a show that looks more like a curated offering than the stylistic free-for-all we've come to expect from juried efforts.
Many of the pieces in Flow evoke the image of water, including Mary Jo Lawrence's "Moon River," which is partly painted with acrylic and resembles a flowing river. More archetypal than representational in its suggestion of water is "Rice Terraces of the Cordillas," by Sue Kongs (pictured), in which wavy lines were created not through piecing, as I first thought, but through resist-dying, with the outlines of the pattern underscored by machine stitching.
Contemporary painting is obviously an important inspiration for quilters, and a number of the pieces in this show could be easily mistaken for works on canvas or paper. Many of the artists seem to be interested in pushing the envelope of quilting, and that makes this exhibit quite interesting.
There are only a couple of days left to catch Flow at Translations, as the SAQA-sponsored outing is set to close on August 25.