Forget everything you thought you knew about quilts. Even Grandma's most extreme quilting patterns never hinted at the possibilities realized in the work on display at Don't Fence Me In: Contemporary Quilting, on view today through May 18 at the Longmont Museum and Cultural Center, 400 Quail Road in Longmont. Working with a "New West" theme, the members of Colorado quilting collectives the Piecemakers and Quilt Explorations have elevated the genre from rustic craft to avant-garde art. "There are actually quite a number of quilters in the last thirty years who have taken quilting in the direction of fiber and textile art, to the point of blurring the lines between quilts and fabric art," curator Erik Mason says. "These are quilts, but they are about as far from Grandma's fuzzy quilts as you can get."
The works incorporate materials as diverse as digital photos and rusty metal. Techniques including hand dyeing, silkscreening and embroidery are frequently employed. The results are just as varied from the grungy, organic look and lonely themes of Gretchen Hill's "Abandoned 2" to the brilliant colors and rhinestone-psychedelia aesthetics of Betsy Cannon's "Amarillo Armadillo."
Admission to the museum is free. Several lectures and workshops by the artists are scheduled throughout the exhibit's run. Visit www.ci.longmont.co.us/museum or call 303-651-8374 for details.
May 24-July 13, 2008