On the last Friday of each month, the Denver Art Museum throws a theme party. On June 27, the organizing topic is textiles in honor of the soon-to-close Gee’s Bend: The Architecture of the Quilt, which is currently on display in the Stanton Gallery in the Ponti-tower but will be coming down on July 6. The amazing show highlights quilts made over the last seventy-five years in Gee’s Bend, Alabama, an isolated agrarian community with a population descended from slaves. The quilts reveal not only the ingenuity of their makers, who often used worn-out fabrics from discarded work clothes, but also their obvious interest in creating eye-popping designs like the ones pictured here.
The event is called Untitled #16 (Thread) and it’s on from 6 to 10 p.m. Among the festivities will be a presentation by an artist and arts activist known as Frau Fiber, who urges people to make their own clothes in order to break free from the corporate garment industry. Fancy Tiger, the South Broadway knitting shop, will be sponsoring a community knitting project in which participants pass the knitting needles from one person to the next, collectively making something. The finale will be a concert by the Spirituals Project Choir, a singing group interested in the preservation of old sacred spirituals. The choir will perform in the Stanton with the Gee’s Bend quilts surrounding them, thus linking up these two African-American traditions: gospel music and quilt-making.
All the activities in Untitled #16 are included with your regular DAM admission, but alas you’ll have to pay for your own drinks, since there’s a cash bar. For more information, contact the museum, 100 West 14th Avenue Parkway, at 720-865-5000 or www.denverartmuseum.org. -- Michael Paglia