Get Your Quilt On: Quilting Exhibit Opens at American Swedish Institute

Photo via wombat quilts

Music & Arts

Get Your Quilt On: Quilting Exhibit Opens at American Swedish Institute

Quilt and history lovers mark your calendars: Quilting Art Today, highlighting the work of local and national independent quilters – including artists from Sweden – opens at the American Swedish Institute in Minneapolis on June 18 and runs through Oct. 23.

Think quilting is just for grandmas? Think again.

Photo via Jerry
Photo via Jerry, Flickr

“Quilts, like recipes, are often handed down through generations and are tactile reminders of our ancestors’ creative skills,” said Bruce Karstadt, president/CEO of the American Swedish Institute. “While quilting has a long, yet little-known, history in Sweden, it was also influenced by American folk arts. Of the 1.2 million Swedes that emigrated to U.S., about 10 percent ended up returning to Sweden, bringing with them American ideas including those about quilt-making. So we’re excited at the American Swedish Institute to host this exhibition as a proud display of the art from and how it has been shared among many different cultures.”

The exhibit is organized by Minnesota Quilters, Inc., a volunteer, nonprofit organization dedicated to the celebration of quilting. Patrons can expect to see the evolving relationship between quilters and materials and techniques and textiles.

A news release from ASI explains the impact quilting has made on cultures across the world:

“From its humble origins as a craft to create a practical bed covering, quilting has been transformed into a multi-faceted art form practiced worldwide. Quilts exploring abstract and representational visual art have emerged from multiple cultures, drawing on unique themes and techniques. Some artists practice traditional hand quilting techniques, while others use sewing machines. Many traditional quilters rely on colorful fabrics to assemble scenes and patterns, while contemporary artists may use beads, altered fibers, dyes and other non-traditional materials. Quilters continue to create handstitched home heirlooms, but in today’s dynamic 21st Century, quilting has become a form of artistic expression and a vehicle for social commentary.”

The exhibits will feature quilts of all sizes, quilted garments and more. Works from Swedish textile artist Katriina Flensburg will highlight contemporary art quilts. Flensburg is founder of the Quilt Academy of Sweden, known as Svenska Quiltakademin.

Visitors also can admire quilts inspired by President Obama and the late musician Prince.

An extension of the exhibit opens Aug. 20: Quilting Art Today – The Nordic Quilts, will add works from Norway, Denmark, Finland and Iceland and will be displayed at the ASI’s historic Turnblad Mansion, located at 2600 Park Avenue, Minneapolis, MN.

Special quilt-related events will be added to the museum’s calendar: http://www.asimn.org/calendar.

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