September 13–November 1, 2009 

(Columbus, Ohio)—Contemporary quilts that communicate through color, texture and imagery, as well as through incorporation of the written word, are showcased in the latest exhibition at the Ohio Craft Museum. On view September 13 through November 1, “Conversations in Fabric” features 26 works by 25 artists from across the United States and Canada. Curators Linda Fowler and Tracy Rieger, co-directors of Quilt Surface Design Symposium, note that the exhibition “offers the viewer a link into the world of the artist. Linear marks, symbols and curious arrangements of objects challenge our minds to find an interpretation, whether it is a personal idealogy, a political viewpoint or a commemoration of an event.”

“The messages are made by altering the surfaces in a variety of fabric techniques—appliqué, couching, embroidery, felting, foiling, fusing, painting, piecing, photo transfers, thermofax screenprinting and stamping. In some cases, found materials and embellishing beads are used.”

Canadian artist Dorothy Caldwell’s quilts focus on the land and our interaction with it: “Like the marks of ordinary stitching and repair, I am interested in the marks people record on the land—patterns of settlement and farming and how they interact with natural geological forms,” she comments.

Using airbrushing, screenprinting and painting techniques, Coneaut, Ohio, artist Sandy Shelenberger creates work that  “explores the emotional conflict of letting go while wanting to hang on,” she explains. “My artwork is intended to be a positive message about the process of working through life’s issues.” 

Quilts by several other Ohio artists will be featured as well: Deborah Anderson, Sue Cavanaugh, Patricia Larson, Columbus; Catherine Jeffers, Centerville; Barbara Lind, Cleveland Heights; and Susan Shie, Wooster.

The exhibition opens on Sunday, September 13, with a reception from 1 to 4 p.m. At 3 p.m., Linda Fowler will present a gallery talk. “Quilt Magic,” a Hand in Hand parent/child workshop, will also be held during the opening at the museum. From 1 to 3 p.m., children and their favorite adult will create magical quilt squares using colorful fabrics, their own imagination and no stitching. The workshop is offered free of charge with support from Arlington Bank. Pre-registration is required. Telephone (614) 486-4402.

On Sunday, October 11, from 1 to 3 p.m., co-curator Tracy Rieger will present “Quilt Top Square,” a CraftView Afternoon workshop, during which adults and teens will learn to piece and hand-stitch a contemporary quilt top square. Participants will take home a finished square that can be quilted to use as a potholder or to form the beginning of a quilt. Fee: $12; ODC members, $10. Space is limited. Telephone (614) 486-4402 to register.

The Ohio Craft Museum receives ongoing funding from the Ohio Arts Council, the Greater Columbus Arts Council and the Columbus Foundation. The museum is located at 1665 West Fifth Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43212. Hours are Monday–Friday, 10 A.M.–5 P.M.; and Saturday–Sunday, 1–4 P.M., during exhibitions only. Admission and parking are free. For further information, telephone (614) 486-4402; or see our website at