TEXTILE ALLIANCE BLANKETS A MASTERPIECE
The Cleveland Plain Dealer
Published on April 14, 1995
By Helen Cullinan
Old-timers who remember exhibitions of the Textile Arts Alliance of the Cleveland Museum of Art in the days of floral embroideries and petit point designs might wince at things like Anne Warren's "Crib Quilt with Flying Tropical Brains," or Katherine Shaughnessy's recycling of used tea bags and coffee filters in wall hangings.
Considering that the alliance has been around for 60 years, times have definitely changed. This year in particular old-timers might also marvel at the way in which TAA members have pooled their talents to reproduce a treasured Dutch old master floral painting from the museum collection to help finance the organization's 60th anniversary present to the museum.
Composed of 20 squares independently done by TAA members, the quilt measures about four times the size of the 14 by 11 1/2-inch oil-on-copper still life by Ambrosius Bosschaert (1573-1621), and features touches of surface embellishment. It wonderfully replicates the painting's content, coloration and antique flavor.
The quilt is not an integral part of this year's juried show of 32 works selected from 133 entries. Neverless, along with a collaborative art jacket and woven wall hanging, it will accompany the regular show, opening with a reception from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Wednesday in the Classroom Level Gallery at 11150 East Blvd., University Circle.
The quilt, reversible jacket and weaving all have been produced by TAA members to raise money for an as yet unspecified 60th anniversary gift. Show viewers can purchase tickets in the exhibition gallery for a drawing to determine the recipients, or can call 991-1847 or 247-4021 to order.
Founded in the mid-1930s to encourage textile artists and to support the museum's textile arts department, the alliance boasts 175 members and a year-round agenda centering on the juried show.
While this year's show is smaller than most, it compensates as a strong and varied representation with an experimental edge. Jurors were Marlene Mancini Frost, professor emeritus of the Kent State University School of Art, and Naomi Whiting Towner, Illinois State University art professor and director of its fiber program. "Focus: Fiber 1995" will remain for viewing through June 18.