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Monday, June 4, 2012

Dayton Landmark's Quilts--Interpreting photos by the slice!




Dayton Landmarks as hanging in Schuster Center. L - R: Mendolson's, Sue DeSantis,  Carrillon,  Dayton Skyline (part 1, Carroll Schleppi, Dayton Skyline Part 2, Lisa Quintana, Sacred Heart Church, Dayton Art Institute, Mindy Marik, The Arcade


Some of the craziness I was participating in last week was the installation of a series of "slice" quilts at the Schuster Center for the Performing Arts in Dayton, Ohio.  These quilts were a long time in the hanging.  In about 2009, a group of us had seen the "slice" quilts at the National Quilters Association show in Columbus and we thought we wanted to give it a go.  The quilts in Columbus were scenes of a river, which flowed from one piece into another.  We thought we'd do scenes of locations which were readily recognized as Dayton.

At first, we contacted some photography groups in Dayton to see if they were interested.  When no one responded, we asked our own Ronnie Doyal who is an art quilter and pretty danged good photographer working with David Lorenz Studios in Dayton.  Ronnie took a series of shots and three of us, Lori Gravley, Mindy Marik and I, looked at the images and chose which ones would be best to be divided into segments and then handed out to Miami Valley Art Quilt members to interpret in cloth.

We had sign ups, where everyone who was interested in a particular image put their names in a "hat" and we drew to assign segments.  Some of us did more than one....all of the quilts were to be 42" long, with the width being proportional in order to make sure that the show would look good when hanging with all the segments completed.



This wasn't without trauma as some of the places doing photocopies were less than accurate in their segment lengths.  This is Ronnie's photo of the Carillon Tower at Carillon Park.  I fell in love with the dramatic lighting...taken just as the sun went down.


Here's how Sue DeSantis and I interpreted the piece.  My "slice" is on the left, and Sue's is the right.  Sue used a commercial gradient fabric in teal as her background with a selection of greyish neutrals for the tower.  Her bells are small craft bells.  She quilted it on the diagonal and put small hot-fix crystals to show the evening stars.  My segment was made with a rust dye fabric with tea to give it the greyish look.   The trees are made with a machine lace, which was cut away in segments to let the yellow glow show through.  The blue background is a commercial batik which unfortunately, I was only able to obtain in fat quarter sizes, so I had to piece it.  I used organza ribbon to give the shadow on the pylon.  Unfortunately, I learned too late that organza tends to run away from your presser foot.  I think if I use it again, I'll glue it down first, or fuse so I can get a perfectly straight line.




Lori Gravley, Mindy Marik and I chose to do the Dayton Art Institute in order to show our members what we meant.  I particularly liked how the wording came out "Dayton Art" which we took to be our theme, and our thought was that in future shows this would be the introductory panel.  Lori took the left panel, I had the middle, and Mindy took the right.  I used rust dyed muslin for the body of the building, and over-dyed a piece of peach colored polyester moire for the roof.  I also used various ribbons for the metal parts on the door.  Mindy used various neutrals to replicate the blocks of the building, and Lori made hers from a commercial print.  I think it is pretty interesting how the colors really blend and give the feeling of being on the same building.  My section of the steel sculpture is made with a polyester metallic knit which I fused with sheers, and I can't remember what all to give the illusion of the reflection in the steel.  Lori used various commercial prints.  All of us edited out the various posters and notices (such as the hours) in order to make it a better composition.

Over the next several days, I will be showing more of the pieces.  They will be on exhibition at the Schuster Center until June 24.   The center is open from 7:00 am until about 11:00 pm, after the last show Tuesday through Sunday.  Mondays the building is open for viewing from 7:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m.  We will be showing the quilts with their photographs at two other venues this summer and fall, and will be announced as soon as we have the details straightened out.

11 comments:

Maria Elkins said...

You all did an amazing job! I love how it turned out. Congratulations!

Lisa Broberg Quintana said...

Thank you Maria. They are much more magnificent in person. You just can't get the detail here. Wait until you see the pieces in the next couple of days! It is marvelous what such a group of people who use various techniques, along with some just beginning to make art quilts along side season fiber artists were able to do.

Nancy said...

This is terrific. Loved seeing a bit of Dayton. Nancy

Carol Miller said...

Amazing! I had to really look to see that they were separate pieces.

Madeline said...

What a treat to see your wonderful interpretations, along with comments on the construction. Well done!

Bobbe Nolan said...

Makes me miss Dayton--we lived there for 15 years. Your interpretations are great, really express the liveliness of the city. And I'm impressed that you could get the project coordinated so well.

ann said...

These are wonderful! I would think the city might like to display them in a city building. However, it has been my experience that because it requires a group decision, it may take months. Perhaps you might have a display at the library. Our library is always open to such things + + + the decision making involves fewer people.

Lisa Broberg Quintana said...

Thanks. I am waiting to hear the exact dates from one of our members about showing in a local church's gallery, before going to the Dayton Metro Library in the fall. I contacted NQA about showing it, but they didn't make a decision quickly enough...and I finally pulled the plug and put it in at the Schuster during their showing of "Wicked."

NQA did ask me to "remind them next year" but since I contacted them in Dec., and as of the middle of May hadn't determined whether they would use them or not....I had to make the decision of what to do next, as "Wicked" is a large show drawing lots of people.

Ronnie Doyal suggested auctioning them (each "image" with all its slices) and then donating the money to a local arts group. The board and the membership have to discuss that, but I think that's a splendid idea. Dayton Airport has some exhibition spaces, which would also make sense for a local show, but unfortunately, they never got back to me....I think the word "quilt" sort of puts people off...and they don't understand this concept at all anyway. Even the Schuster kept on calling them "banners." I think we finally got it across when they saw it hung.

Martha Ginn said...

Lisa, these renditions of Dayton photos are marvelous! And even more interesting by the division into two or three pieces. Great job! You are helping introduce the public to fiber art if they can get past the preconceived notions of a "quilt."
Martha Ginn

Madeline said...

How disappointing that both the NQA and the airport dropped the ball on the opportunity to show these fabulous quilts. The airport would have been a perfect venue.

Lisa Broberg Quintana said...

NQA said that they would consider it next year, if I reminded them. I'm not sure about the airport...I think if I could actually convince the person to meet me and SEE the pieces, it would be a different thing.

I think that once again the "q" word gets us..."My grandmother used to quilt..." and if I hear one more traditional quilt block being described as "Amish" (a PR piece on the Quilt Barns of Miami County (OH) described the quilt as being
Amish Blocks" even though as far as I know, Rafael Arroyo (I think is the artist) is the only one who actually paints patterns into the "fabrics" of the blocks and quilt blocks are quilt blocks. No offense to Miami County's German Baptist and Old Order populations.