Kentucky Artisan Center
Reception for Exhibition at Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea - "Celebrate the Feminine: Quilting for the Cure"
A meet-the-artist reception will be held Saturday, Feb. 19 from 1–3 p.m. at the Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea for the center’s exhibition, Celebrate the Feminine: Quilting for the Cure. This is the last stop for this exhibition that has been touring for 18 months throughout four states. The exhibit will be on display at the Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea, now through March 26, 2011. The Feb. 19 reception is open to the public and there is no admission charge.
This exhibition was initiated and curated by Berea Quilt artist Pat Cheshire Jennings. Jennings explains that it all started when she saw so many of her friends and relatives struggling with breast cancer. When her good friend and husband’s cousin lost her battle with cancer after six years, Jennings wanted to do something to bring awareness to breast cancer via an organization of women.
Jennings presented her idea to members of Quilt Artists of Kentucky, an auxiliary of the Kentucky Heritage Quilt Society. This quilting group embraced the idea of “women helping women” and 46 quilters responded to the call. Jennings then went to the Susan G. Komen Foundation and got permission to use the phrase Quilting for the Cure which is part of the exhibition title. The next step involved help from partners at Eastern Kentucky University. The University’s Gender Studies Program, under the direction of Professor Marta Miranda, and EKU’s art gallery director and Professor Ester Randall, both worked with Jennings to raise money for an opening of the exhibit in October 2009 at EKU.
Since then, this exhibit, Celebrate the Feminine: Quilting for the Cure, has gone to 12 different venues in Florida, Texas, Massachusetts and Kentucky. Exhibit sponsors were able to fund the publication of informational materials and to pay for the exhibition’s travel between venues with all leftover funds going to the Susan G. Komen Foundation. Jennings states, “More than 5,000 people have seen these quilts and the Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea will give hundreds of more people the opportunity to view it.” The Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea is the last stop on the exhibitions 18-month tour.
Whimsical, abstract, realistic and informative, these art quilts recognize women of influence and honor the many expressions of femininity in our society. Each quilt has its own story written by the artist. Some quilters have chosen to create their own definition of femininity; others pay homage to loved ones who have either survived the disease or passed away. These quilters have used diverse techniques for these artworks, including piecing; hand and machine appliqué; hand and machine embroidery; reverse appliqué; broderie perse; hand and machine quilting; and embellishment. The exhibit’s quilts include letters and portraits transferred to fabric, antique lace, novelty prints and a wide range of found objects.
Artists included in this exhibit are Rita Barlow, Berea; Mary Bauer, Louisville; Claire Breswick, Georgetown; Christine Cetrulo, Lexington; Karry Green Crump, Campbellsville; Roxanne Ferguson, Mayfield; Sara Reynolds Fuller, Paducah; Rita Thompson Hardman, Lexington; Mollie Lee Heron, Lexington; Hazel Jackson, Mt. Vernon; Pat Cheshire Jennings, Berea; Phyllis Miller, Murray; Carol Poston, Berea; Karen Teel Riggins, Versailles; Barbara Rogers, Louisville; Janet Serrenho, Lexington; Kathy Service, Glasgow; Jarvada Smith, Mayfield; Diana Stinebrickner, Berea; Linda Todd, Bowling Green; Virginia C. Van Meter, Georgetown; Cindy Vough, Nicholasville; Ginnifer Saylor Watts, Berea; and JoAnne White, Berea.
The exhibition’s curator, Pat Cheshire Jennings, is originally from Franklin, Ky. and has always loved to sew and embroider. She got the quilting bug when she moved to Berea 30 years ago while working for the state as a social worker. When she retired 10 years ago, Jennings began taking classes in painting and surface design, pushing herself to quilt with new materials and methods. She draws inspiration from nature and enjoys the organic shapes in the quilting process. She embellishes her work with fabric painting, hand dying and distressing to make her own fabrics.
Jennings has been a member of the Kentucky Heritage Quilt Society for 28 years and has been involved in curating quilt exhibits in both Kentucky and Florida. Her works have been exhibited nationally, having been a finalist in the prestigious juried quilt shows in Paducah, Ky. and Houston, Texas. Jennings teaches and lectures on the art of quilting and is a member of the International Quilters Association, the American Quilt society, and The Kentucky Guild of Artists & Craftsmen, among others.
The meet-the-artist reception for the exhibit, Celebrate the Feminine: Quilting for the Cure, will be held on Saturday, Feb. 19 from 1–3 p.m. at the Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea. This exhibit will on display in the lobby of the Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea through March 26, 2011. The Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea is located at 975 Walnut Meadow Road, just off Interstate 75 at exit 77 (Berea). The center’s exhibits, shopping and travel information areas are open daily. Winter Hours are in effect and from Jan. 4 - March 10, the Center is open daily 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. and the café is open 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. Admission is free. The Center currently features works by more than 650 artisans from 100 counties across the Commonwealth. For more information call 859-985-5448 or visit the center’s website at www.kentuckyartisancenter.ky.gov
The Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea is an agency in the Kentucky Tourism, Arts & Heritage Cabinet of the Commonwealth of Kentucky.