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Earth Stories

Main Gallery
Through November 26, 2014
May 11 - May 16 • 4-6 p.m.

A new exhibition at the Michigan State University Museum explores environmental awareness through striking art quilts. An opening reception for the exhibit, Earth Stories, is set for Friday, May 16 from 4-6 p.m. in the Main Gallery. The exhibit continues through Nov. 26, 2014 at the MSU Museum before it travels to other venues over the next few years.

The exhibit presents work by membeImage of Earth Stories Exhibitrs of the Studio Art Quilt Associates (SAQA), an international non-profit organization, marking the 25th anniversary of its founding which currently includes 3,000 members spanning 31 countries. Artists included in the Earth Stories exhibit are from 11 states in the U.S., and seven countries, including Japan and Israel.

Carolyn L. Mazloomi, quilt historian, writer and independent curator juried the exhibit. She says about the exhibit, “Quilts were chosen based on visual strength, degree of technical skill, and intellectually interesting storylines. The themes are executed in a variety of styles that include abstract, painterly, figurative and graphic. The pieces use a variety of techniques such as painting, dyeing, drawing, patchwork, collage, photo transfer, and sketching with stitchery.”

 The 24 quilts included in the exhibit celebrate the stories of people or projects that enhance the planet, make a significant difference in restoring and/or protecting the environment, increase sustainability and otherwise improve the earth we all occupy. Topics explored by the artist include loss of species and habitat inspired by Rachel Carson’s book Silent Spring; the impact of disposable coffee cups on landfills; the effects of wind farms on plants and animals, and many more thoughtful environmental and social issues.

The Michigan State University Museum has become known as a center of quilt-related scholarly and educational activities, including the Quilt Index, an online tool for centralized public access to quilt and quilt-related materials.

“The MSU Museum is also home to an outstanding collection of quilts and quilt-related materials. Earth Stories provides an opportunity to share a collection of contemporary quilts that reflect the power that this art form has to serve as a voice for expression and artist activism,” explains the exhibit’s organizer Mary Worrall, MSU Museum curator of cultural heritage.

 Earth Stories is part of a series of quilt exhibits on the Michigan State University Campus.

Also on tap
Ralli Quilts at the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum, April 25 - August 31. Vibrant, beautiful quilts, known as ralli in their native lands of southern Pakistan and western India, create dialogs of cultural pride and community identity. Learn about the connection between the tradition of quilt making and the quilters themselves, and see stunning examples from the MSU Museum's world-renowned quilt collection.

Mapping Memories: Michigan and Color Wheel of Emotions at the LookOut! Art Gallery (Snyder Hall) Residential College in the Arts and Humanities, May 19 – September 19 - both exhibits feature members of the SAQA

Special programming related to Earth Stories:

• Behind the Scenes Quilt Collections Tour
Friday, May 16, 2:00-3:30 p.m.
Cultural Collections Resource Center located in the Central Services Building
Registration required, quilts@museum.msu.edu

• Opening Reception
Friday, May 16, 4:00-6:00 p.m.
MSU Museum

• Earth Stories Gallery Tour
Sunday, June 22, 2:00-3:00 p.m.
MSU Museum Main Gallery
MSU Museum Curator-led tour and discussion of Earth Stories.

•Behind the Scenes Quilt Collections Tour- A Brief History of Quiltmaking in America
Saturday, September 6, 10:00-11:30 a.m. Cultural Collections Resource Center located in the Central Services Building
Registration required, quilts@museum.msu.edu
Participants are welcome to bring a quilt to discuss.

•Talk: Carolyn Mazloomi
Thursday, October 23, 3:30 p.m.
MSU Museum Auditorium

Earth Stories juror Dr. Carolyn Mazloomi is an artist, author, historian, curator, and is the founder of Women of Color Quilters Network. 

image caption:
Alternative-vs-Fossil Fuels, Cynthia St. Charles, Billings, MT