I have had a good night's sleep after a very long day yesterday, but I still have wonderful images dancing in my head. After pulling out of the driveway to 4:45 AM when the temperature was 12 degrees and boarding a bus in Lewisburg at 7 AM, I and the rest of my fellow busees walked in the doors of the Park Hill Armory in New York City at 11 AM. And this is what we saw:
And it got better:
Six hundred and fifty-one quilts were displayed, not in lock step order around the walls or in a maze of cubicles all over the armory floor, but in this magical set up that was a tribute to the creative skills of some designer at Thinc Design, the winner of the design competition for hanging this show.
The quilts were displayed in individual columns
that floated in space. They were hung back to back so that you entered the column and looked up inside to see ones on the interior. They must have spent a lot of time (and money) on the lighting because each quilt was lit so that even the highest quilts were visible in some detail, obviously not as much as ones on the ground but enough.
Near the center, but not of course exactly in the center was a magnificent spiral of quilts that rose almost to the very roof of the armory
The back of the exhibit signaled closure with a curved wall of quilts:
There were many individual quilts that caught my eye
but it was not the individual quilt that made the experience unforgettable. It was being able to stand in the midst of so many quilts all similar in color but so different in design (no two were alike) and literally stand in the midst of them--with quilts surrounding you on all sides and floating above you at so many different angles. Each time I changed my position the sight lines changed and it was a whole new exhibit. Like, any art experience, you had to be there.
All of these quilts are owned by one person--an idea I have difficulty getting my mind around--named Joanna Semel Rose and I have become fascinated with knowing more about her--and will write more about her later. You're probably ready to move on to other things as well.
So briefly--we arrived in the early afternoon at the Empire Quilters Guild annual exhibit. I think I was expecting too much from this guild of New York City Quilters, and I was probably too tired to fully appreciate the show. Yet there were some beautiful quilts and many quilts where I could see the hand, the mind, and the spirit of the quilter in the work, quilts like Willow Pond by Carol Goossens.
And I can now say that I have shopped at a New York City quilt shop:
Finally at 12:30 AM I was climbing into bed back home. And if you are still awake and with me, thanks for the company.