From Sea to Shining Sea – Liberty Day Quilt Exhibit

 In Art and Gallery Shows, Current, Current News

From May 15 – June 29, 2023 the Shelby County Arts Council’s EBSCO Fine Art Gallery hosted the Liberty Day themed quilt exhibit, From Sea to Shining Sea. 

Quilting has held a long tradition in this country from women piecing together scrap fabric to keep their family warm in the colder months to creating quilts that are elaborate works of art. The practice has evolved over the centuries, but the storytelling, history, and the love put into these pieces remain the same. From patterns created on sewing machines to words stitched meticulously by hand, there is more than meets the eye when it comes to these fabric masterpieces. From Sea to Shining Sea, a quilt exhibition that coincided with Columbiana’s Liberty Day, celebrates the history and passion for quilting featuring work from the Columbiana chapter of Quilts for Kids, Shelby Shores Divas, and other local quilters. This exhibit, curated by quilter Agnes Pool, opened in May 2023 in the Shelby County Arts Council’s EBSCO Fine Art Gallery. Pool developed the exhibit around the rich traditions of American quilting. “This exhibit tells the story of America through quilting”, says Pool. “Just like a state bird or flower, each state has their own quilt block style. There’s the Carolina Lily, the Texas Lone Star, the Alabama Pine Burr…a unique block for each unique state. This exhibit features a variety of quilt styles and stories.”

Some very special quilts that were displayed in this exhibit are from Quilts for Kids. According to their website, “Quilts for Kids is a nonprofit organization dedicated to transforming fabrics into patchwork quilts to comfort children facing serious illness, trauma, abuse and natural disasters.” The quilts can provide a tangible comfort item to children facing illness in a hospital, or sometimes they are the only item a child in foster care has that they can call their own. The project started as a way to rescue fabric remnants from the landfill and ended up transforming thousands of lives. Pool is proud to head the Columbiana chapter of Quilts for Kids. Pool and her group provide quilts for Owens House, a children’s advocacy center in Shelby County, and Kings Home, which provides refuge for youth, women, and children fleeing domestic violence, homelessness, and other difficult circumstances. “Sometimes all it takes is one act of kindness, providing one item of comfort, to change a life”, says Pool. For more information on Quilts for Kids visit www.quiltsforkids.org.

Thank you to all the local quilters who shared their beautiful works of art with the SCAC! To see a virtual tour of this exhibit, check out the video below.

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