Contemporary quilt art in Nacogdoches celebrates Texas themes

Jan 13, 2014

Contemporary quilt art goes on display Tuesday at Stephen F. Austin State University. The 26 works by Texans were completed between 1993 and 2011. Sandra Sider is the consulting curator for the Texas Quilt Museum in LaGrange, Texas. She selected the quilts for this exhibition and said they demonstrate how contemporary quilt art has a rightful place as a visual art form.

Kay Marburger created the "Sentinel of the Gulf" quilt for her son who works on oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico. It's one of the quilts on display in Nacogdoches.

“The quilts that are pieced, and some of them appliqued, are done mostly with a painterly sense of composition -- an awareness of color, mass and line that distinctly makes these quilts works of art," Sider said, a New York-based quilter who specializes in the cyanotype technique and other photographic processes.

Sider said some quilts are influenced by Texas themes. “Sentinel in the Gulf” features an oil rig. “Barrel Racer” celebrates female rodeo contenders and Texas horsewomen. Texas was the springboard for the contemporary art quilt movement, according to Sider, with the launch of the popular Houston International Quilt Festival in the 1980s. But she added quilting itself has a long artistic lineage.

“Most quilt artists today are working within a history, and that rich history of women’s work informs what they do. I think that gives it a credibility that a lot of kids in art school don’t have, and maybe are a little envious of," Sider said.

The exhibit “Texas Art Quilts” opens Jan. 14 and runs through March 29 at the Cole Art Center at the Old Opera House in Nacogdoches. Sider will deliver a lecture on Feb. 15 at 3 p.m. at the Art Center.