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This article by Pat Summers was prepared for the August 7, 2002 edition of U.S. 1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.
Quilted Images from 9-11
Twenty Ulysses butterflies, native to the Australian
tropical rain forest, rise from jagged tongues of fire and float up
toward a starry sky. Made of fabric from that country, the butterflies
commemorate the lives of 20 Australians lost in the Twin Towers on
September 11, 2001. This vertical image by Carmel Bird also includes
an excerpt from a poem by Federico Garcia Lorca, written before the
tragedy, yet painfully apt now.
The maker of another vertical image joins innumerable others in
a variation on the twin tower theme. In lieu of columns, she shows
two American flags with elongated stripes; above and between them
are what looks like a blizzard of falling sheets of paper. At the
bottom of the image, a placard reads "Tribute to the Twin Tower
Tragedy. In Memoriam Cousin Bennett Fisher and Friend Ulf Ericson,
both of Greenwich, Ct. Designed and made by Harriet Goetz Holly, Boca
The comprehensive book on Americans’ reactions to the 9-11 terrorist
attacks is yet to be written. And it may never be — the
are still being felt; the reactions are still happening, and they
are likely to continue indefinitely.
Right now, though, an early chapter of that encyclopedia-to-be can
be "read" in the main gallery of the Montgomery Center for
the Arts, 1860 House, Skillman, in the form of 16 quilts memorializing
the people and the events of September 11. Open since July 28, the
exhibition runs though Sunday, September 1.
Modeled after the AIDS Memorial Quilt, "September 11 Quilts"
was conceived and organized by a New Yorker to help people mourn the
tragedies and losses that occurred in New York, Washington, and
Pennsylvania. Drunell Levinson lives about a mile from Ground Zero,
and on that horrific day she was already at her office.
She was able to walk home, and then, like so many of us, she became
fixated on media coverage and her own grief, fear, and disbelief.
Soon, though, this artist, educator, and folk art scholar decided
to use public art as a form of grieving by inviting people to design
and make a "mourning quilt."
A specialist in both quilts as art and so-called "women’s
in art, Levinson began single-handedly to build a collection of
quilts made by caring people the world over. Even now, she still does
the bulk of the work, although friends help occasionally and Verne
MacDonald, the quilt site’s webmaster, seems never to quit, she says.
Readers who are quilt-makers or connoisseurs might like to know that
Levinson’s quilt specifications require participants to use
materials such as cotton, satin, or wool; allow them to employ such
techniques as applique, patchwork, or piecing, as well as incorporate
objects or mementos that can withstand folding and travel; forbid
glue and make batting optional. This and more — including a
of quilts in the collection — is part of the website: www.
Now numbering 60 completed quilts, with a projected eventual total
of at least double that, the collection is available for exhibitions
at community events, museums, galleries, and quilt shows. Each quilt
is either 3 feet by 6 feet (running horizontally or vertically), or
3 feet square, and all have been finished to allow them to be joined
and displayed on the ground or hung separately on walls. Quilt makers,
mostly individuals but a few groups, come from as far away as Korea,
Australia, and England, as well as all over the US.
"September 11 Quilt" exhibitions are scheduled through the
end of this year in locations ranging from Fort Washington,
to Santa Clara, California, and Yokohama, Japan, and Levinson expects
them to travel until December, 2003. Possible sites in New York are
being explored, and longer range, Levinson hopes the memorial quilts
will find a museum home.
The square quilt that Linda Krause made shows the lower Manhattan
skyline at sunset, when she likes it most. She uses dreamy pastel
colors for the sky around the Twin Towers, silver columns in the
that she calls "Twin Towers (`Connais-tu le pays?’)."
Looking at a glance like a "traditional" quilt, Marie
"Shock and Hope" comprises nine squares, with the three each
on left and right cut diagonally into two designs with a connecting
motif. Stars, stripes, and flags prevail in these squares. The three
middle squares include a picture of the World Trade Center, a heart
in a star, and a USA/flag pairing. As with most of the quilt
this one is accompanied by a statement by its maker.
Together, the quilts and the statements make affecting viewing and
reading. They surely gave solace to their makers; may they do the
same for others.
— Pat Summers
through Sunday, September 1 at the Montgomery Center for the Arts,
124 Montgomery Road, Skillman. 609-921-3272 or
Nassau Street, 609-921-6748. "From Tow Path to Bike Path:
and the Delaware and Raritan Canal," an exhibition that looks
at the history and creation of the canal, the life of death of its
workers, and more recent environmental and preservation issues. Open
Tuesday to Sunday, noon to 4 p.m. Show runs to March, 2003. Free.
Family an exhibition featuring Sara and Nicole Funke and their
sculptor and retired DuPont research chemist Robert F. Drury. Twins
Sara and Nicole Funke were born in East Windsor in 1979 and have lived
in the area all their lives. "Funke Fantasies" is the subtitle
of the show featuring paintings of dreams and imaginative fantasies
of mermaids, dragons, and unicorns. Gallery hours Friday and Saturday,
1 to 6 pm, and "by chance or by appointment."
Jazz and celebrity paintings by James Lucas of Cranbury. To September
Deities, and Sages in Chinese Painting," to September 29. "The
Peter C. Bunnell Collection," to September 1. "Japanese
Prints," a 16-print survey from Suzuki Harunobu (1725) to
(1850s), to September 1. "Guardians of the Tomb: Spirit Beasts
in Tang Dynasty China," extended to September 29. Open Tuesday
through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday 1 to 5 p.m. New website:
609-258-3184. "Heroic Pastorals: Images of the American
Gallery hours are Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturday and
Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.
Lawrenceville, 609-896-5168. Annual exhibition of works by Rider
in all mediums. Gallery hours are Monday to Thursday, 2 to 8 p.m.;
Friday to Sunday, 2 to 5 p.m. To August 11.
609-397-0275. "Natural Patterns, Natural World," an exhibition
of photographs by Tom Manning and watercolors by Ruth Manning. Monday
to Thursday, 1 to 9 p.m.; Friday 1 to 5 p.m.; and Saturday, 10 a.m.
to 5 p.m. To August 9.
"Outside In," an exhibit of recent landscape paintings by
Robert MaGaw and Mike Filipiak. Gallery is open Thursday to Sunday,
noon to 5 p.m. To August 12.
Annual summer group show highlights works by the nationally-recognized
Trenton-born artist and muralist Charles William Ward (1900-1962).
More than two dozen artists represented in the show that runs to
8. Wednesday to Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.
609-397-7774. Ninth annual Discoveries Exhibition featuring 100
edition and individual jewelry pieces in gold, sterling, and fine
metals with precious and semi-precious stones and gems. Artists
Karen Bachmann, Sarah Mann, Donna D’Aquino, Margaret Ellis, and Debra
Lynn Gold. Monday to Friday, noon to 5 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday,
11 a.m. to 6 p.m. To September 2.
609-397-1006. A shared show features paintings by Ed Adams and
by Reinaldo Sanguino. Gallery hours are Thursday through Monday, noon
to 5 p.m. To August 31.
908-996-1470. "Abstractions and Reflections," a group show
by area artists including Ed Baumlin, W. Carl Burger, Sonya Kuhfahl,
Nadine and Nancy Synnestvedt, and Barbara White. Gallery is open
& Thursday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Friday & Saturday, noon to 6 p.m.;
and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. To September 18.
New Brunswick, 732-846-5777. "From the Old World to the New
an exhibit of recent additions to the museum collection featuring
works by nine Hungarian Americans, all of whom emigrated to the U.S.
between 1920 and 1957. Artists are Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, Bertha and
Elena De Hellenbranth, Sandor Sugor, Emil Kelemen, Willy Pogany, Tibor
Gergely, Zoltan Poharnok, and Vicent Korda; to April, 2003. Museum
hours are Tuesday to Saturday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; and Sunday, 1 to
4 p.m. $5 donation.
732-745-4177. "Uncommon Clay: New Jersey’s Architectural Terra
Cotta Industry," an exhibition of artifacts and written and oral
histories of New Jersey’s once booming architectural ceramics
Open Tuesday through Friday, 1 to 4 p.m.; and Sunday, 1 to 4 p.m.
On view to May 30, 2003.
908-735-8415. "Post-Systemic Art," an exploration of current
trends in geometric abstraction. Also, "Meghan Wood: Recent
constructions in fabric, buttons, and thread. Open Tuesday to Sunday,
11 a.m. to 5 p.m. To September 15.
215-340-9800. "Michael A. Smith: Landscapes," an exhibition
of 13 works from the recent acquisition of 40 prints by the
Bucks County photographer. Museum hours Tuesday to Friday, 10 a.m.
to 4:30 p.m.; Saturday & Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Wednesday
evenings to 9 p.m. $6 adult; $3 student. To October 6.
609-292-6464. "River of Leisure: Recreation Along the
to November 3. "Cruising Down the Delaware: Natural History You
Can See," an introduction to New Jersey’s natural features by
way of the historic waterway, to November 10. Museum hours are Tuesday
through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.; Sunday noon to 5 p.m.
Also: "American Indians as Artists: The Beginnings of the State
Museum’s Ethnographic Collection," to September 15. "A Decade
of Collecting, Part 1," to January 5.
On extended view: "Art by African-Americans: A Selection from
the Collection;" "New Jersey’s Native Americans: The
Record"; "Delaware Indians of New Jersey"; "The Sisler
Collection of North American Mammals"; "Of Rock and Fire";
"Neptune’s Architects"; "The Modernists"; "New
Jersey Ceramics, Silver, Glass and Iron;" "Historical
of Colonial New Jersey;" "Painting of Washington Crossing
West State Street, Trenton, 609-292-6464. "A Decade of
works from the museum’s archaeological, ethnographic, and natural
history collections. Open Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 4:45 p.m., to
January 5, 2003.
East, Plainsboro, 609-452-7800. Solo exhibition or paintings and
by Plainsboro resident Donna Senopoulos. Through August 30.
"Watercolor Anarchy," an exhibition by Gail Bracegirdle and
11 of her students. Open Tuesday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.;
9 a.m. to 3 p.m. To August 17.
609-737-7592. "A Gathering of Baskets," a show of baskets
woven by area artists. Exhibit runs to August 17.
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