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SJ Museum to host two new textile exhibitions
Jan '13
SJ Museum is pleased to announce two new exhibitions for summer 2013. Milestones: Textiles of Transition will explore how historic and contemporary textiles have been created for and continue to signify moments of transition—birth, marriage, and death, among others. Threads of Love: Baby Carriers from China’s Minority Nationalities, originally exhibited at Indiana University in 2012, showcases a private collection of embroidered baby carriers from southwestern China.  Both exhibitions open with a press preview on May 8, 2013.

Comprised of approximately forty objects, Milestones: Textiles of Transition seeks to facilitate conversation between traditional commemorative or utilitarian textiles (including historic baby and wedding quilts, and ethnographic works) and modern interpretations of these life-changing experiences by contemporary artists.

Patchwork and embroidered quilts, ceremonial textiles, as well as examples of crochet, embroidery, rug hooking, and soft sculpture, will inspire visitors to think about their own experiences in new ways. Artists featured include: Susan Else, Kate Kretz, Noel Palomo-Lovinski, Beverly Raynor, Linda Friedman Schmidt, Erica Spitzer Rasmussen, Wendeanne Ke’aka Stitt, Ruth Tabancay, and Diedre Scherer.

Examples include:

• Historic textiles from the museum’s collection such as baby quilts, double wedding ring quilts, and quilts with specific wedding-related provenance

• Bridezilla is a contemporary wedding dress by Noel Palomo-Lovinski commenting on problems and preoccupations facing today’s brides

• The Scream Within by Linda Friedman Schmidt, speaking to the rapid transitions and frustrations of infancy

• Bonne Nuit, A Day of the Dead-inspired skeleton quilt by Wendeanne Ke’aka Stitt, reflecting a touching and personal homage to her friends who have passed on

• A selection of Kuba cloth (African raffia textiles from a private collection) usually exhibited in large stacks at funerals to show the accumulation of wealth of an individual

• Beverly Rayner’s Accretion, a coat with a long train of ephemera— cards, mementos, and notes of an individual, this heartrending piece looks at lifetime of memory with this collection of things we leave behind

Threads of Love: Baby Carriers from China’s Minority Nationalities, originally on view October 6 - December 23, 2012 at Indiana University, we present a rich folk art tradition of hand-embroidered baby carriers from the minority nationalities of southwestern China. Curated by Judy Stubbs, at Indiana University, along with guest curator Herman Mast, the exhibit highlights the symbolic decorations traditionally used to embellish these otherwise utilitarian, though lovingly made textiles.

Auspicious symbols connote good luck, good fortune, happy marriage, and longevity. This selection of baby carriers is drawn from the Miao (known as Hmong in their native language), Zhuang, Yao, and Shui nationalities from the China’s southwestern provinces of Yunnan, Guizhou, and Guangxi. They are on loan from the private collection of Mr. Yu Yawan, of Nanning, China.

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