All 100 works on display are masterfully designed and crafted, showing the breadth of design and composition that typify this uniquely Egyptian art form. Egyptian tentmakers appliqué stunning designs to canvas-backed cotton backgrounds forming multiple layers of design and dimension. Made entirely by hand on a single street in Cairo, Egypt, these appliqué designs make bold statements in home décor as conversation pieces or wall hangings. Through the sponsorship and support of the American Quilter’s Society, the U.S. is falling in love with the men and their work.
The exhibit’s curator, Jenny Bowker, and two of the Tentmakers of Cairo will travel more than 5,000 miles to join the works in Paducah. Tentmakers Tarek Abdelhay & Hosam Hanafy will meet and chat with visitors, all while stitching new pieces at lightning speed. On seeing the men in their North American Premiere, visitors from Illinois and Michigan, report, “If only I could appliqué so fast!! They are a joy to watch.” And “Their work is phenomenal.”
Excitement saturates the exhibit, as Tarek and Hosam radiate warmth, welcoming visitors to fully immerse themselves in the experience. Thousands come to see the jaw-dropping artwork; many spend hours watching the men work, and others come to purchase a piece for their collection. The sale of the Egyptian artwork begins at the Sneak Preview (ticketed event) on Tuesday, April 23, 7:30 – 9:30 p.m., and during show hours the rest of the week.
At home in Egypt, the Tentmakers of Cairo aren’t met with the appreciation they find in the United States. Viewed more as craftsmen than artists, they go unnoticed by many in Cairo. Yet American audiences appreciate the skill and artistry of their work, and are absolutely thrilled to learn from them.
At AQS QuiltWeek, the Tentmakers of Cairo experience the respect and appreciation artists of their caliber deserve. Tim Langlitz, AQS Marketing Director, shares, “It’s such a joy to learn more about these men and their work – seeing the appreciation grow has been inspiring.”
Admission to the Stitch Like an Egyptian exhibit is free with admission to AQS QuiltWeek. Hours are Wednesday, April 24 through Friday, April 26, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturday, April 27, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
American Quilter's Society
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