If I had to describe myself with one word it would be artist - a visual artist and an artist with words. My artwork is included in Ohio Online Visual Arts Registry. I'm working with various galleries in the Midwest to promote my oil paintings and abstract light photography.


Inspirations for Home Design


Quilt National at the Dairy Barn Arts Center – Athens

Supporting the Arts in Style

©  Becky  Linhardt  2013

As the Dairy Barn Arts Center in Athens, Ohio celebrates its 35th anniversary as a cultural arts center it again hosts a biennial favorite, the 18th Quilt National – now through September 2nd.  Displayed throughout the exhibition space are contemporary quilts by 87 artists, a diverse presentation culled from 851 entries submitted by 450 artists from 44 states and 17 foreign countries.

Bow Tie by Sylvia Gegaregian

The first Quilt National in 1979 was one of the earliest of many regional, national, and even international exhibitions that have enlivened the simple walls of this former dairy barn. Organized as a showcase for contemporary art quilts by pioneer quilt artists Nancy Crow, Francois Barnes, and Virginia Randalls, the range of ideas, materials and methods has grown exponentially with each Quilt National competition. Some traditional elements remain as in Bow Tie shown above where the beauty of Amish quilt patterns is taken to a new level by Sylvia Gegarian with a remix of a traditional pattern in grayed tones.


Morgan’s Flight by Kate Themel

Some like Themel’s brightly-colored interpretation in fabric of a night-time aerial view of Bridgeport, CT seem painterly. While others such as The Pixeladies (Deb Cashatt and Kate Sazaki) use a more collage-like format to address a serious issue though they admit that: “we ate at the Golden Arches while plotting out our design!”*


American Still Life: The Weight of the Nation by The Pixeladies

The quality of the quilts is mind-boggling; the ideas thoughtful and sometimes confrontational. Even the concept of what is a quilt must be considered by the jurors. Many quilt artists are using layers of sheer organza and clear vinyl. It is no longer just stitched cotton layers with a batting between. “Artists from all over the world have literally taken apart the traditional quilting processes,” said Kathleen Dawson, Quilt National Director. “They have elevated the creative process from a craft that utilizes scraps of fabric to an art form that begins with the creation of the fabric itself.”*

These quilts must be seen to be fully appreciated. One of my favorites Moonset is tones of gray from a distance but when you get close you notice that the stitching forms a jellyfish, a turtle, or waving sea weeds in the pale gray that is the moon. It won Brienne Elizabeth Brown the Juror’s Award of Merit. No image of that quilt is shown here because – it is just too subtle for a web site. Same issue for Beatrice Lanter’s Blossoms with its layers of sheer organza flowers gracing both sides. The flow of light on and through it evokes visions of a meadow in sunlight on a summer day.

In Athens, you can see this exhibition first and in its entirety. Then three collections will tour to locations such as the Riffe Center in Columbus, Ohio as well as venues in Missouri, California, and Minnesota. The touring schedule is posted on theDairy Barn Arts Center web site.

Check there also for other note-worthy exhibitions. The Dairy Barn continually schedules national and regional competitions and exhibitions throughout the year. Upcoming in October is OH +5 2013, a juried exhibition of the best in contemporary fine arts in Ohio and the 5 bordering states. Then next year is the 100th anniversary of the Dairy Barn itself – 1914-2014. A year long celebration is planned with four exhibitions in 2014 including: Athens Paints; Athens on Paper; and Art We Use (a juried multi-media exhibition). Of special interest to those who love the quilt medium, the fourth exhibition Quilt (R)Evolution, will be a restrospective look at quilts created by the internationally recognized jurors of Quilt National competitions since the first one in 1979.  Quilt (R)Evolution will include the jurors’ own work from their years of service to the present. Quilt National 2015 will return again in the summer – two years from now.

NOTE: Athens, home to Ohio University, is located in the beautiful Hocking Hills area of southeastern Ohio and is a leader in the “Loca-vore” food movement – vegan, vegetarian, and carnivore.

 The Dairy Barn Arts Center, 8000 Dairy Lane, Athens, OH45701

740-592-4981 or www.dairybarn.org

* Quilt National 2013: The Best of Contemporary Quilts – Dragon Threads Ltd. – 2013

Many thanks to Kathleen Dawson, Director of Quilt National for providing those images not marked with my copyright.

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