Steffen Thomas museum wraps up 'Hanging Beauties' exhibit

Steffen Thomas Museum of Art wrapped up their most recent exhibit, “Hanging Beauties,” last weekend- the show was a collaborative effort between STMA and the Lake Oconee Quilt Guild.

“The show was defiantly a boost for us, you brought so many people into the museum to see your quilts that had not been to the museum before, they loved the museum and they of course, loved your quilts,” said STMA Director Patricia DuBose when addressing the ladies of the LOQG at their recent meeting.

The “Hanging Beauties” exhibition kicked off with an opening reception on April 5. According to DuBose, 150 people attended the reception. The show was composed of 70 quilts made by members of the guild. The quilts varied in size and style. The show concluded on Saturday, June 2.

“I went to the guild and people were hesitant about giving their quilts for that amount of time and I had to convince them that it was very safe here (STMA), it was probably the safest place they could put a quilt,” said LOQG member Linda Huggins.

Huggins continued saying that typically members are also hesitant about entering their quilts into shows because they are often judged. However, the exhibit at STMA was not a judged show. Many of the quilts that were on display were available for sale.  

“A lot of people, since they didn’t know this show was coming up made these quilts for children and had given away some of their prize quilts,” said Huggins. “We said there is no limit as to when you made these quilts because usually with our quilt shows it has to be made within three years of a show and we told them anything they had that they liked they could put in.”

What the quilters submitted was a diverse group of quilts that appealed to a variety of viewers. According to DuBose, “Hanging Beauties” attracted large crowds and many groups. She concluded that 1,000 people attended the show over its two month display.

Among the highlights of the exhibit was a raffle quilt created by Mary Kay Mouton. Exhibition attendees and LOQG members purchased tickets for the quilt and the winning ticket was drawn during the LOQG meeting on Tuesday, June 5. LOQG member Jane Harding was the winner of the quilt.

The most recent collaboration between STMA and the LOQG has inspired the two groups to work together again in the future. “We are looking forward to “Arts in Bloom” in April of 2019 and possibly another quilt show in 2020, we have to run that by the committee but we are looking forward to that as well,” DuBose said.

“Arts in Bloom” is an exciting upcoming event that is inspired by an exhibit at The Boston Museum of Fine Arts. “They started a program called “Art in Bloom,” many museums even around the world do “Art in Bloom,” and that has always paired a floral design with a piece of art and it has been a two or three day exhibition with programming in between and much of the talks are about floral design or art or decorating with art,” DuBose said. “When we saw the success of the quilts we thought we would do the same thing but change it up a little bit and call it “Arts in Bloom” and incorporate the quilts with the floral design and the Steffen Thomas artwork. We are really looking forward to the collaboration between the quilters and the floral designers.”

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