Quilting has long been an art form that spans both ends of the practical-whimsical spectrum. Sure, they're great for cuddling underneath on cold nights, but they also brighten rooms, commemorate life events, document family history, and build community. But, as the Fiber Arts Study Group at the Textile Center has discovered, even tradition cannot escape contemporary concerns. Ten members of the group are exhibiting their climate change-centric quilts. Focusing on the psychological effects of global warming, much of the work is, not surprisingly, bleak. Kimber Olson's Point Zero looks like a Doppler radar triptych trimmed in caution tape in which all the landforms are masses of gray and black. More surprising is the streak of hopeful, bright colors that runs through some of the pieces such as Dawn Carlson Conn's Wind, which features dark silhouettes of wind turbines against a pastel sunset. But perhaps the deeper irony is in the very nature of such a show. Will there be a day when quilts serve only as decorative reminders of cold winter nights? Opening reception 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, April 18.
April 19-May 31, 2008