The poetry of quilts: Lunch with the Arts program to combine poetry, quilting on June 13

Published 7:48 am Tuesday, June 5, 2018


Contributing writer

The June 13 Lunch with the Arts program brings poetry and quilting together to celebrate the Community Arts Center’s 2nd Look Quilt Challenge exhibit. In the first half of the program, Jane Wilson Joyce, local author, and Barbara Hall, retired Centre College professor, will read and discuss selections from Joyce’s book, “The Quilt Poems.” 

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For the second half of the program, creators of several quilts in the exhibit will discuss their work.

A published scholar in Classics, Joyce, retired Luellen Professor of Literature at Centre College, has written three collections of poems. In addition to “The Quilt Poems,” she is the author of “Beyond the Blue Mountains.” Set to music by then-Danville composer, Mimi McClellan, they were presented interactively by poet, composer and singer Hall at several venues, including the International Conference of Women Composers. Joyce’s earlier work, “Kitchen Poems,” also set to music by McClellan, were performed by Sounding Joy, Danville Women’s Chorus.

Hall is the Stoghill Professor of Music Emerita at Centre and, before retiring, she held the Professorship in Humanities and was the Chair of the Centre College Division Of Arts And Humanities. Hall, a member of the Community Arts Center Board of Directors, is known in the community as the founder and director of Summer Singers, Resonance and Sounding Joy.

The 2nd Look Quilt Challenge is all about the can-do spirit of upcycling, reuse and creativity. Featuring quilts made of at least 75 percentage repurposed material (fabric or otherwise), the exhibit changes the way you look at old blue jeans, handkerchiefs, and other materials. A panel of three jurors with expertise in quilting, art and design, and storytelling, selected works that demonstrated excellence in quilting, craftsmanship and creative re-purposing.

First time quilt creator, Elizabeth Luttinger, explained her first experience. “This is my first quilt and I have no idea what I’ve done. I started with the 3D pieces, using basic mathematical shapes, then found a way to connect them in a 2D frame. I made up everything as I went and I learned oh, so very much.”

Luttinger continues, “I refer to this quilt as ‘Bed-Sheets and Bad-Shirts,’ which make up almost all the materials. There are the orange sheets I had in college; my partner’s plaid shirt; the floral shirt I wore to my first day of teaching; and the curtains we made to decorate a friend’s wedding. Every single fabric has a memory and has been repurposed.”

Mary Ann McGlothlin, another entrant, entered a quilt she made for her daughter-in-law. “Cheryl grew up living in a typical New England house with two flats. She lived with her parents downstairs; her grandparents lived upstairs. Living in close proximity to her grandparents, she had a very special relationship with them. I wanted to make a keepsake for Cheryl from her grandparents’ things.”

McGlothlin describes some very special things she incorporated into the quilt. “The initials, IL (Isabelle Large) and WL (Wilson Large) are made from their handkerchiefs. The dresser scarf and tablecloths were theirs, as well.  All fabrics, quilt top and back, were taken from their flat after they died.”

“The Quilt Poems” and “Beyond the Blue Mountains” are available from the Boyle County Public Library.

The 2nd Look Quilt Challenge Exhibit runs through July 28. 



Lunch with the Arts featuring: Jane Wilson Joyce, Barbara Hall and the 2nd Look Quilt Challenge will be noon-1 p.m. June 13 at Community Arts Center. Cost is $5 at the door.


Coming Up

• Next month’s Lunch with the Arts will feature Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill’s VP of natural and cultural resources, William Updike, and Billy Rankin, VP of public programming.

Soap-Making Tutorial,  5-6 p.m. June 7; $20, open to ages 14+

• Ice Cream Adventure Day,  1-4 p.m. June 9; $30, for Kindergarten-sixth grade

• Painting the Forest Camp, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. June 11-15; $150, open to rising kindergarteners to fifth-graders  

•Super Hero Camp, 1-4 p.m. June 11-15; $100, open to rising kindergarteners to third-graders

• Starry Night Studio: Dapper Giraffe,  6:30-9 p.m. June 12 ; $30, instructed by Amanda Hendershot

• Introduction to Wheel-Thrown Pottery,  7-9 p.m. Thursdays, June 14 to July 26; $160, for ages 14+