Quilt of the Month


July 2008

July 2008

"PW Block #5"
Made by Ellen Oppenheimer
Made in Oakland, California
Date 2003
65 x 65 in (165 x 165 cm)
IQSC 2004.022.0001
Perspectives: Art, Craft, Design, & the Studio Quilt Exhibition
Visual Systems: The Quilter's Eye Exhibition

"PW Block #5" is the title of this exceptional work. The artist, Ellen Oppenheimer, skillfully combines subtly dyed and carefully pieced fabrics with precisely placed and executed silk screening resulting in a striking design.

Oppenheimer has used the following words to describe the way she thinks about her work, "The way the line moves through the quilt--the convoluted line which eventually returns to its starting point--has the very simple message that whatever life journey is traveled, patterns ultimately repeat themselves."

Ellen Oppenheimer has been quilting for 30 years, working to perfect her unique silk-screening technique. Her work is included in the collections of The Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian Institution, the Oakland Museum in California and the Museum of Arts and Design in New York City. A few years ago Oppenheimer served as an artist in residence in several California public schools. She worked with the children there to create quilts that were then installed in public libraries in the surrounding communities. An exhibition of Oppenheimer's work took place in the Robert Hillestad Textiles Gallery in September of 2004.

Oppenheimer's piece was part of an exhibition entitled "Visual Systems: The Quilters Eye." The exhibition features quilts from diverse traditions and time periods that illustrate various elements and principles of design. All of the quilts were drawn from the collections of the International Quilt Study Center & Museum. As guest curator, Peggy Derrick, noted, the quilts feature "dynamic linear movements, seductive textures, and emotive colors." The exhibition was on view from July 9- September 25, 2008 in the Eisentrager- Howard Gallery of Richards Hall on the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) City Campus. Peggy Derrick was a Graduate Student in the UNL Department of Textiles, Clothing & Design masters program in textile history with a quilt studies emphasis.