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Kennedy events explore changing art quilts, Navajo weaving and Zuni jewelry

May 22, 2007
By Anita Martin

The Kennedy Museum of Art presents two multimedia fiber arts presentations and the opening of a Zuni jewelry exhibit on Thursday, May 24. Both events are from 3 to 5 p.m.

Speakers include Gayle A. Pritchard, an Ohio fiber artist and author of "Uncommon Threads: Ohio's Art Quilt Revolution," and Janice Frisch, an Honors Tutorial student at Ohio University and the curator of "Interweaving Cultures: Transcultural Influence in Native and Euro-American Textile Arts," which opened April 27.

Pritchard's book explains how Modernism and Abstract Expressionism inspired the traditional world of quilting, influencing designs and threading artistic freedom into the quilt maker's craft. It also reveals the fundamental role Ohio artists, curators and organizations played in the evolution of today's international art quilt movement, from individual artists to the founding of the Quilt National. Pritchard has presented on NPR's "Diane Rehm Show" and in the Textile Museum in Washington, D.C.

Frisch's undergraduate thesis exhibit highlights the intersection of Native and Euro-American textile arts. Frisch displays weavings from the Kennedy's renowned Southwest Native American Collection alongside quilts and embroidery from Ohio artists to show the influence these fiber arts had on traditional Navajo weaving. 

Meanwhile, an exhibit of Zuni art will open in the museum's first-floor galleries. The exhibit, "Selling Authenticity: The Role of Zuni Knifewings and Rainbow Gods in Tourism of the American Southwest," reflects the master's thesis of Ohio University student Lauren Marchaza. She studies cultural and ceremonial Zuni images not traditionally used in jewelry -- until tourists showed an interest. The incorporation of these design motifs into Zuni jewelry shows how the American marketplace perceives, and in so doing affects, Zuni art and culture.

Frisch and Marchaza received support for their exhibits from The Ohio University Foundation's 1804 Fund, and Frisch won additional funds from the Honors Tutorial College and the Provost's Undergraduate Research Fund. These and all Kennedy Museum events also receive support from the Ohio Arts Council.

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Published: Jul 20, 2006 3:50:00 PM
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