Gabriele DiTota's "Let It Grow"

Gabriele DiTota. “Let it Grow,” 2022. Mixed media, 26 x 36 in.

AVON PARK, Fla. – Feb. 7, 2024 – “Cover Story: 3 Perspectives on Contemporary Quilting,” opens at the Museum of Florida Art & Culture (MOFAC) on the SFSC Highlands Campus in Avon Park on Wednesday, Feb. 21 and runs through Friday, March 29. Featuring the fiber art of Gabriele DiTota of Melbourne, Fla., Ellen Lindner of Melbourne, Fla., and Sue Robinson of Avon Park, Fla., this exhibition is an exploration of the modern evolution of quilting.

Patrons are invited to enjoy free refreshments and meet the artists at the opening reception for “Cover Story” on Wednesday, Feb. 21, 12:30-2:30 p.m. at MOFAC.

Anthony Record, MOFAC curator, sheds some light on the term “quilts”: “While inspired by traditional quilting techniques, these pieces are intended as art rather than functional items that keep you warm. They are original designs crafted from stitched textiles, often using fabrics dyed by the artists themselves, so I usually refer to them as fiber art or mixed-media textiles to avoid misconceptions about traditional quilts.”

elen Lindner's "Regatta"

Ellen Lindner. “Regatta,” 2021. Mixed media, 17 x 20 in.

DiTota and Lindner employ different dyeing techniques to create fabrics rich in color and texture. DiTota creates designs through twisting and distressing the fabric, adding sun-prints of things like botanicals with light-sensitive dye to give her work a blend of earthy abstraction and organic imagery from nature. Lindner dyes her fabrics to make the brightest colors possible. She adds irregular patterns hand-painted with dye that are on a larger scale than those that can be found in a fabric store, giving her abstract compositions energy and movement with strong colors and contrast. Using a mix of custom and commercial fabric, Robinson also adds painted elements or dense layers of thread into her final compositions to heighten the realism and dramatic lighting of her imagery.

Sue Robinson's "Light From Above"

Sue Robinson. “Light From Above,” 2020. Mixed media, 39 x 52 in.

Quilting, the process of stitching together layers of fabric, serves as the foundation for the artists in “Cover Story,” and they engage with the visual language of contemporary art as much as they do traditional quilts. Reflecting on the evolving status of quilting as an art form, Record said, “I love that even traditional quilts are gaining recognition as fine art. The artists in ‘Cover Story’ are pushing boundaries and forging new paths within this tradition. I hope viewers will leave this exhibition with a deeper appreciation for the limitless creative possibility of quilting.”

MOFAC is located at 600 West College Drive in Avon Park. For more information or to request a tour or class visit, call the Museum office at 863-784-7130.