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Contemporary quilt art in Nacogdoches celebrates Texas themes


Contemporary quilt art goes on display Tuesday at Stephen F. Austin State University. The 26 works by Texans were completed between 1993 and 2011. Sandra Sider is the consulting curator for the Texas Quilt Museum in LaGrange, Texas. She selected the quilts for this exhibition and said they demonstrate how contemporary quilt art has a rightful place as a visual art form.

“The quilts that are pieced, and some of them appliqued, are done mostly with a painterly sense of composition -- an awareness of color, mass and line that distinctly makes these quilts works of art," Sider said, a New York-based quilter who specializes in the cyanotype technique and other photographic processes.

Sider said some quilts are influenced by Texas themes. “Sentinel in the Gulf” features an oil rig. “Barrel Racer” celebrates female rodeo contenders and Texas horsewomen. Texas was the springboard for the contemporary art quilt movement, according to Sider, with the launch of the popular Houston International Quilt Festival in the 1980s. But she added quilting itself has a long artistic lineage.

“Most quilt artists today are working within a history, and that rich history of women’s work informs what they do. I think that gives it a credibility that a lot of kids in art school don’t have, and maybe are a little envious of," Sider said.

The exhibit “Texas Art Quilts” opens Jan. 14 and runs through March 29 at the Cole Art Center at the Old Opera House in Nacogdoches. Sider will deliver a lecture on Feb. 15 at 3 p.m. at the Art Center.

Chuck Smith brings more than 30 years' broadcast and media experience to Red River Radio. He began his career as a radio news reporter and transitioned to television journalism and newsmagazine production. Chuck studied mass communications at Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia and motion picture / television production at the University of California at Los Angeles. He has also taught writing for television at York Technical College in Rock Hill, South Carolina and video / film production at Centenary College of Louisiana, Shreveport.