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West Valley City Journal

Exhibition brings “from the heart” creativity to UCCC

Apr 03, 2017 11:22AM ● By Bryan Scott

A quilt from the fFifth annual From the Heart: Expressions in Fiber exhibition. (Michelle Glover/City Journals)

By Michelle Glover | [email protected]

Utah Cultural Celebration Center hosted its fifth annual From the Heart: Expressions in Fiber exhibition. The exhibit featured new works by the members of the Mary Meigs Atwater Weavers Guild, as well as other creators from various artistic settings throughout the community.

When asked what drew the cultural center to host this type of exhibition, Michael Christensen, the visual and performing arts manager at the Cultural Community Center, indicated that they generally facilitate arts programs by responding to community initiatives. They were approached by the guild who proposed an exhibition idea and it fit with their gallery schedule.

The opening night festivities began with an open gallery where visitors could view the craftsmanship of the pieces on exhibit. One piece that seemed to draw attention from visitors was An American Quilt, Hanson County, South Dakota, 1943 (embroidery, applique). This quilt was started in 1943 and was completed in 2017. The decorative squares were completed in 1943 by members of the artist’s husband’s extended family. The squares were found in her husband’s aunt’s basement and the artist decided to finish the quilt for future generations.

A Study in Bronze (needlepoint) by Joanne Gealta was another piece typically surrounded by admirers. Her submission, a mixed needlepoint with beads, brings both mediums together to “remind us of the beauty of the colors of Southern Utah.” 

The opening speaker was Catherine Marchant. She is the chair of the Exhibit Committee. She indicated that the show is every two years, and open to any fiber artist in Utah. To be eligible for an award, the pieces must have been completed in the past 2 years and be an original design.

Marchant said they notified other fiber-related guilds or groups and received entries from members of the surface design, lace making, embroidery, knitting and spinning groups besides the pieces submitted by the members of the Mary Meigs Atwater Weaver’s Guild (MMAWG).

In addition to the awards that MMAWG gives, the Handweavers Guild of America, Complex Weavers, Surface Design Association and Handwoven Magazine all provided them with awards for the winning artists.

Marchant said this year they received a record number of entries—125. She said the show is supported by a grant from the Utah Division of Arts and Museums.

Sarah Jackson was the main speaker for the evening. Her artistic passion is centered around textile design. Jackson also judged the competition and discussed the process of and steps involved in looming and weaving.

“Try something new, even if it makes you feel uncomfortable,” Jackson told an audience filled with artists and art lovers. “You never know where it will take you.”

Zina Woods, a Provo resident, came to opening night to support her friend Charlene Lind whose exhibit was Sow’s Ear No 2.

“This is a very impressive show. There is a lot of creativity and spectrum of talent. There is a lot of love in this show,” Woods said.  

Two Salt Lake City residents from Parklane Senior Living, Jane McIlwaine and Clarissa Buetler, said the show was exquisite and they couldn’t believe the craftsmanship.

The evening ended with awards. Some of the winners of the evening were: Yvonna Thomas, Ann Eddington Adams, Deanne Bass, and Leslie Seward, who was the biggest winner of the evening.  

For more about upcoming events at the Utah Cultural Celebration Center, contact Michael Christensen at 801-965-5108.