What is an art quilt?

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By Katy Korkos

If you’ve always wondered what exactly is meant by an art quilt, the “Seams Unusual” show, opening Friday at the Art Center at Fuller Lodge, should go a long way to clearing up the mystery.

Seventeen New Mexico artists from all over the state have chosen this emerging medium to portray their artistic vision.

The connections between this work and the traditional patchwork quilt can still be seen, but this work is intended for the wall and not the bed. The call for entries asked the artists to use a definition of art quilt that only required them to use two or more layers of fabric, held together by stitching.

Some of the artists have arrived at the art quilt medium with a background in painting and some have come from a background in crafts, but all have found this medium to be one where composition, color and texture predominate.

Jeri Beitel’s work is always colorful, often making use of innovative materials, such as compact discs. Her piece “Infinity” combines the traditional quilt block known as Cathedral Windows with a free form hand dyed background, floating fibers suggestive of clouds or smoke. Beitel is a retired art teacher who lives in Santa Fe.

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