The exhibit features 24 quilts by 17 Arizona artists, including the nationally known Marla Hattabaugh, Meiny Vermaas-van der Heide and Ruth Garrison, as well as some up-and-comers. Some artists chose to take the show's concept to heart by creating quilts that make a personal, often autobiographical, statement about their backgrounds. Barbara Jakucki's family-tree-inspired creation, "Chips Off the Old Blocks: A Quilter's Family Tree," takes the shape of a tree with specially designed blocks that represent the personality and interests of various family members.
The public can meet the artists at a catered reception from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, August 28. From 7 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, September 16, the Chandler Cultural Foundation will sponsor "Grounded in Tradition," a panel discussion moderated by Howell, featuring Hattabaugh and Vermaas-van der Heide, which will encompass the background of quilting and the evolution of the art quilt. Both events are free.
Those who hold the view that quilting is dry or dull may well find their perception changed by the startlingly contemporary works in this show. For the truly avant-garde who prefer a genuine objet d'art to keep them warm at night, most quilts are for sale.
"Background Check" opens Friday, August 28, at Chandler Center for the Arts, 250 North Arizona Avenue. Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays, and evenings during performances. 917-6859, 786-2680.