Art Quilt

An example of an art quilt that will be displayed at The Iowa Art Quilters Exhibit on October 4. 

FAIRFIELD — Soon there will be a different kind of art exhibit happening in southeast Iowa.

From 6-8 p.m. Oct. 4, the Fairfield Art Association will present a new exhibit called the The Iowa Art Quilters, where art quilts from 19 Iowa artists will be on display. These artists will showcase their art quilts, which will show places like the Iowa State Capitol, Corning’s Opera House and Lansing’s Old Stone School.

Fairfield Art Association Volunteer Director Suzan Kessel said the exhibit was thought of by members from the Iowa Art Quilters. After consideration, they decided to offer this exhibit every other year.

“The original art quilters group began in 2005 in Grinnell as a way to encourage Iowans to support and encourage others to make art quilts,” Kessel said. “There are about 30 members in Iowa Art Quilters, most of whom live in central Iowa. At monthly meetings they gather to teach and learn new techniques and to share ideas for projects.”

Kessel said these members wanted a chance to showcase their work and get southeast Iowans to learn more about art quilts and possibly become interested in making them. Kessel said these quilts are not like traditional quilts. These art quilts are hung on the wall rather than used for daily living.

“Usually art quilts are considered more decorative than functional,” Kessel said. “Art quilts are designed and constructed by the artist and are original. Art quilts may be abstract or representational, portraying landscapes, faces or objects, or modifying traditional quilt blocks.”

Kessel said attendees can look forward to seeing different methods used by artists.

“[Attendees will be able to see] a variety of fabrics, threads and embellishments such as beads, sequins, buttons, metal, wood and other materials,” she said.

Kessel said the design is different as well.

“Surface design, like altering the fabric itself, is a common feature,” she said. “One might add or remove color using dye, paint or bleach with brushes, stamps or stencils. Artists might go further by selectively damaging the cloth with fire or rust, or less drastically by folding, scrunching or gathering the cloth.”

The exhibit will be open until late December from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays. For more information on the exhibit, contact Kessel at 641-919-2121

Chiara Romero can be reached at


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