Friday, May 22, 2009
The Folk Art of Delaware
The Delaware Art Museum has the perfect exhibit to see before traveling to southern Delaware this summer as many of the crafters are alive and well and ready to show and sell other works. The show was organized in collaboration with the Delaware Folk Art Collection, a program of Delaware State Parks.
Bright reds and daringly asymmetrical patterns stand out in a quilt made by Elaine Bahr and Elaine Bordley of Dover which hangs in the main entryway to the museum. “Bright and Lively” hangs next to a more traditional quilt called “Malia Obama’s pretty ribbons” done by Elaine Bordley alone. The colors reflect the bright fashion worn by the President’s younger daughter at the January inauguration.
Upstairs is a quilt within a quilt by Ann Martin of Dover. She incorporated the quilting used as markers for slaves on the road to freedom through the Underground Railroad into her quilt depicting the slaves approaching a safe house. “Safe House” is more than needlework – it is a commentary on our country’s political and racial history.
The yellow tones of Nina Spencer’s tile with acrylic, “Freedom Town”, provide a dramatic background to multilayered portraits of African Americans.
Jehu F Camper (1897-1989) of Harrington carved entire farm scenes of wood depicting farm life in the early 1900s. One shows sheriffs invading the barnyard and police dogs chasing moon shiners as they dive beneath the barn.
Guest curator Carol Balick has really brought some gems from the Diamond State to the forefront.
Out of the Commonplace: The Folk Art of Delaware runs through August 16.