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Quilts displayed at Hanes Art Center

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Hanes Art Center’s exhibition called “Piece Offering” opens today.

Hanes Art Center is wrapped up in quilts. But not the traditional paisley kind.

The quilts in the center’s new exhibit use everything from African fabrics to vintage concert T-shirts.

The exhibition — called “Piece Offering”— opens today in the John and June Allcott Gallery and the Allcott Undergraduate Gallery. It features the work of four textile artists who push the limits of the quilting craft.

The exhibit will run until Oct. 5.

The gallery showcases the work of Hollis Chatelain, Ben Venom, Marga de Bruijn and Allison Smith.

“The works of these four artists stitch together the perceived boundaries between craft and contemporary art,” said Jina Valentine, exhibition curator.

Smith and Venom are active in the San Francisco crafting community, while Chatelain and de Brujin are involved with various Triangle quilt-making groups.

Chatelain, who owns a studio in Hillsborough, said she is excited about showing her quilts so close to home.

“It’s really exciting that UNC is willing to highlight a medium of textiles and quilts because the quilting world has changed so very much,” she said.

After working as a professional photographer for 10 years, Chatelain’s joined the Peace Corps and landed in West Africa.
“I was in a country where I couldn’t take photos easily,” she said.

Chatelain said she then changed her art medium to a self-taught method of painting with dyes on fabric and quilting.

She now teaches drawing and painting around the nation. Her quilts show a new type of quilting that incorporates painting.

“I’m on the far left side of the non-traditional side,” Chatelain said.

Quilter Marga de Brujin is a bit more traditional in her work.
Born in the Netherlands, de Brujin turned to quilting after moving to the Triangle area in 1984.

Her quilts colorfully display universal images, putting light and voice into traditional geometric shapes.

Smith’s art focuses on repurposing historical pieces, displaying traditional quilts and sculptures in a new function.

Smith lives in California and is chairwoman of the California College of the Arts’ sculpture program.

Venom’s work takes on a new side of quilting that he admits is not quite like the Amish quilts of the past — it features demonic goat heads and bats.

His massive quilts showcase upcycled heavy metal T-shirts. One quilt spans 13 feet by 15 feet.

“I doubt even Shaquille O’Neal has a bed that big,” Venom said.

Contact the desk editor at arts@dailytarheel.com.

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