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Fiber Fantasies: Quilt landscapes replace Peeps at Carroll Arts Center

Karen Brown, center, talks about her fiber art with Denise Beaver and Tracy Turner during a reception at the Carroll Arts Center in Westminster Tuesday.
Karen Brown, center, talks about her fiber art with Denise Beaver and Tracy Turner during a reception at the Carroll Arts Center in Westminster Tuesday. (KEN KOONS/STAFF PHOTO , Carroll County Times)

Artist Karen Brown encouraged admirers of her quilt to study it closely.

"I like to hide things," she said.

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Sure enough, Brown, of Westminster, worked snakes into the sand and figures into the sky as part of her "Desert Roses" quilt currently on display at the Carroll Arts Center's Tevis Arts Gallery in Westminster.

Brown is one of five artists featured in "Fiber Fantasies" at the Tevis Gallery through June 1.

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This exhibit replaced the Peep Show, which closed April 15. An estimated 14,000 attended the Peep Show, which is the second most significant fundraiser for the Carroll County Arts Council annually.

After two weeks of marshmallow-inspired Peep projects filling the Tevis Gallery, it has returned to being a centerpiece for regional artists.

In this instance, artists who specialize in making fiber art landscapes are having their works exhibited.

In addition to Brown, Elaine Brandes, of Pikesville, Judi Froehlinger-Schlichter, of Manchester, Alice Magorian, of Catonsville, and Deb Slechta, of Millers, are featured.

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Brown's landscapes were motivated by a past vacation to New Mexico, where she admired petroglyphs, which are rock engravings.

New Mexico's Petroglyph National Monument features designs and symbols carved onto volcanic rocks by American Indians and Spanish settlers in the area 400-700 years ago.

The petroglyphs are among the hidden treasures in Brown's "Desert Roses."

She's not the only artist inspired by a visit to the Southwest.

Slechta used a photo transfer technique in her landscapes, two of which feature the Colorado River flowing through the Grand Canyon.

Slechta, who is donating the proceeds from the sale of her quilts to The Ruth Foundation, was inspired by her great uncle Alfred Kuhn. He was an award-winning painter and tailor.

"He's the one," she said, "who taught me how to sew."

The exhibit includes both desert scenes and ones inspired by water.

Brandes' sequin-enhanced "Primordial Water" features blue and green spirals and drops.

Magorian's "Hungry Fox" features the four-legged animal popping up from a snowy white background.

Froehlinger-Schlichter participated in past quilt exhibits at the Carroll Arts Center and returned for this one.

"Whenever I am asked out in the community, 'who would you recommend for a quilter' the first person that comes to mind is [Froehlinger-Schlichter]," said Susan Williamson, the visual arts coordinator for the Carroll Arts Center.

The fiber art pieces are smaller than full-sized quilts such as the ones Brown makes and donates for youths in hospitals as part of Project Linus.

And many of the quilts, Brown's included, had tiny details that made visitors to Tuesday's opening focus on them intently.

"We decided this time to have a small wall-hanging quilt exhibit," Williamson said, "and I think it works really, really well."

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