As the last remnants of the PEEPshow are swept from the halls of the Carroll Arts Center in Westminster, organizers have been busy replacing the sweet treats with a pair of new exhibits to usher in the spring season.
Today, the Arts Center will open to the public "The Fine Art of the Quilt" and "Lasting Impression: Photography by the Carroll County Camera Club," each focused on their titular mediums of work. Both will remain open to the public until June 2.
"The Fine Art of the Quilt" features quilt work by 11 creators who have designed art-quilts made to be hung on gallery walls rather than displayed on a bed.
Karen Amelia Brown, of Westminster, said she came to quilting after a lifetime of sewing, painting and doing calligraphy. She said she began working with traditional quilts of existing patterns but soon decided she wanted to branch out into her own designs.
"I spent 20 years making my living as an artist, so I started dyeing my own fabrics and enhancing my skills," Brown said. "It was a new adventure for me."
One of Brown's pieces, "Delilah" is based on Mary Oliver's poem "The Summer's Day." The piece features a large grasshopper depicted in a field, with the poem attached on the opposite side. She said it was exciting to take what she knew about sewing and color and design and combine that with fabric.
Another quilter exhibiting her work at the Carroll Arts Center is Olga Schrichte, who creates zentangle designs of structured, repetitive patterns on quilts. Schrichte said she's been quilting since 1996, when she took a class while living in England.
"I thought I was taking a quilting class, but it turned out I was taking a class on how to design a quilt," Schrichte said. "I'm not a math person, so I started designing my own patterns instead of following traditional ones."
Schrichte said she enjoys combining different textures and fabrics together to create layered quilts, including pieces of buckskin, burlap, goat suede, antique linen and more.
"I try to make my work look the best I can," Schrichte said. "When they're hanging, you're not supposed to touch it, but my goal is to make you want to touch it, explore it and wonder how I put it together."
Schrichte said she began quilting by using a domestic sewing machine, but in 2010, she invested in a stitching machine with a 12-foot table. She said she can use it to create computer-driven designs or drop the belt and guide it by hand. She said using the machine might not hearken back to the way quilts used to be made, but it allows her to produce many more products.
"Women through the ages have always embraced new tech and things that save them time," Schrichte said. "If I were to hand quilt, things would never get done. I love tech and I love the new."
Upstairs from the quilt show is the annual exhibition by the Carroll County Camera Club, featuring 88 photos by more than 20 participants. Photos range from the abstract to world landscapes, to depictions of local landmarks, with each club member emphasizing what interests them most. According to Cathy Gilleland, secretary with the club, this year features more works from club members than ever before.
"We have a really wide range of skill levels and interests," Gilleland said. "Some are interested in the floral, while others want to do landscapes. We had a bunch of members shoot at a model airplane exhibition."
The club meets on the third Monday of each month at Carroll Lutheran Village and hosts a number of workshops and outings for its members.
If You Go
What: Gallery Receptions
When: 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 27
Where: Carroll Arts Center, 91 W. Main St., Westminster