Tuesday, March 21, 2017

The New England Quilt Museum

Another suggestion of a place to visit in the area near the SAGA Retreat at Bedford Glen is the New England Quilt Museum, Lowell, Massachusetts.

The museum is open Wednesday through Saturday, 10 AM - 4 PM November - April

It was almost 30 years ago that a group of enthusiastic New England quilters began to dream of establishing a regional quilt museum. That dream became a reality when the New England Quilt Museum board of directors met for the first time in June 1987. Now, as its 25th Anniversary year has come and gone (in 2012), it seems miraculous that the museum exists and has survived and grown, fulfilling the mission first conceived by its founding mothers.

Over the years, as the museum sought a permanent home, endured water floods and also risked drowning in red ink, there were times when it seemed the dream might die. Still, it has endured, but only because of the support received from the museum's constant friends and members.

The museum is located in historic downtown Lowell, Massachusetts. Master craftsman Josiah Peabody built the Lowell Institute for Savings building in 1845 in the classic Greek Revival Style. The structure boasts an unusual rhomboidal footprint, with curved corners and an ornate wrought iron balcony along two sides.

Today the 18,000 square foot space holds exhibition galleries, a library and resource center, classrooms, a museum store, staff offices, support areas and storage for the more than four hundred antique and contemporary quilts in the permanent collection.

The Crit Group: 30 Years and Still Quilting
January 11 through April 29, 2017
​This exhibit of works by five artists in fiber is a unique insight into the relationships of a critique group. Judy Becker, Nancy Crasco, Sandy Donabed, Sylvia Einstein, and Carol Anne Grotrian have been meeting each month for thirty years to support and sustain each other as artists. Nancy Crasco states, “the focus of our gatherings is always about the work: assisting with aesthetic and construction concerns, sharing opportunities to exhibit, discussing current trends in fiber, and providing the impetus to continue creating.”  All of the artists have gained national recognition and have exhibited widely in the United States and abroad.

Each of the artists has a distinct style which is acknowledged and encouraged by the others.  They agree that the scariest outcome of a critique group would be to have their works be similar.  Each artist has a different source of motivation or inspiration and employs a unique manner of working.

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