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National Quilt Exhibit at Montgomery College to Honor President Barack Obama

“President Obama: A Celebration in Art Quilts” on Display Feb. 9 – March 5

Quilters from all over the United States and as far away as Australia will celebrate our nation’s 44th president in an exhibition called “President Obama: A Celebration in Art Quilts.” The display will run from February 9 through March 5 at The Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation Arts Center at Montgomery College’s Takoma Park/Silver Spring Campus. The gallery is located on the arts center’s first floor.

The opening reception is Friday, February 13 from 6–8 p.m. Normal gallery hours are Monday through Friday, 10 a.m.–4 p.m.

Curated by Montgomery College Art Professor Mary Staley, “A Celebration in Art Quilts” showcases the work of more than 60 fiber artists. The all-volunteer, grassroots, multicultural group has created the art quilts to pay tribute to President Barack Obama.

Local quilter Susan Walen conceived of the exhibit in November when she was taking her Obama quilt home from the campaign offices in Bethesda. She wondered how many others had created quilts featuring Obama and his family. Dr. Walen put out a call for quilts on several quilting Web sites, and within 30 hours, more than 40 artists responded.

“We present these art quilts at an unforgettable historic moment in our country’s history,” Dr. Walen said. “The quilt show is devoted to President Obama and his family, in gratitude for the hope and inspiration he has brought us.”

The resulting exhibit showcases a wide range of art quilting techniques, including painting, dyeing, photography, beading, appliqué, embroidery, and digital transfer. Accompanying each quilt are the artists’ statements, which feature the stories and personal inspiration that led to the creation of each quilt.

“I’m a proud peacenik, an old hippie… and a kind of radical liberal all my life,” said Susan Shie, a participating art quilter from Wooster, Ohio. “My Obama quilts started in 2007.”

“My quilt is an expression of the hope and the exhilaration,” said Joy-Lily, a participating art quilter from San Francisco, Caliornia. “I’m excited to be making a quilt that commemorates such a shining moment in our national history.”

Most of the quilts were created by individual artists, but one quilt was made by a small group called the Pixeladies and another quilt was created by 16 people working together called Fiber Artists for Obama. Most of these quilts will have their debut at this exhibit. Other quilts were shown last year in a major quilt show in Houston.

The exhibit will be located in the gallery located on the ground floor of The Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Arts Center, which is on the west side of Montgomery College’s Takoma Park/Silver Spring Campus. Visitors are encouraged to park in the College’s East Campus Parking Garage on Fenton Street and take the pedestrian bridge and path to the arts center.

For more information, please contact Mary J. Staley, at 240-567-1374 or

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