Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Check out the new site & PBS special

http://www.whyquiltsmatter.org/welcome/

THE KENTUCKY QUILT PROJECT, INC. PRESENTS
WHY QUILTS MATTER: HISTORY, ART & POLITICS
A NINE-PART DOCUMENTARY SERIES COMING TO PBS STATIONS THIS FALL
AVAILABLE ON DVD IN AUGUST

Created & Executive Produced by Renowned Quilt Expert Shelly Zegart

Louisville, KY – August 8, 2011 – Why Quilts Matter: History, Art & Politics, a nine-part documentary series coming to PBS stations this fall and available on DVD in August, takes the viewer on an amazing journey into the world of quilts revealing their centrality to American culture. Equally compelling for the aficionado and the uninitiated, the series will educate and entertain as it reveals the staggering size and depth of the quilt world and its surprisingly complicated politics.
Avoiding antiquated discussions and stereotypical references, the series takes the viewer behind the scenes in the marketplace, provides a first-hand look at the inner workings of America’s museums, and takes the viewer inside the studios of some leading quilt makers.   Watch as quilts empower women, take us through two pivotal centuries of history, and reveal the nature of the art itself, while helping us understand who we are, where we’ve been, and where we’re going.
Executive Producer Shelly Zegart, a distinguished expert at the forefront of the quilt world for over three decades, has created a stunning visual account of this enduring American art form. As host and guiding force, Zegart introduces viewers to the academics, savvy dealers, and passionate quilt makers who share their personal stories, experiences and often outspoken opinions.
“The making of this documentary has been an extraordinary experience and one that I’m very proud to share with the public,” explains Zegart. “Quilts reveal the visual history of the United States. However, the subject of quilts and the people who make them is frequently misunderstood. With Why Quilts Matter: History, Art & Politics we spotlight the incredible stories and opinions of those behind the quilt and its culture.”
Adds Dr. Marcie C. Ferris, Associate Professor of American Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, “As a Professor of American Studies, I try to bring the history and culture of the American South to life in the classroom. I can think of no better resource than Why Quilts Matter: History, Art, and Politics to introduce my students to one of the most visually compelling, historically rich art forms in our country. This series presents a diverse community of artists, scholars, and collectors who speak to the powerful meaning of race, class, gender, and region, sewn into every quilt.”
Alex Anderson and Ricky Tims, Co-Founders and Co-Hosts of www.TheQuiltShow.com are not shy about their enthusiasm for Why Quilts Matter: History, Art & Politics. “So many of us think that we know everything there is to know about quilts, but there is so much more to soak in and learn,” they state. “This series takes us on an informational, fearless, and fun ride through the world of quilts and quilt making, its rich heritage and the people for whom this art form is a way of life.”
Produced by Doug Jefferson, founder of Focal Point Productions and a director and editor, and written by Ann E. Berman, author and former art world journalist, Why Quilts Matter: History, Art & Politics was independently produced and funded. It will air nationwide on PBS stations starting this September and is distributed through NETA, the National Educational Telecommunications Association.
Why Quilts Matter: History, Art & Politics is presented by The Kentucky Quilt Project, Inc., a 501(c)3 organization, andwill be available on DVD beginning August 5 at http://whyquiltsmatter.org, the online companion to the series that will house Image Resource Guides for quilts, photographs and people in the series, as well as present news and events, and much more when launched on July 31.
 
 
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Shelly Zegart is a renowned and passionate collector, curator, author and lecturer on both antique and contemporary quilts. Her love of American quilts began in the mid-1970s when she was inspired to hang quilts with other art on the walls of her newly built contemporary home. Raised in quilt-rich western Pennsylvania, Zegart moved to Louisville, Kentucky in 1968, another Commonwealth well known for its quilt heritage. From the 1970s onward, she became a zealous advocate for quilt scholarship and was a founding director and the driving force behind The Kentucky Quilt Project, an effort initiated in 1980 to survey the state’s quilts. The first project of its kind, it set the standard for all state, regional, and national quilt projects that followed. Models driven by The Kentucky Quilt Project concept have flourished not only nationally but also internationally and have culminated in more than 50 such projects in the U.S. and abroad, yielding both catalogues and exhibitions.
 
Zegart is also a founding director of The Alliance for American Quilts, established in 1993 to develop The Quilt Index. She has helped to build quilt collections around the world and her personal collection of extraordinary nineteenth- and twentieth-century quilts was acquired by The Art Institute of Chicago in 2002. An exhibition and catalogue, Shelly Zegart: Passionate About Quilts – Challenging Assumptions, Creating Change, Making Connections, was held at the Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft in Louisville in 2008. Zegart is the author of American Quilt Collections: Antique Quilt Masterpieces and has contributed to a number of books and publications. Some of her diverse lecture and article topics have included “Quilts as Women’s Art,” “Political Quilts” and “Myth and Methodology: Shelly Zegart Unpicks African American Quilt Scholarship.” Zegart holds a B.A. in Education from the University of Michigan. For further information, please visit her website at http://www.shellyzegart.com.
 

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