ALSTEAD, N.H. – Peek in on bursts of vibrant color and shapes in art quilts at the She’d Porter Library this fall.
This November the library hosts art quilts, with an exhibit of 10-inch by-7-inch quilts showcasing the talents of 50 different artists who work in fabric.
The Studio Arts Quilt Associates Inc. traveling Trunk Show is now at the Shedd Porter Library. The show is named for its compactness — it fits into a trunk for its journey. This exhibit started in 2014 in Kentucky and has been across the U.S. and shown in other countries. The She’d Porter Library is its last stop this year.
The Studio Art Quilts Associates Inc. solicited new creations this month from members for their 2017 Trunk Show.
Quilters can find more information on the association’s web site: www.saqa.com.
She’d Porter Library itself is worth a visit simply for its beauty and the friendliness of staff. The library is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and the New Hampshire Register of Historic Places.
The library is Beaux-Arts style, the English equivalent of fine arts, an ornate classical revival style named Beaux Arts because it was taught at L’Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris in the 19th century. An 1893 exposition in Chicago popularized the style.
The library was the gift of John Graves Shedd and Mary Roenna Porter Shedd.
The ornate dome inside the library makes this a stand out among the several beautiful libraries in New Hampshire that were designed by Boston architects William H. McLean and Albert H. Wright.
Stopping in the library, Jim Ridenour, a visitor from Albany, N.Y., offered his view. “Really gorgeous library and the quilts, very cool,” he said. “I can see the waves and the rocks in this blue and green piece. Very nice.”
The art quilts span a wide range of colors, textures, and fabrics plus non-fabric adornments. Pieces are hand sewn and machine sewn.
Some pieces tell straight forward stories, the blue and green waves and rocks, earth and water theme quilt or the woman reaching arms outstretched to sky for joy quilt. Other more abstract quilts strike the viewer based on colors and geometry.
The quilting itself is the main art in some pieces, while more background on others. An exhibit guide frames questions for visitors to consider and suggests viewing all the quilts before reading the artists’ stories that accompany the quilts.
The Shedd Porter Library is free and open to the public. Hours are Wednesdays, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. (closing at 3 p.m. on Thanksgiving eve), Thursdays, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. (closed Thanksgiving), Fridays, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturdays, 9 a.m. to noon.