WINNETKA – Vivid Art Gallery will host a new exhibit, Stitched by Hand, with work by internationally acclaimed art quilter Marianne Burr in February. Burr, whose work has never before been exhibited in the Chicago area, will have eleven of her award-winning quilts on display for the entire month. The Opening Reception will be on Friday, February 2, from 5-8 pm and will include live music and refreshments.
Burr’s quilts are nothing like traditional patchwork quilts. Instead, they are composed of extensively hand-embroidered, hand-painted silk backed by wool felt, sewn to a cotton backing. It’s the layers that put her pieces into the “quilt” category of art. Each quilt takes about a month to complete, working 5 full days each week, and some larger pieces require as long as four months to complete. It’s a labor of love. Says Burr, “My work is a joyful enterprise. I’ll never tire of trying ways to paint lustrous china silk with new color combinations. On the silk, they seem to glow from within. With the hand stitching that adds texture to my designs, I’ve chosen a labor intensive way to work that provides the pleasure of constant challenge.”
The artist’s work is characterized by strong design, vibrant colors, and intricate stitching. All of pieces have a motif of circles, used in a variety of ways. Her themes range from light-hearted explorations of fruits and vegetables to a solemn commemoration of the 2010 earthquake in Japan. Her circles, while originally contained in a grid of squares, have more recently gleefully “escaped” their boundaries and are now scattered across her surfaces.
Burr’s quilts have been accepted and won awards in many prestigious shows in Asia, Europe, Brazil and Australia in addition to the United States. She has won multiple awards at the Quilt Visions (US) and Quilt Nihon (Japan) exhibitions. Burr has also taught classes in Japan at the invitation of Quilt Nihon. Her work has been featured in numerous US and foreign fiber art publications. The artist lives on Whidbey Island, a small island a short ferry ride from Seattle.
The work of local artist Larry Simon will also be on display at the gallery in February in an exhibit entitled Still Life. Simon, whose medium is art photography, has an eye for attuned to the small details often overlooked in our hurried world. His work blends sharp and soft focus, creating a narrative surrounded by a sense of the unknown. He is attracted to architectural elements that become impressionistic or abstract in his compositions. His most recent work combines photographs with elements such as lines of poetry or a haiku, superimposed images, or organic materials. The results are beautiful, elegant, and unforgettable.
Submitted by Vivid Art Gallery, which is located at 895 Green Bay Road in Winnetka.