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home : arts & entertainment : arts & entertainment August 21, 2017

1/14/2014 12:53:00 PM
Quilter is on an artistic journey
‘Scrap Metal’ by Betsy Gientke. photo provided
+ click to enlarge
‘Scrap Metal’ by Betsy Gientke. photo provided

The quilters who make up the Journeys quilt group chose their organization's name with intention: They are explorers of their craft.

"We experiment and try to stretch," says Betsy Gientke, who is one of the artists whose work is featured in the current Sisters Art Works (SAW) exhibit.

"The idea is that we're all on an art journey and we're all trying to find our voice."

The fiber art to be found at the SAW exhibit is not the traditional quilt one might expect to see adorning a bed in a Sisters Country cabin. These pieces are "art quilts," all designed and executed around this year's theme: "Junkyard Journey."

"We took a field trip of sorts to Swift & McCormick (scrap) metal yard in Redmond and that was the inspiration for the show," said Gientke.

Gientke used hand-dyed fabric embellished with washers and copper foil and other metals.

"I probably made a pretty quilt using those materials," she said.

The idea was to artistically depict the value of recycled metals, which go on to have lives beyond their original purpose.

Although she's had a lifelong interest in the fiber arts, Gientke began her artistic journey in earnest after retiring in 2005 and moving to Central Oregon. She has participated in the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show and other local events.

She said the goal of the group's quilting is to "produce art that can stand up next to a painting or a sculpture" as a form of artistic expression.

"Junkyard Journey" opened in January at Sisters Art Works, 204 W. Adams Ave. Viewing is open during normal business hours.

Artists include Catherine Beard, Helen Brisson, Donna Cherry, Sheila Finzer, Betty Gientke, Jan Hearn, Ruth Ingham, June Jaeger, Jean Wells Keenan, Charlene Kenny, Tonye Phillips, Donna Rice, Robyn Ryan and Mary Stiewig.

An artists reception will be held Friday, January 17, from 5 to 7:30 p.m. with refreshments and music by John Phillips.

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