Drinko Library Showcases the “Quilting is Not a Lost Art” Exhibit

Victoria Ware, Features and Cultures Editor

A diverse selection of quilts are on display in the “Quilting is Not a Lost Art” Exhibit at Drinko Library. This exhibit is part of an effort to showcase more artwork in Drinko.

 “Our dream for several years was to have a display of quilts or textiles,” Sabrina Thomas, the head of the Drinko Library Displays Committee, said. “And this opportunity is the culmination of years of trying to figure out how we would be able to display the quilts in Drinko and our desire to just fill the library with as much art and interesting things as possible.”

The exhibit demonstrates that despite how similar the quilts can appear, they also have many unique differences within them. 

“So, this is a collection of quilts that were made by the Piecemakers Quilt Group of St. Peter Claver Church in Huntington,” Thomas said. “The theme of this display is ‘Quilting is Not a Lost Art’ with a sub-theme of ‘The Same but Different.’ So, each floor has a different type of thing where you can see what’s similar about them and what’s dissimilar about them.”

The quilts on display show a variety of themes, patterns and techniques.

  “There’s even several on the Underground Railroad, which I knew a little bit about, but to see it created in a quilt and know what the symbols represent and how they helped slaves escape was just incredible,” Thomas said. 

“‘The Pantry’ is right outside my office, and I love it for several reasons,” Thomas said. “One, it’s just aesthetically beautiful. Each one of the women took a shelf, so you get to see where their uniqueness comes out.”

Thomas says that it is an honor to be able to display the artists’ works in the library for the whole semester. 

“It really isn’t a lost art,” Thomas said. “This is something that these women have been doing for years. And it’s an unbelievable privilege to be able to showcase the craftsmanship that has gone into each and every one of these quilts. It’s truly extraordinary.”

“But this particular group—their artistry and their craftsmanship really blends together, so that if you take the time to go through and really look and take in each one of the quilts, it’s truly extraordinary,” Thomas said. “And I’m just so grateful that they are willing to show these quilts the whole semester.”

A reception celebrating the exhibit will take place on Oct. 3 at 4 p.m. in the Drinko Atrium.

 “So, if you come to Drinko Library on the first, second and third floors, you’ll be able to view these quilts all throughout the semester,” Thomas said. “And we have an opening celebration that everyone is invited to come and see. We’ll have refreshments and drinks and you can meet the artists.” 

Thomas says that she displays artwork in Drinko to highlight work from students, faculty and local artists. 

“Annually, we have a spring exhibition,” Thomas said. “And each spring showcases a certain theme, and it goes all the way back to several years [ago] where… my dream essentially was to fill the library with as much artwork as possible… And I realized walking through Drinko library, there’s a ton of wall space.” 

“What could I do to increase visibility of local artists?” Thomas asked. “What could I do to showcase the student artwork and faculty artwork—this talent that we have right here on campus? And so, every spring—the entire spring, we have a juried exhibition that showcases local artists, and student work and faculty work.” 

The presentation of artwork in the library gives people who may not feel comfortable viewing it in a gallery or museum the ability to see it in a more accessible environment. 

“There are people who are intimidated to go into galleries—art galleries,” Thomas said. “So many people think of a library, and they think a warehouse of dead trees, like this is where you go to get printed books. And that’s not necessarily the case. It’s a place to have conversations, a place to study, a place where you can come to get help with research, a place to come when you just need a break and just need to relax for a bit.”