Judy B. Dales' quilt, Spirit Flight, was chosen by Michael Monroe, former curator of the Renwick Gallery, to be included in The White House Collection of American Crafts. This collection of seventy wood, glass, metal and fiber pieces created by some of America's most prestigious craft artists was assembled to celebrate the Year of The American Craft, and made its debut at the White House in December 1993. Since that time, the collection has toured the country and has been exhibited at The Smithsonian, The Los Angeles Museum of Art, The American Craft Museum and other fine museums.
Judy's quilt was made to honor her mother three years after her death. The imagery, which is very personal, includes an ethereal figure in the upper left corner, a multitude of irregularly shaped stars and a cascade of tears down one side. The quilt symbolizes the sorrow, fear and mystery associated with death, which is balanced by hope, endurance, and strength represented by the floating, spirit-like figure.
Dancing On The Dark Side Of The Moon
Judy has the reputation of being a superb colorist and is famous for her ability to merge and blend diverse, unusual fabrics. Individual colors and patterns are sublimated to the overall mood and the sophisticated palette that results is this artist's distinctive signature.
Judy can make color flow across the surface of a quilt and in this piece the effect is enhanced by the use of chiffon and tulle in the background areas to simulate the bleeding that occurs in watercolor painting.
Her recent series of Fantasy Form quilts, of which this piece is an example, are all derived from doodles. The circles and curves give the work a fluid look and the abstract imagery allows the viewer's imagination free reign. The soft colors, curved forms and free form quilting give the quilt a distinctly feminine effect.
This small quilt, which is 39"w x 24"h, was made in memory of Judy's friend, Doreen Speckmann, one of the quilt world's most beloved figures. The design captures the moment when Doreen's ashes were released from the stern of a cruise ship in the Caribbean. The ashes were lifted by the breezes and carried up and away which seemed to symbolize the spirit's final flight as it leaves this world behind.
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Last updated: Friday, February 21, 2003
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