Tag Archives: fiber art

Artists’ Beit Midrash Exhibit Opening Nov. 12

Artist as Kohen:

Transmitting Holiness

Art by participants in Artists’ Beit Midrash

Judith Joseph and Jane Shapiro, co-facilitators

Curated by Judith Joseph

Choshen, by Linda Sonin

Choshen, by Linda Sonin

North Suburban Synagogue Beth El, 1175 Sheridan Rd., Highland Park, Illinois Through January 2015

Opening Reception:
Wednesday, November 12, 2014, 6:45pm
Exhibiting Artists:
Lois Barr ▪ Sam Bernstein ▪ Sylvia Dresser ▪ Nessia Frank ▪ Judith Joseph ▪ Ruti Modlin ▪ Lilach Schrag ▪ Judy Solomon ▪ Linda Carol Sonin
Leah Sosewitz ▪ Sandy Starkman

Join us for a wine & cheese reception and study session with Jane Shapiro.
Reservations are requested to Marcie Eskin at meskin@nssbethel.org or 847/432-8900×234.

To view exhibit at other times, please call NSSBE  847/432-8900 for open hours.

Quilts by Men

During a visit to Civil War sites in Winchester, Virginia, I learned that convalescing Confederate veterans were encouraged to work on quilts.  The wartime headquarters of Stonewall Jackson (1861-62) had such a quilt on the General’s personal bed, made by an amputee.

Traditionally women’s work, quilting was recognized for its therapeutic benefit to wounded soldiers, who were undoubtedly suffering from PTSD, as well as physical injuries.  Artists and crafters know well the meditative zone one enters while immersed in repetitive, creative work.  We forget to eat, we forget to stop working, we forget the world.

Excommunication by Quilt

In 1858, a friendship quilt was made by a group of young Quaker girls in Frederick County, Virginia.  There is a bull’s eye block (square) sewn over one of the original blocks, a lovely tulip design which is clearly visible in an x-ray photo.  This young seamstress was elided from the community, as well as the quilt, after she committed the sin of marrying outside of her faith.

It is notable that the design chosen to blot out her design, which would be a permanent reminder to the quilt’s owner of the painful breach, was a bull’s eye, a rather hostile mark.

The quilt was in the estate of the Hollingsworth family, who left England because of religious intolerance towards Quakers.  Their home, “Abram’s Dream,” was the first house in Winchester, Virginia.  It had a hinged wall in the parlor to permit enlargement of the space for Quaker meetings.