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University Museum to host unique exhibit

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In conjunction with the sixth annual Oxford Fiber Arts Festival set for Jan. 28-30, Caryl Bryer Fallert-Gentry will host a solo exhibition of her unique quilts Jan. 26 through April 16 at University Museum.

“For as long as I can remember, I have expressed myself through artwork,” Fallert-Gentry states on her website. “My formal training was primarily in design, drawing, and studio painting. After many years of painting, sewing, and experimenting with other media, I discovered that fabric, as a fine art medium, best expressed my personal vision. Since 1982, I have been a quilt maker, i.e., my work is constructed from layers of fabric, stitched together with batting or other filler between the layers.”

Her work is widely recognized and displayed throughout the world.

“I love the tactile qualities of cloth, and the unlimited color range made possible by hand dyeing, and other surface design techniques,” Fallert-Gentry continues. “For 20 years, virtually all of my quilts begin with white, 100 percent cotton fabric. The fabric was dyed, painted and printed to create the palette of colors and visual texture used in piecing and appliquéing my images.”

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In 2004 she began licensing some of her original painted and dyed designs to Benartex, for use in commercially screened fabrics, and many of the quilts since then have included these fabrics. She is also making a series of quilts from images scanned and manipulated in the computer and printed directly on fabric with archival ink jet inks.

Vibrant colors are what set her quilt works apart from many others.

“The focus of my work is on the qualities of color, line and texture, which will engage the spirit and emotions of the viewer, evoking a sense of mystery, excitement, or joy,” Fallert-Gentry said. “Illusions of movement, depth and luminosity are common to most of my work. The inner glow is created by hand-dyeing or painting my fabrics in gradual progressions from light to dark.

“Both my geometric color studies, and my more organic, curved seam abstracts are inspired by visual impressions, collected in my travels, in my everyday life, and in my imagination. Although some of my quilts include pictorial images, my work is most often about seeing, experiencing and imagining, rather than pictorial representation of any specific object or species. When recognizable objects appear, they represent the emotions and flights of fantasy evoked by those objects. My intention is to focus on positive energy and depict that in my work.”

Her intention is for her quilts to be seen and enjoyed by others.

“It is my hope that they will lift the spirits and delight the eyes of those who see them,” she said. “I am constantly learning and my work evolves as I find new images in my imagination and develop the techniques to create them in cloth. As a teacher I believe that the magic of art lies in our heads and in our hearts. I love sharing my techniques with others so they can share their magic with me.”

As part of the opening of the exhibition, Fallert-Gentry will give a lecture and seminar on Jan. 28 titled “These are NOT your grandmother’s quilts: An Introduction to Quilts as Fine Art.”

Carylbryer Fallert-Gentry: 40 Years of Color, Light & Motion

Jan. 26-April 16 @ University Museum

The 58-piece exhibition includes her fine-art quilts from 1976 to present day. A reception and artists lecture will be held Jan. 28 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Admission is free.