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Arts Midwest's "The Sum of Many Parts: 25 Quiltmakers from 21st-Century America" is an exhibition of quilts by contemporary American artists that will tour throughout China from 2012 to 2014. The exhibition opened in Shanghai last week, accompanied by interactive workshops for Chinese audiences and presentations from U.S. arts specialists and quilters featured in the exhibition. The exhibition will then tour for two-month installations at major cultural institutions in the cities of Kunming, Nanning, Changsha, and Dalian.
Quilt - The Red One
"The Sum of Many Parts" is a program conceived and sponsored by the United States Embassy-Beijing. The exhibition and its tour have been jointly developed and managed by Arts Midwest and South Arts, with additional assistance from the MSU Museum's Great Lakes Quilt Center.
Quilt-making has always been an important tradition in America, and the many styles of American quilts reflect the diversity of the United States itself. "The Sum of Many Parts" features 25 contemporary quilters from the Midwest, the South, and Hawaii. The exhibition highlights a range of quilting styles and techniques while providing an opportunity for Chinese audiences to connect with American culture through a shared love of textile arts.
"This project has provided an excellent opportunity for the Michigan State University Museum, home of the Michigan Traditional Arts Program, to partner with colleagues at other state folk arts organizations in the Midwest and the South," says Marsha MacDowell, curator of folk arts at the MSU Museum and MSU professor of art, art history and design. "In addition, it allows the MSU Museum to showcase one of its strengths — the quilt-related education, research, and collection development activities — at the same time strengthening growing relationships with Chinese scholars and institutions focused on traditional expressive culture."
Arts Midwest, headquartered in Minneapolis, works to promote creativity, nurture cultural leadership, and engage people in meaningful arts experiences.
The Red One, A Charm Quilt by Beth Donaldson. Photo by Pearl Yee Wong.