As the name implies, the exhibit highlights the works of men, some of whom are very much “manly men,” who design and create intricate quilted designs .
The exhibit is designed to get people thinking about craftsmanship and how we see the traditional roles men and women play in creating their art. But as the museum’s curator Suzanne Isken told us, it’s also about having fun, acknowledging that the idea of a tattooed, muscular dude designing a quilt covered in hamburgers and guns should bring a smile to anyone with a sense of humor.
“The experience has been unusual. We had a press lunch and people showed up,” Isken said with a laugh. “That’s been my biggest shock. This show has really brought out people with a great interest and it’s a little bit scary.”
Isken says the she isn’t trying to make any definitive statements about gender roles or art itself. Rather, she hopes the entertaining and easily accessible medium will get people thinking and talking. And if a few of those visitors stick around to check out the more traditional exhibits, even better.
“What I really want people to do is visit my museum,” she said. “I think prior to now we were sometimes afraid to show traditional craftwork in that people would get the wrong ide that everything was made my their grandmother. These craftworks are being carried on in some very exciting ways.”
“Man Made” runs through May 3rd. For those who want to dive deeper into the art of quilting, the CAFAM will host a panel discussion with its male quilters on March 1st and quilter Luke Haynes sill be hosting a free workshop on quilting Sunday, March 29th from 10-5.
“This notion of men making quilts seems really to have captured the imagination in a way that’s both humorous and fun,” she said. “It’s a very serious exhibition but also has a sense of humor.”
All images courtesy of CAFAM.
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