BATH – An Art Quilts Maine exhibit that opened July 31 at The Chocolate Church Arts Center Gallery will continue through Sept. 11.

A Meet the Artists Reception will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 6, and all are welcome to attend, organizers said.

That will be followed by a slide lecture by noted Maine quilt artist Dianne S. Hire on “The Rise of Quilt Art” at 7 p.m. She will also show some of her work.

Hire is known as a quilt maker who uses vibrant color. Her innovative designs have been exhibited and received awards throughout the country, including the American Quilter’s Society show in Paducah, Ky.; the Dallas Quilt Show in Texas; the East Coast Quilters Alliance show in Westford, Mass.; Quiltfest in Jacksonville, Fla.; and Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival, Williamsburg, Va., as well as two Best of Shows for Maine quilts in her home state of Tennessee.

As an international exhibitor, her work appears in major publications and corporate collections. In 2000, she group curated a second traveling art quilt show. She’s the editor of a book that coincided with one of the shows, “Oxymorons: Absurdly Logical Quilts!” Her most recent book, “Quilters Playtime: Games with Fabric,” came out last year.

Before moving to Belfast in 1982, she was a couture dress buyer who “never, ever” considered quilting to be a possibility for her life.

She attended Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn., and received her B.A. from Tennessee Technological University in Cookeville, Tennessee.

Support for their art

Art Quilts Maine is a group of more than 40 fabric artists who meet regularly to support one another in their exploration of art quilting. They also promote the understanding, appreciation and recognition of contemporary quilters in Maine through sharing resources, demonstrations, workshops and exhibits such as this one.

Art Quilts Maine was founded six years ago as a chapter of the Pine Tree Quilters’ Guild. Intended for art quilters from throughout Maine, the group meets every other month Saturdays in Augusta to share ideas.

The group has previously held a show in Kennebunkport and has regularly exhibited as a group at the annual Pine Tree Quilters’ Guild state shows.

Art quilts are contemporary artworks exploring the full range of the visual arts: painting, printing, photography, graphic design, assemblage and sculpture. Art quilts also retain their clear relationship to the folk art quilt from which they derive, through choices of material and/or technique.

Kate Cutco, former president of the chapter, is coordinating the show for the Art Quilts Maine Chapter and may be reached at (207) 666-3162 for further information.

She said 30 quilting artists will have work on display in this exhibit.

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