Patchwork quilts, crazy quilts, quilts that tell stories, quilts that point the way to freedom, and quilts that just keep us warm are all part of the rich history of this art form — an expressive practice that ties art with craft, and sophisticated form with snug-as-a-bug functionality. From August 2 through 5, the Lowell Quilt Festival, which is held annually to benefit the New England Quilt Museum, celebrates not only antique but also contemporary quiltmakers, some of whose interpretation of their media may surprise devotees of the traditional Log Cabin pattern. In connection with the festival, on August 4 at 8 pm, the Revolving Museum hosts “ARTventures Giant Quilted Movie,” a collection of animated films by renowned animator and quilter Karen Aqua. In addition, Aqua’s innovative “Animated Quilts” will be on view at the museum’s gallery August 1 through 5.
Aqua has been creating hand-drawn animated films since the mid ’70s — work that’s been seen in international film festivals as well as on Sesame Street. Several years ago, she began working on a series of what she calls “animated quilts” — large, two-dimensional paper wall constructions using imagery from her films. The quilts, however, present hundreds of frames simultaneously rather than in a fast-moving sequence, revealing the mechanics of animation and offering insight into relationships between time-based media and traditional art forms.
Relationships between our bodies and our landscape come into play in a new project at the Institute of Contemporary Art, where visitors are invited to join in a series of walks exploring the ICA’s new waterfront setting. On July 28, departing from the ICA at 9:30 am, artist Ernesto Pujol leads participants to Georges Island in the second installment of “The Water Cycle,” in which Pujol plays the role of a silent pilgrim traveling to the Boston Harbor Islands to collect water in hand-blown glass vessels that later become part of an outdoor sculpture at the ICA.
Art that asks viewers to go beyond looking was of keen interest to artists working in the post-WW2 era, among them Franz Erhard Walther, whose fabric objects, first produced in the 1960s, were considered fully realized only when viewers used them for simple actions such as wrapping themselves up in them, and Joseph Beuys, whose Evervess II 1, 1968 included the instructions “Drink the contents of bottle II and throw the cap as far away from you as possible.” On August 4, at 11:30 am, join Busch-Reisinger Museum curatorial assistant Lizzy Ramhorst for “Touch, But Don’t Touch: Mixed Messages and Provocations in the Experience of Postwar Art,” an informal seminar on the contradictions inherent in encountering such works in the museum context.
“ARTventures Giant Quilted Movie” | Revolving Museum, 22 Shattuck St, Lowell | August 4: 8-10 pm | 978.973.2787 | “Ernesto Pujol: The Water Cycle” | Institute of Contemporary Art, 100 Northern Ave, Boston | July 28: 9:30 am–2:30 pm | Reservations required; tickets $28 adults, $17 children ages 3-11 | 617.223.8666 | “Touch, But Don’t Touch” | Busch-Reisinger Museum, 32 Quincy St, Cambridge | August 4: 11:30 am-12:30 pm | Free, no reservations required, but space is limited | 617.495.9400
On the Web
The Revolving Museum: www.revolvingmuseum.org
"The Water Cycle": www.bostonislands.com
Busch-Reisinger Museum: www.artmuseums.harvard.edu