History of Art Quilt Elements
Art Quilts at the Sedgwick, as Art Quilt Elements was originally known, featured 18 quilts for a 10-day period in 1999. Deborah Schwartzman, a volunteer at the Sedgwick Cultural Center in Philadelphia, PA, invited 18 artists to showcase their work for the purpose of educating the public about art quilts. Cindy Friedman, a fashion designer, educator and fiber quilt artist, soon became involved and helped promote and expand the exhibition. The show developed into a month-long, annual juried exhibition, receiving hundreds of submissions from every region of the country.
When the Sedgwick closed in 2006, the quilt exhibition temporarily moved to the Philadelphia Art Alliance. Positive publicity about the growing exhibition brought an offer from Nancy Campbell, executive director of the Wayne Art Center, to house the exhibition on a permanent basis. In 2008, Art Quilts at the Sedgwick became Art Quilt Elements The exhibitions’ new name called to mind the main aspects of the show itself: the elements necessary to create an art quilt —technique, materials, execution and vision—and the elements necessary to host this exhibition—passion, flexibility and patience. Wayne Art Center’s first exhibition included nearly 70 quilts, and welcomed hundreds of visitors to the only East Coast biennial exhibition devoted exclusively to art quilts. Now in its 16th year, the internationally acclaimed exhibition has been widely praised by reviewers and artists, not only for the professional presentation of contemporary fine art quilts, but also for the commitment to promoting the art quilt as a fine art form.