The 2020 Quilting and Textile Arts Competition Show is now underway at the Harlin Museum. The exhibit, which is open to the public with free admission, is a gallery show featuring both the competition quilts and textile art pieces entered by contestants from all around the Ozarks. The display also includes historic textile pieces from the museum’s permanent collection and a few new pieces on loan from private quilt & textile collectors of the area.
Textiles have long been an important part of history in the Ozarks, from raising animals for their fiber to carding, spinning, and weaving those fibers into beautiful pieces of wearable art, household bedding, and other miscellaneous textile items. Each piece tells a story of the heritage, history, accomplishment, and relationships of the maker while also serving many useful and practical purposes.
Historic textile pieces exhibited in this year’s show include a friendship quilt made by the employees of the International Shoe Company that was gifted to a co-worker on the occasion of her retirement, two quilts made by groups that met at Grimmett School on the old Siloam Springs route near Pomona, MO., as well as several quilts completed by various local church groups over the years and donated to the museum’s permanent collection, and even one quilt that made it all the way home from the front lines of the Civil War.
The competition portion of the Harlin’s annual show was expanded this year from the existing adult division to include a youth division for textile artists age 17 and younger. This decision was prompted both by a recent change in leadership at the museum and by the donation of a memorial award to the museum by the Mark Warren Family of Pomona, Missouri. The Carrie A. Warren-Gentry Talent in Textile Arts Memorial Award recognizes excellence in youth who show talent in the textile arts, a life-long passion of the award’s namesake who passed away in 2010. This award, which includes a one-hundred-dollar prize to the top winner of the youth division, is now a permanent addition to the museum’s textile show.
Out of the 14 entrants to the competition this year, there were 12 entries to the Adult Division and 12 entries to the youth division. The award for Best of Show went to Alma Pruett of Cabool, MO for her Blue Stack & Wack quilt entry. In the Adult Division, Quilting Category, 1st place went to Dee Graham of Pomona, MO for her purple Heart entry; 2nd place to Kaye Huff of West Plains, MO for her entry named Tranquility; 3rd place also went to Alma Pruett for her quilt, Light & Dark Christmas; and a Special Merit Award was given to Gena Stout of West Plains, MO for her entry, Shibori Indigo Quilt, whose quilt squares were embellished using the Shibori method, a unique Japanese dyeing technique. In the Textile Arts Category, 1st place went to Gena Stout of West Plains, MO for her knitted garment, Transformational Wrap; 2nd place went to Geraldine Richardson of Houston, MO for her embellished wall hanging, Butterfly Spring; 3rd place went to Gena Stout for her handwoven tunic, Purple Passion; and an Honorable Mention also went to Mrs. Stout for her handwoven rug entry, Sentimental Memories, a rug woven from men’s neckties that the artist collected from her grandfather, father, husband, and son. A second Honorable Mention was awarded to Angela Bullard of West Plains, MO for her felted wool landscape, Fuchsia Sky.
In the Youth Division, the top winner of the Warren-Gentry Memorial Award went to Alexis McGhee of West Plains, MO for her quilt entry, Cats; 1st place in the Quilting Category went to Olivia Wood of Willow Springs, MO for her quilt, Rosebud; and 2nd place went to Myles McGhee of West Plains, MO for his entry, The Farm Quilt. In the Youth Division, Textile Arts Category, 1st place was awarded to Jackson Hufstedler of West Plains, MO for his crocheted entry, Americana Infant Blanket; 2nd place went to Clark Martin of West Plains, MO for his entry, Patchwork Pillow; 3rd place went to Lily Dixon of West Plains, MO for her embroidered handmade garment, Flower Apron; an Honorable Mention went to Rylee Brown of West Plains, MO for her crocheted Hat #1 and a second Honorable Mention went to Gabby Voshell of West Plains, MO for her entry, Rag Skirt.
Prizes will be awarded to the winners of the competition at the artist’s reception during Gala Night at the Museum from 5 pm-7 pm on Saturday, February 8, 2020. Gala Night will feature food, drinks, live music by Sean McCormick, and a wool spinning demonstration by the Harlin’s featured Artist of the Month, Mary Palmer-Scott of Mary’s Little Lambs. All are encouraged to attend.
The Harlin Museum’s 2020 Quilting & Textile Arts Competition Show is on display in the museum’s Hathcock Gallery until Sunday, February 9th.