Quiltmaker to present program at museum

DES MOINES – Iowa City quiltmaker Erick Wolfmeyer will present a series of short films and discuss his experience and current projects next week in Des Moines at the State Historical Museum of Iowa, a bureau within the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs.

“A Piece of Me: An Afternoon with Erick Wolfmeyer” will be presented from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Jan. 18, at the State Historical Museum of Iowa, 600 E. Locust Street in Des Moines. The program is free and open to the public, and is presented in conjunction with the State Historical Museum’s “The Sum of Many Parts: 25 Quiltmakers in 21st-Century America” exhibition. Reservations are encouraged by contacting Millie Frese at millie.frese@iowa.gov or (515) 281-5111.

Wolfmeyer is one of two Iowans with quilt pieces in “The Sum of Many Parts” exhibition, which began its North American premiere at the State Historical Museum in October 2013. The traveling exhibition features works of 25 contemporary quilters from the United States and was developed as a cross-cultural exchange to introduce the people of China to American culture through a shared love of textile arts, using quiltmaking as a metaphor for the rich diversity of American society.

The exhibit toured major cultural institutions in China for one year before coming to Des Moines, which is the only city in the United States to host the exhibition in its entirety. The State Historical Museum has extended the exhibition’s run to Feb. 2.

During his presentation, Wolfmeyer will show “A Piece of Me,” a series of six self-produced films focusing on different quilts he has created, including ‘Portmanteau’ that is included in ‘The Sum of Many Parts.’ He will also talk about his current projects and experiences, including a trip to China for the exhibition’s opening and outreach programs.

Wolfmeyer’s heirloom-quality quilts combine pragmatic utility with stunning visual beauty. His passion for quilting is driven by opportunities for resonant color combinations, the reinterpretation of traditional quilt patterns and introducing unconventional visual applications to the medium.

He earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography from Washington University (St. Louis, Missouri) in 1990 and made his first quilt in 1998. His quilts have appeared in American Bungalow (March 2001), Architectural Digest (June 2006), and are included in private and public collections in the United States and Europe.

‘The Sum of Many Parts’ was conceived and sponsored by the United States Embassy-Beijing. The exhibition and its tour throughout the People’s Republic of China was jointly developed and managed by Arts Midwest and South Arts, with additional assistance from the Great Lakes Quilt Center at Michigan State University.

Partial funding provided by the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Additional support from Rhoda A. Pierce, Alabama State Council on the Arts, Illinois Arts Council, Illinois Office of Trade and Investment, Iowa Arts Council, Kentucky Arts Council, Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, Mississippi Arts Commission, North Dakota Council on the Arts, Ohio Arts Council, and South Dakota Arts Council. The exhibition’s presentation in Iowa has been made possible by the Iowa Arts Council and State Historical Museum of Iowa.

The State Historical Museum of Iowa hours are 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday-Saturday and noon-4:30 p.m. Sunday. Admission is free. More information is available at www.iowahistory.org or 515-281-5111. The State Historical Museum is overseen by the State Historical Society of Iowa, a division of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs.