mu lynn quiltWEST LONG BRANCH, NJ  – Monmouth University’s Center for the Arts is pleased to announce the opening of a new gallery exhibit When Textiles Talk. A Quilting Exhibit taking place in the Pollak Gallery now through August 28th. This juried exhibition includes quilts from members of Rebecca’s Reel Quilt Guild in Middletown and the Beach Plum Quiltmakers of Ocean County.  There will be an opening reception for the exhibition on Saturday, August 1st from 5 to 7 PM.

The concept for When Textiles Talk developed from an interest in the use of textiles to convey information, often subliminally. Each of us are literate textile readers within our own culture. Economic/social statuses, work/leisure and rank within a subculture are some of silent messages that are sent by the kind of textiles and clothes we wear. Whether you see a banker, cowboy, or soldier the only visual difference between them is the clothing being worn. Furthermore, the uniform of the general clearly communicates a different status from that of the private. When we travel to an unfamiliar culture, we miss these subtle cues that guide the natives’ interactions.  If the foreign culture is too different, we are not even aware that there are social/political signals all around us.  Some of the most elaborate messages are found in ‘primitive’ or ‘illiterate’ cultures or in complex hierarchal cultures.

Historically, quilts have been made to convey emotions, record events and to evoke memories; to greet or say good-bye; to sell or raffle for charity; to celebrate, to commemorate or to comfort. A story card explaining the artist’s vision or motivation accompanies each quilt in the exhibition. This part of the task was not easy for some of the participants. Quilters are rarely asked ‘why’ as artists. The need to communicate requires quilters to express themselves for the same various reasons as other artists.

Also included in the exhibit is the showcase quilt on permanent display in the gallery entry. This quilt made in 1998 by Joy Bohanan and Louis Broder, daughter of Maurice Pollak. It was made with love to honor the Pollak family, a family important in the development of Monmouth University. Photos and documents trace the Pollak family’s involvement in this region and in the growth of the college into a university.

The Pollak Gallery is open from 9 am to 7 pm Monday through Friday as well as during special events. All gallery events are free and open to the public. For more information about this exhibition and all Monmouth University Center for the Arts events visit www.monmouth.edu/arts or call 732-263-5715.