About Shelly :: Curator
Since spearheading the first state documentation project in Kentucky in 1981, Shelly has been fortunate to have been involved in a wide variety of exhibitions and quilt projects including Louisville Celebrates the American Quilt.
In 1991-92 she was heavily involved in producing an enormous multi venued effort within a year and a half. The Kentucky Quilt Project produced 6 exhibitions at 4 venues in Louisville (J.B. Speed Art Museum, Louisville Science Center, The Kentucky Art and Craft Foundation, and Louisville Visual Art Association), 4 academic conferences and published 2 books simultaneously. That experience and countless others since then have made her uniquely prepared to conceptualize, advise, develop and implement every aspect of your project.
Some more recent examples of Shelly's work include:
Shelly works with a number of banks, hospitals, airports, universities and
private collectors to develop collections of quilts. From choosing a theme,
to locating the quilts, to advising on hanging, to writing necessary wall
and catalogue text, she is actively involved in each phase of the project.
Having been intimately involved over the years with the travel of the Kentucky Quilt Project exhibitions and the Morehead exhibition, Kentucky Quilts Roots and Wings, Shelly is in a unique position to develop traveling exhibitions and can avoid the pitfalls that can occur.
She also has inside knowledge of most of the major American public and private collections through the research she did for her book American Quilt Collections: Antique Quilt Masterpieces. If your organization
is looking to develop a particular theme for travel in the U.S. or abroad,
Shelly can locate the quilts, negotiate with the museums and organize the paperwork
and the shipping.
She couriered the American quilts for the exhibition "Mosaic Textiles: In Search of the Hexagon," as well as Tokyo International Great Quilt Festival in 2005, 2007 and 2008.
"Kentucky Quilts: Roots and Wings"
1998 Shelly curated the exhibition "Kentucky Quilts: Roots and Wings" at the
Kentucky Folk Art Center at Morehead State University in Morehead, Kentucky.
From the initial basic concept conceived jointly by the curator of the Kentucky Folk Art Center and me, I went forward to create and develop an extremely well received traveling exhibition that looked at both antique and contemporary Kentucky quilts through the lenses of the myths that surround Kentucky quilts. In addition I wrote an extensively researched essay for the catalogue.
"A Heritage of Genius: American Master Quilts Past and Present"
In 2001 Shelly co-curated the exhibition "A Heritage of Genius: American Master
Quilts Past and Present". The exhibition began as a simple concept to
display and compare antique quilts with contemporary ones.
Shelly helped to develop that basic concept into a successful three venued exhibition that showcased a variety of unique antique masterpiece quilts as well as innovative, cutting edge contemporary art quilts. One comparison was drawn by looking at quilts with no known voices of the makers and then presenting the contemporary quilts with the voices of their makers. Pieces of interviews with the makers from one of The Alliance for American Quilts projects accompanied each of the contemporary selections.
In addition to co-curating Shelly wrote most of the accompanying catalogue and wall display text that was presented with the quilts in three lobby galleries of the Durst Organization buildings in midtown Manhattan.
The Quilts of Gee's Bend
In 2002 Shelly became involved with the landmark project The Quilts of Gee's Bend. She advised the organizers on many aspects of the exhibition and accompanying books including: discussing the rationale for selecting quilts for the exhibition and the books, writing quilt captions for the books and vetting essays about quilts for accuracy for the books Gee's Bend: The Women and Their Quilts and The Quilt's of Gee's Bend.She also has been involved in negotiations with potential future exhibit venues, and has become the representative for any of the quilts that are for sale.
Mosaic Textiles: In Search of the Hexagon
In 2003 an exhibition that Shelly had been working on with her French colleague Janine Janniere
for many years finally opened outside of Rouen, France in a Folk Museum
located in a castle in Martainville. It was on exhibition until the
end of October 2003. For the exhibition "Mosaic
Textiles: In Search of the Hexagon" ("Mosaïques d'etoffes à la recherche de l'hexagone").
Shelly helped with extensive research for the international comparative exhibition representing nine countries. She also consulted on the catalogue and wrote a forward for it.
No project is too large and no detail is too small. From proposal writing and funding development to securing quilts and venues to developing the perfect accompanying catalogue, I will make sure that your exhibition concept is translated into an exhibition success.