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Quilts, art on display for Third Friday Art Walk

"Hog Butcher for the World,

Tool Maker, Stacker of Wheat,

Player with Railroads and the Nation's Freight Handler;

Stormy, husky, brawling,

 City of the Big Shoulders ..."

— From the poem "Chicago" by Carl Sandburg

Rogue Gallery & Art Center is displaying dozens of quilts that weave together fabric, thread and poetry.

Whether abstract or realistic, each quilt by members of the Studio Art Quilt Associates Oregon Region was inspired by a poem, song or quote.

The quilts are on display at 40 S. Bartlett St. through July 29, with an artists' reception planned from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, June 17, during downtown Medford's monthly Third Friday Art Walk. Galleries will stay open into the evening hours to serve refreshments and welcome visitors to exhibits of fabric art, paintings, photography, sculpture and more.

Artist Mandy Miller's quilt "Georgia Does Midtown" was inspired by Carl Sandburg's poem "Chicago." Semi-abstract skyscrapers and spires jut toward the sky at dynamic angles, representing a booming, restless city "with lifted head singing so proud to be alive and course and strong and cunning."

Artist Anne Daughtry took on Samuel Taylor Coleridge's epic poem "Rime of the Ancient Mariner," depicting scenes of a sailing ship adrift with no wind and "Water, water, every where, Nor any drop to drink."

Daughtry, who taught the poem as a high school English teacher, says everyone knows that line — even if they don't know the poem from which it comes. She includes several excerpts from the poem on the quilt.

Daughtry employs quilted fabric plus string and thread to represent the useless lines and furled sails of the ship baking beneath the Equatorial sun and the orange, red, yellow and maroon sky.

In one section of the quilt, she sewed a miniature version of the ship surrounded by glowing sunset hues as the day ends, a reference to the line, "As idle as a painted ship / Upon a painted ocean."

Daughtry says she chose the "Rime of the Ancient Mariner" because it was her father's favorite poem. They would often quote lines from the poem to each other to fit different situations.

Other quilts in the juried show include Judy Peterson's large-scale "The Jester Speaks" with a scene of a bird flying through a Pacific Northwest forest of conifers and ferns, bringing food to its nesting mate. Peterson includes the Ken Kesey quote, "Take what you need. Let the rest go by."

In a side space at the Rogue Gallery, Northern California artist Melinda Whipplesmith Plank is showing woodblock prints of her home turf and Southern Oregon.

"I like the nostalgic feel of woodblock prints. They evoke a feeling of the past," Whipplesmith Plank says of her prints, done in the style and muted, natural palette of vintage travel posters. "The natural world inspires me. I want people to take a close look at things they take for granted in our area."

The prints include evocative images of Pilot Rock, Mount Shasta and high alpine bear grass flowers.

In "Glimpse of Sierra Fox at Lake Almanor," Whipplesmith Plank shows an endangered Sierra Nevada red fox slipping through a shadowy forest, a patch of sun momentarily glancing off its back before it disappears from view. The fox is almost perfectly camouflaged amid trees and rocks.

"When you see wildlife, you usually only catch glimpses of it," she notes.

Several of the carved wood plates used to create the prints are also on display, hinting at the time-consuming process Whipplesmith Plank uses to lay down each color. She uses hundreds of photographic references and creates paintings of her concepts before the carving begins. 

The Third Friday Art Walk reception at the Rogue Gallery features wine, Rogue Creamery cheese and Harry & David snacks. Regular gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. Call 541-772-8118 or see www.roguegallery.org.

A reception at Art du Jour Gallery, 213 E. Main St., includes appetizers, wine and cider, accompanied by guitar, keyboard and flute music by Minstrel Streams. Regular gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Call 541-770-3190 or see artdujourgallery.com.

Art du Jour guest artist Sheri Dinardi is exhibiting portraits of women and girls — their glowing hair and skin backlit by the sun — in fields and gardens. Most are done in a realist, classical style, although the more impressionistic, spontaneous "Walking in Sunshine" captures a young girl walking by lavender plants, her outstretched hand grazing the nodding blooms.

Also at Art du Jour, gallery artists are showing works in response to the theme "Symphony of Colors" during June. Pieces include Mary Jo Heath's "North Phoenix Road #4," a pastel landscape of hills alternating in light and shadow as clouds drift by, and Marilyn Zupan's watercolors of European landscapes, cottages and castle ruins.

As a special fundraiser to benefit the Committed Alliance to Strays (C.A.T.S.) shelter, the gallery will exhibit the work of the late Carol Rose, who was a longtime high school art teacher and advocate for cats, during the month of June.

At 30 N. Central Ave., 30 North Gallery is showing handmade folk art-style wooden flags in celebration of Father's Day and will stay open from 5 to 9 p.m. during the art walk. Call 541-500-1230.

Jym Duane Photography, 17 N. Bartlett St., will feature the work of photographer Suzanne Wood and have acoustic music and refreshments. See www.jymduanephotography.com.

Staff reporter Vickie Aldous can be reached at 541-776-4486 or valdous@mailtribune.com. Follow her at www.twitter.com/VickieAldous.

Mandy Miller's quilt 'Georgia Does Midtown' was inspired by Carl Sandburg's poem 'Chicago.' An quilts with abstract designs will be displayed through July 29 at Rogue Gallery in Medford.