North Dakota quilters’ work displayed in exhibition in ChinaFARGO – Two North Dakota quilters’ works are part of a two-year exhibition currently touring China. Eldeen Geist, of Devils Lake, and Patricia Renault Stuen, of Wahpeton, are among 25 U.S. quilters to have their quilts featured in an exhibition of American quilts commissioned by the U.S. Embassy-Beijing called “The Sum of Many Parts.”
By: Tracy Frank, INFORUM
FARGO – Two North Dakota quilters’ works are part of a two-year exhibition currently touring China.
Eldeen Geist, of Devils Lake, and Patricia Renault Stuen, of Wahpeton, are among 25 U.S. quilters to have their quilts featured in an exhibition of American quilts commissioned by the U.S. Embassy-Beijing called “The Sum of Many Parts.”
The exhibition opened in Shanghai on Sept. 7 and will tour for two-month installations at major cultural institutions in the cities of Kunming, Nanning, Changsha and Dalian, according to a news release.
Geist’s quilt is one of the largest in the exhibit at 87 by 109.5 inches. It features more than 100 hand-cut, hand-dyed wool leaves in fall colors that are appliqued in a way that makes them appear to be falling across the quilt.
Geist made the quilt over the course of two months in 2009, she said.
“When I start on one, that’s pretty much all I do,” she said.
Geist said she feels honored that her quilt was chosen to be part of the exhibition. She didn’t even know her son had submitted several pictures of her quilts until Arts Midwest, which developed the tour and exhibition with South Arts and assistance from the Great Lakes Quilt Center at Michigan State University, told her she had been chosen, Geist said.
Geist said her interest was sparked by her mother, who was a 4-H leader and used to make patchwork quilts. Geist was also making a lot of her own clothing by the time she was 9 years old, she said.
Geist said quilting is her creative outlet, and she gives almost everything she makes to family and close friends.
“Most of the time when I’m working on one, I know who I’m going to give it to, so I just spend a lot of extra time thinking about that person, which is nice,” Geist said.
Renault Stuen’s quilt is a colorful American Indian “star” quilt, a tradition connected to painted buffalo robes, a news release stated.
The quilt features a large eight-point star in shades of turquoise, red, brown, tan and green in the center of a navy blue background. The star is surrounded by borders of blue, red, tan and a multi-colored diamond pattern.
“It is a symbol of Indian America, and over the decades people say that I have brought my own signature style to the form,” she said on Arts Midwest’s website.
Renault Stuen has been quilting for 20 years and said she likes the artistry involved with putting the colors together.
She also teaches quilting and is working with a group of sixth-graders from Circle of Nations, an inter-tribal off-reservation boarding school in Wahpeton, where Renault Stuen works as a tutor and substitute teacher.
Renault Stuen sells her quilts, which take about two weeks to make, she said. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.