Threads of the past; Ties to the future

Published 7:45 pm Friday, August 12, 2022

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Every now and then, something comes along that causes pause.

The Cotton Rose Quilters’ exhibition at the Johnson Center for the Arts is one of those “somethings.”

On Thursday night, the members of the Cotton Rose Quilters Guild were honored with an artists’ reception at the Johnson Center and in celebration of the opening of the Cotton Rose Quilters exhibition that hangs through September 30.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

More than 90 quilts, the handiwork of 16 Pike County quilters, is displayed throughout the Johnson Center and the galleries on both levels.

“This exhibition of quilts has to be one of the best,” said Brenda Campbell, JCA director.  “I say, one of the best, but I can say, with all certainty, that it is the best quilt show I have seen. It is simply amazing.”

Campbell said she is at a loss for words when it comes to the Cotton Rose Quilters.

“There are no words adequate for the exhibit and these dedicated quilters,” she said. “You have to experience it.”

The quilts are displayed differently and uniquely.

In the lower gallery, several quilts are displayed on tables beneath original artworks by folk artists including Mose T. and Charlie Lucas.

“The quilts in this exhibition are different from traditional wall hangings and very impressive,” Campbell said. “Every quilt was hung so that it could be closely admired and, at the artists’ reception, the quilters were available to talk about their creations and offered assurance that  ‘It’s okay to touch.’ After all, quilts are functional art.”

The viewing of each quilt was a special moment at the artists’ reception for the Cotton Rose Quilters.

However, the quilters took the focus away from themselves and their handiwork to shine the light on others.

Penny Messick, Cotton Rose Quilters president, recognized Pike County veteran Frances Mark “Brochie” Galloway of the Tennille Community.

As a way of honoring all veterans, the Cotton Rose Quilters gifted to Galloway a patriotic quilt and thanked him for his service.

Galloway, a Pike County High School graduate of 1951, served in the Army Reserve following graduation. His unit was activated with the expectations of being sent to Korea. However, Galloway’s unit was stationed in Bordeaux, France, where he drove a truck hauling supplies for Uncle Sam.

Galloway and his wife, the late Fay Coston, have three children.   

The Cotton Rose Quilters next presentation was a total surprise to Campbell and the JCA staff. The quilters presented the Johnson Center for the Arts with a quilt designed and made by the Cotton Rose Quilters that depicts and honors Pike County towns of Troy, Brundidge, Goshen and Banks and landmarks within the county.

Campbell accepted the “amazing beautiful and historic” quilt on behalf of the JCA staff and all Pike Countians and with heartfelt appreciation.

The artists’ reception was a time of looking back through the artwork of the Cotton Rose Quilters and with great appreciation and admiration for contributions to the art of quilt making.

Cotton Rose Quilt Guild members include June Boyd, Lori Broadway, Donna Carr, Joyce Cooper, Diane Curtis, Kellie Curtis, Julia Dillard, Foye Gramley, Sara Hatfield, Camille Hedden, Ruth Henderson Melodie Lauer, Pam Leverett, Mary Marshall, Bea McKnatt, Peggy McVay, Penny Messick, Liz Petty, Stanna Traver and Mary Joe Williams.

The Rose Quilters Guild meets once a month on the second Tuesday of each month at 6:30p.m. in the First Baptist Church Activities Building in Troy. New quilters are always welcome.