Art is the human work: Nature is everything else

virginia-quilt-museumWhen you think about the National Parks, do you think of quilts?  You would if you have seen any of the 177 art quilts made by people across the country in honor of the National Park Service Centennial.

Each small quilt represents flora, fauna, or landscape of one of the 59 National Parks and they are coming to the Virginia Quilt Museum July 26!  But there is no need to wait, because the museum is celebrating the NPS 100th Birthday with Arts and the Parks all month long!

The kickoff – The “Art” of Storytelling, First Friday, July 1 – a free event for all ages, featured retired game warden, outdoor humorist, and author Frank Mundy.

On two Wednesdays, July 13 and 27 at 10:30, youth services librarian Bly Brown will host “Craft Your Own Adventure” children’s story time and craft mornings, for ages 3-7.  National Park-themed stories will be paired with a craft option, linking outdoor adventure (the natural world) to art (the human-made).

Court Square Theater is the venue on Monday evening, July 25 at 7 pm, when Stace Carter will present “Sharing Your Outdoor Adventures:  Digital Storytelling 101”. Stace is an Apple Distinguished Educator, a guest lecturer at UVA, and was the 2015 Artist-in-Residence for Shenandoah National Park.  His presentation will focus on tips and techniques for capturing and sharing park experiences in photos and videos.  Beginners are welcome; just bring your phone or camera and your $5 fee.

The soft opening of the quilt exhibit “Inspired by the National Parks” takes place at the museum on Tuesday, July 26 from10:00 to 4:00.  The day is in partnership with Walkabout Outfitter and reciprocal outdoor-lover giveaways will get you a prize at the outfitters, free admission at the museum, plus a chance in a drawing for cool gear.  (The quilts will remain on exhibit through September 10.)

The July “Arts and the Parks” grand finale will be Saturday, July 30, 10:00-4:00 at the museum and St. Stephens United Church of Christ.  On this day, free with museum admission, the “Gallery Opening” will focus on our own Shenandoah National Park.  Local artists will join us with a SNP-inspired Community Art Show featuring a variety of art forms.  SNP’s traveling display will be on hand, along with the 177-quilt exhibit.  At St. Stephens, 1:30, Shenandoah National Park Ranger Mike Punches will present “A Brief History of the National Park Service”.  (The lecture is free; donations are appreciated.)  From 3:00-4:00 at the museum, an Artists’ Reception will be held, featuring exhibit curator, Donna DeSoto and musician, Mike McCray.  Ms. DeSoto will sign books available for purchase or pre-order.

Arts and the Parks is hosted by the Virginia Quilt Museum in partnership with Arts Council of the Valley.  It is an official Shenandoah National Park NPS Centennial Event.

More info:

The Virginia Quilt Museum was founded in 1995 and exists to celebrate quilting in Virginia.  The Museum is a 501(c)3 non-profit funded solely through private donations, memberships, and revenue from admissions and museum shop sales.  The Virginia Quilt Museum receives no federal or state funding.