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Oklahoma Artists' Exhibit at National Museum

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PADUCAH, KY_ The extraordinary artwork of five Oklahoma women is on display in a new exhibit at The National Quilt Museum in Paducah, Kentucky.

The Oklahomans' works, jury-chosen from among hundreds of submissions, "are the best-of-the-best and in the grand tradition of American artists such as Georgia O'Keeffe," said Frank Bennett, chief executive officer of NQM, the world's largest and most prestigious museum devoted to quilts and fiber arts.

The new exhibit, "Quilts of the South Central U.S.," opened January 17th and will run through April 2nd. It consists of 13 quilts from as many artists residing in Oklahoma, Texas, and Arkansas.

Artist James, who says she has a fascination with stripes, said, "This quilt evolved slowly and in the end I realized that my feelings towards stripes were much like Will Rogers' feelings about people when he said he'd never met a man he didn't like."

Artist Raines said her work, "True North," was inspired by Bible scripture James 1:17: "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change." After reflecting on those lines, Raines said, "I saw this quilt, taped a few rows of butcher paper together and drew a picture of what I was seeing. The quilt unfolded for me step by step."

Inspiration came more slowly to artist Potter, who said of "Ahavah,"
"It took me a couple of months to decide on the design for this quilt.
I drew and erased and redrew and erased several times before I came up with the design."

The Oklahomans' quilts will be seen by a good portion of the 40,000 art-lovers from all 50 States and 45 foreign countries who visit the NQM annually. The national art museum has been described by Forbes magazine as "a massive tourist attraction" and compared by the St.
Louis Post-Dispatch to the Chicago Art Institute. NQM has been featured in articles by The Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, and Southern Living magazine, among others.

The spacious, 27,000 sq.-ft. NQM, opened in 1991, has three galleries in which breath-taking fiber arts from its collection and traveling exhibits, are on display. By changing the exhibits as many as 10 times a year, visiting art-lovers can always see new wonders, Bennett says.

Today, an estimated 21 million Americans quilt, a growing number of them men who view it as an outlet for their artistic expression.
According to Quilters Newsletter, 14% of U.S. households are home to at least one active quilter. Quilters are an affluent ($91,000 household income) group composed largely of college educated (72%) individuals who have tripled the value of the U.S. quilting market from just over $1 billion in 1997 to $3.6 billion today. Some quilt art works sell for a much as a quarter of a million dollars.

NQM has earned the reputation of "Quilter's Heaven," while Paducah has become  known as "Quilt City, U.S.A." NQM is the winner of the 2012 TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence, (for tourism and hospitality) given only to establishments in the top 10% of destinations by travelers review score.

NQM, an ADA-compliant tourist attraction, is open to the public Monday through Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm year round. From March 1 to November 30 it is also open Sunday afternoons from 1 to 5. It is located at 215 Jefferson Street, 42001, in historic downtown Paducah.

For further information: www.quiltmuseum.org; phone (270) 442-8856.
Please direct questions from media to Sherwood Ross Associates, media consultants to NQM, at (305) 205-8281 or sherwoodross10@gmail.com.

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