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Eckert artist awarded top spot in California quilt exhibit

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Photo submitted Nancy Vanaken's "These are the Doors of Our Lives" quilt earned top honors and will be displayed at two California exhibits, along with quilts from other members of the Grand Mesa Art Quilt Association.

When you hear the word "doors" do you think of entering your home or job or storefront, a hidden passage, or something more abstract and emotional? Twenty-four members of the Grand Junction Art Quilt Association (AQuA) submitted their fiber interpretation of "Doors" for a special exhibit to hang in October at both the Quiltfest Oasis in Palm Springs and the 24th annual Pacific International Quilt Festival (PIQF) in Santa Clara, Calif.

Fiber artist Betty Busby of Albuquerque, N.M., juried the submissions and provided this assessment: "It was wonderful to see the many creative approaches and interpretations of your theme; the artists are quite individual in their approaches to their work."

Busby singled out five pieces for special recognition. The top pick (and also the AQuA members' choice award) was a quilt by Delta County artist Nancy Vanaken of Eckert, "These are the Doors of our Lives" with a realistic rendition of open post office boxes.

Using her own photographs as a reference, Nancy said, "We all hope for something exciting; we watch for the mailman and eagerly open the 'door' to our daily lives...bills, letters, notices, ads, newspapers, information."

The other four quilts earning special recognition were works by Jan Warren, Wendy Bain, Mary Grande, all of Grand Junction, and Terry Lee of Carbondale.

Juror Busby summarized the fiber art entries for the show saying "There were quite a range of emotions expressed as well, from grief, to love and forgiveness, and family played a very strong role in many of the pieces. Both abstract and representational works were strong." She therefore determined that all of the original Doors entries will be displayed in California, which is clear recognition of the talent in this fiber art group and explains why members invited to participate in such prestigious shows as PIQF.

AQuA welcomes new members and meets monthly in Grand Junction per the calendar on its website,

theartquiltassociation.com where all the Doors quilt photos are posted. Follow the group on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TheArtQuiltAssociation.

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