The California Heritage Museum is hosting a new exhibit centered around “art quilts,” which organizers believe is a step beyond old-fashioned quilt making.

The show, California Art Quilts — Current Work by California Members of Studio Art Quilt Associates, opens with a reception at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 27th, at the California Heritage Museum, 2612 Main St., Santa Monica. The work remains on display through Sunday, August 13th.

General admission is $5; students and seniors are admitted for $3; and children 12 and under are admitted free.

The exhibit is juried and quilts have been selected by Sandi Fox, a retired curator for the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) and Tobi Smith, executive director of the California Heritage Museum.

The intent of the exhibit is to display the “cutting edge” of textile art in California, organizers say.

All quilts shown were made by members of the Studio Art Quilt Associates (SAQA), a guild for professional quilters.

Dispelling the stereotype of grannies sitting around in sewing circles, Fox says that the exhibit challenges the view of quilting as a stale tradition. SAQA artists pursue their own unique visions through combining fabric with various other media, according to the California Heritage Museum. Some make abstract pieces that capture mood and flow; others express environmental concerns through their work; some use humor; and others weave images and symbols into their work, organizers explain.

Historically, quilts were made of re-used snippets of fabric, typically from a family’s worn-out clothes. Contemporary quilts often use custom fabrics created specifically for the quilt, which can be pieced, appliquÈd, dyed or painted.

But the quilts do share some heritage with their antique forerunners. Modern quilts still capture particular times, places and serve as vibrant, colorful sentimental items, organizers say.

Information, (310) 392-8537.

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