Seasons Of Denali
In June of 2007, I was commissioned to create an art quilt for the new Eielson Visitors Center, which would open in 2008. After long deliberation, I chose to use the view from the front windows as a framework to depict the very unique plants, birds and animals that live within 1/4 mile of the visitor’s center.
Before beginning construction I consulted with Scott Carrlee, Curator of Museum Services at the Alaska State Museum in Juneau. He told me how to make the piece as archival as possible.
This commission took almost every moment of my life for one year, becoming a labor of love. I incorporated all the art and sewing skills I had acquired over the years, and even learned some new ones. All of the fabric in the piece started as white fabric. I immersion dyed, painted, stamped, silk-screened or stenciled it to create color and images. I worked in units and added final images in fabric paint to maintain design flexibility as the composition developed. As I had new ideas, I incorporated them into the piece. I portrayed the changing seasons, from the last hint of winter on the left through spring, summer and fall, to the beginning of winter on the right. I put the proper birds, animals, and plants as you would see them at the time of year that they appear. I consulted friends who are botanists and naturalists to be as accurate as possible.During the last few months I worked even more obsessively, refining areas of the quilt and adding additional species. A very good friend brought me dinners so I didn’t have to cook, and other friends did my town shopping for me so I didn’t have to travel to Fairbanks. You can see a video of me working on the quilt at www.nps.gov/dena/photosmultimedia/dne.htm. Scroll down mid-page to Inspiration and choose your preferred media file type.
I created a deadline nightmare for my son Eric, who rose to the challenge admirably. I gave him the first panel to be framed and photographed only four days before installation, with the other three panels following a day or two later. You can see a short video showing us transporting it to Eielson, and Eric and his wife Susanna installing it on June 8, 2008 at www.nps.gov/dena/photosmultimedia/dne.htm. Scroll down mid-page to Inspiration: Bonus Feature and choose your preferred media file type.This is how the complete piece is displayed. Click on each panel to see a larger version of that panel, and if you move your cursor over that, you will see more details.
"Seasons Of Denali", ©2008.