The Kelly Fitzpatrick Memorial Gallery debuted its newest exhibit Home and Hearth on Jan. 15 that features an array of quilted, crocheted and knitted items, French heirloom dresses, hand sewn jackets made of hand spun silk, and so much more.
"This is one of our most unique, one-of-a-kind exhibits," said Belyn Richardson, president of The Kelly's board of directors. "It goes beyond the canvas."
The concept for the Home and Hearth exhibit was created by museum curator Carol Hickman. Hickman said it has long been her dream to offer an exhibit like this one to the public.
"My first love was sewing," Hickman said. "I started sewing clothes for my baby dolls at 10 years old. Sewing was my first introduction to art and it's been my dream to do this for a while."
The exhibit was created with the help of Libby Christensen, the owner of Christensen Creations, who sponsored the exhibit because it was "right up her alley." Together, Hickman and Christensen created an art exhibit with the help of 17 lenders, several of whom helped hang the art themselves.
"Sewing is art," Hickman said. "So is crocheting, quilting, cross stitching and knitting. There aren't as many people who do it now so it gets kind of overlooked but it definitely is an art form. Some of the pieces are unbelievable. The principles of art, like contrast and perspective, are present in many of the pieces on display, especially the quilts."
Other items included in the exhibit are handmade clothes from baby to child to adult jackets. There are knitted sweaters, hem-stitched altar cloths and crocheted tablecloths. Applique items vary from tote bags to wall hangings and an antique dress. There are needlepoint pictures and pillows, cross-stitched pictures, pillows and Christmas stockings. For the kitchen, there are decorated hot pads and aprons. For babies, there's a diaper bag and hooded towel, as well as a couple of exquisite christening gowns.
Several knitted/crocheted hats, scarfs and handmade purses add to this eclectic collection. There are two exquisitely hand-woven pieces. There are even a few pieces for sale. The Kelly will receive a percentage from any sales.
Home and Hearth will be on display until April 28. Those who would like to bring a small group for a private tour should contact Hickman at 334-391-5090.
The gallery is open whenever the Chamber of Commerce is open. Enter through the Chamber door. A booklet in the gallery provides information and back stories/histories/inspirations for the pieces on display.
A reception will be held on April 11 from noon to 2 p.m. The reception will feature individually wrapped refreshments.