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And so is the Shafer Gallery
Book Plate I by Karen Grover of Rockford, Ill. took top honors, winning first place. Designed in the manner of a bookplate, this quilt abounds in the sensuous curves of the Art Nouveau period. - photo by Courtesy photos

After being closed several weeks for remodeling, Barton Community College’s Shafer Art Gallery is ready to open its doors, and to display the 2012 traveling exhibit from the National Quilt Museum in Paducah, Ky.
Nearly everyone remembers sleeping under a quilt made by their mother or grandmother, and many of those quilts were made from time-honored traditional quilt designs.  Today’s quilt-makers were challenged by the National Quilt Museum to create original quilts based on classic Baskets block patterns. Barton Community College will present “New Quilts from an Old Favorite 2012: Baskets,” an exhibit of the 18 finalist and winning quilts who responded to this challenge from 1-3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 4 in the Shafer Art Gallery.
Quilters from 15 U.S. states modified Baskets designs in imaginative ways, providing a wonderful look at the skills, techniques and creativity of today’s quilt makers.
  “Each year I’m awed by the creativity of the artists,” said Judy Schwender, curator and registrar for the museum. “It’s fascinating to see how each contestant interprets the classic design in imaginative ways.”
Shafer Gallery Director Dave Barnes said the quilt exhibit is a great opportunity for the gallery to feature nationally recognized work.
“The National Quilt Museum always puts together a spectacular show of the best quilts in nation, and it is really a privilege for us to showcase these quilts,” Barnes said.  “We are one of the only venues in the Midwest that will show it.”
In addition to the intricate quilts, there will be a woodcarving demonstration by the Golden Belt Carver group, “roots” music by Wayne and Arthetta Long, refreshments and a viewing of the video “Why Quilts Matter: History, Art and Politics,” courtesy of the National Quilt Museum.
A book featuring full-color photos of the 18 finalists and their award winning quilts, biographical information about each quilter in addition to tips, techniques and patterns has been published by the American Quilter’s Society and will be available for purchase at the Gallery.  
The re-opening comes after about three months of renovations, including new tile and wall coverings. The renovations were part of several capital improvements taking place on Barton’s campus.
Barton’s Director of Institutional Advancement Darnell Holopirek said the enhancements to the gallery were vital.
“It’s going be absolutely wonderful, and the Barton Foundation really appreciates the college doing this,” she said.  “The floor needed repairs badly, and the walls were just getting worn out.  The gallery is just like a person’s home.  You have keep up on the maintenance so it can be enjoyed for years to come.”
The exhibit will run through Dec. 18. The Shafer Gallery is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 1-4 p.m. on Sundays. Admission is free.