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'Transcending 9/11: Quilters' Reflections' opens Jan. 20

(Jan. 5, 2005)--Countless people worldwide were affected by the terrorist attacks on the United States on Sept. 11, 2001. Many throughout the world expressed their condolences in unique ways. In Japan, a group of quilters created 139 squares and sent them to their counterparts in Texas, who fashioned 39 quilts and wall hangings from the squares.

Their works produced the cross-cultural exhibit, "Transcending 9/11: Quilters' Reflections," which will be on display January 20-May 8 at the Institute of Texan Cultures (ITC). The exhibit is included with ITC admission.

"There is something very compelling about these blocks that leapt into our emotions, some which we may not have dared to express," said Barbara Gilstad, quilter and coordinator of the exhibit. "This presented an opportunity to share feelings we have in common."

For many, the three-year venture was a healing experience. "The effort, the supportive caring that must have motivated these Japanese quilters, touched me and melted my bitterness left over from December 1941," Anne Blake wrote in her reflection.

Quilters who volunteer at the ITC will host the exhibit and visitors will be able to speak with those who quilted the squares. Throughout the duration of the exhibit, a nine-block quilt and a wall hanging will be assembled in the gallery. Visitors also can learn how crafters fashion traditional origami shapes using stiffened fabric, and can create a quilt block through electronic quilting which will be scanned and saved to become part of a multi-block wall hanging.

The ITC, one of the three campuses of The University of Texas at San Antonio, is a museum dedicated to enhancing the understanding of cultural history, science and technology and their influence on the people of Texas. Admission is $7, adults; $4, seniors (65 years and older), military personnel (ID required) and children 3-12 years of age; and free, children 2 years of age and younger.

For more information, call (210) 458-2330.

--Tina Luther

University Communications
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