HANCOCK -- The Copper Country Community Arts Council presents "Biased and Edgy: New Quilts by Joe Cunningham" in the Community Arts Center’s Kerredge Gallery Feb. 3 through Feb. 26.
Joe Cunningham grew up in Flint, Michigan. He started playing guitar and drums at an early age and began playing music professionally in high school. He made his living from music until he was invited to write the catalogue for a quilt documentation project. To prepare for that he learned how to make quilts; and since 1979 he has been making, writing about, talking and teaching about, and even singing about quilts. Today he lives in San Francisco with his wife and sons, working from his quilt studio in the city and living in the Presidio National Park, the former Army base adjacent to the Golden Gate Bridge.
From the beginning, Cunningham has been a student of quilt history, writing scholarly articles, essays and books on the subject. In his studies he ran across the story of Joe the Quilter, an Englishman who made quilts in the late 1700s, a story which inspired him to create a one-man musical quilt show called Joe the Quilter. The show is comprised of songs, stories and original quilts all created to tell the tale of the original Joe the Quilter. In 2001 he added the show to his repertoire of lectures and classes, leading to performances throughout the country.*
The Community Arts Center will host a public reception and gallery talk with a sampling of Cunningham’s original music from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 3. On Tuesday, Feb. 8, he will give a talk and demonstrate various hand and machine quilting techniques at the Arts Center. The program will be from 10 a.m. until noon. There is a small fee and space is limited so please register by calling the Community Arts Center at 482-2333. This exhibition is supported in part by a grant from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts.
The Community Arts Center is located at 126 Quincy Street in Hancock. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Friday 10 a. m. - 6 p.m. and Saturdays 1 p.m. - 5 p.m. Visit the website at www.coppercountryarts.com for more information.
*Editor's Note: To see samples of Joe Cunningham's quilts, visit his Web site.