100 Years of Kibbutz Quilting

This piece first appeared on The Arty Semite blog at the Forward.

Julia Avrahami, "Valley Fields"

Julia Avrahami, “Valley Fields”

An exhibition of 21 quilts showing until July 3 at the Oshman Family Jewish Community Center in Palo Alto, Calif., stitches together a century of kibbutz life. Some of the quilts, full of colorful fields and small houses, celebrate the 100th anniversary of Israel’s kibbutz movement, while others are embroidered with a more critical eye toward the collective agricultural communities.

The quilts are a selection of a total of 56 that were created by members of the Israel Quilters Association for the centennial in 2010. They were shown together at the 2011 Festival of Quilts in Birmingham, England, marking the first international group exhibition of Israeli quilts.

While the individual quilts reflect the artistic choices and skill of each crafter, they also indicate the lens through which she chose to look back upon an institution that has been the backbone of building of the Jewish State, but has also faced enormous challenges in recent decades. While some of the quilts stand out due to their technical sophistication, others are more noticeable for the statements they make. The few that combine the two attributes capture the most attention.

Click here to read more and watch a video on Israeli quilters.

© 2013 Renee Ghert-Zand. All rights reserved.

Read more: http://blogs.forward.com/the-arty-semite/178916/-years-of-kibbutz-quilting/#ixzz2WmUSa8jG

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