February 23, 2005
Cowley College announces new exhibit in Wright Gallery
The metaphorical stitchery of Wichita artist Maggy Hiltner will be on display in the Earle N. Wright Community Room Gallery at Cowley College Feb. 23 through March 18.
The display is titled “Sweet and Strange Narratives.” Hiltner will speak as part of the Irwin Visiting Artists Series at an opening reception beginning at 6:30 p.m. March 1, followed by her artist’s talk at 7 p.m. Both the exhibit and lecture are free.
The Gallery is open to the public from 1:30-6:30 p.m. every Wednesday and Thursday.
In a recent artist’s statement, Hiltner explained her whimsical work.
“The mediums of fabric and sewing are familiar, allowing a comfortable stage to be set for sweet and strange narratives and visual metaphors,” Hiltner said. “I explore innocence and longing, fearlessness and danger, blunt honesty and derisive commentary and other situations that apply both to children and adults. Images of children are used as a bridge to the viewer, as we all have the experience of childhood in common, with its daily doses of beauty, anxiety, joy and pain. Common childhood events span socioeconomic class, race and gender differences. With these images, I am trying to evoke a recognition of oneself in others and the amazing oddness and commonalities of our individual and connected lives. I like the narratives to be ambiguous and interpretable.”
She added, “The work is hand-stitched, and being part of the long loaded history of women’s work often leads me to commentary on domestic life and nostalgia. The imagery is from 40s and 50s storybooks and the timeless patterns of Aunt Martha’s brand of tea towel transfers. I am interested in the perceived innocence of this era, the childhood time of my parents. I think the work is a reaction to their stories of an idealized time, mixed with the realities of growing up.”