The Lacombe Memorial Centre revealed its latest exhibit Shamrock and Thistle — which is a textile art exhibit put on by Margaret Blank and Mary Wilton.
The show — which features a medium similar to quilting — beginning when Blank and Wilton first met three years ago.
“We met at Quilt Canada in Lethbridge in 2015,” Blank said. “Mary was going to go on a quilt tour to Ireland, which she did and I was going to go to Scotland when I turned 65, but the tour I wanted to take was not a quilt tour and it ended up being cancelled.
“Mary came back from Ireland and said, ‘Guess where we are going next year?’, and I said, ‘Where?’ and she said. “Scotland!’.”
Blank said her eyes lit up and the two of them soon decided that they would travel to Scotland together and then present a textile show upon their return.
Upon their return from Scotland in 2017 — which included a visit to Blank’s relatives on the Isle of Skye — Wilton arranged for the show to be presented in Camrose.
“I did the the Camrose Art Walk and last summer was my 13th year. It worked out really well for us to do it as a joint show,” Wilton said.
After selling five pieces out of 19, Blank had the idea to do the show once again.
“I have been in the Lacombe Art Show and last year was my seventh year,” she said. “I said to Mary, I am going to talk to Maureen (MacKenzie – LMC Curator) and see if she will have a spot for us to put our exhibit up. I sent her an email and she said, ‘Oh yes! We have a spot in December until the middle of January’. Here we are.”
The show, which is in the hallway outside Annamaria’s Cafe, features 19 pieces of work inspired by Scotland — and some from Wilton’s trip to Ireland the previous year.
“I have some based on Scotland and Ireland and one of the pieces was actually shown in Nova Scotia last fall for Felt Future Canada at an exhibition called Shrine,” Wilton said.
While similar in nature to quilting, Wilton and Blank use multiple techniques within the media to create elaborate landscapes and visuals.
“We both work in textiles and we both started as quilters and painters,” Blank said.
“Both of us quilt and have done traditional quilting. Mary has taken on felting, but her felted pieces are also quilted. She has taught me some of that, but I have also taken to needle felting — as opposed to wet felting.
“We have combined our techniques and I have also expanded to quilting onto canvas. It is all textile work but it is all very different.”
Blank added she is delighted to be able to showcase her work and Wilton agreed.
“It is always nice to be able to do a show that we put together again. That was quite thrilling for us because it was a wonderful trip. We saw fantastic scenery and took great photos,” Wilton said
Blank added she hopes that many of the pieces find new homes by the end of January. If you would like to purchase one of the pieces, you can contact Maureen MacKenzie at Mmackenzie@lacombe.ca.