Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Fall Madly in Love with Stunning Modern Quilt Exhibit

Photos by Maria Lamb
| A Second Tuesday opening for the collection of 72 stunning “Out of the Ordinary” modern quilts.


“Out of the Ordinary” is an adventurous exhibit of 72 stunning modern quilts currently on display at Marco Island Center for the Arts through July 6, 2021. 

On Tuesday, May 11, a Second Tuesday artists reception was held at The Center for the Arts. This was the first indoor reception held at the Center since March 2020. We thank the Island Country Club for providing the delicious finger foods and Total Wine and More as the wine sponsor. A Second Tuesday reception for the public will be held again on June 8 from 5:30 PM to 7:00 PM.

Hyla Crane, Executive Director for Marco Island Center for the Arts, showcasing samples of the “Out of the Ordinary” modern quilt exhibit through July 6, 2021.

According to Hyla Crane, Executive Director for the Center for the Arts, “Art Quilters Unlimited (AQU) has brought to the Center one of the most stunning exhibits of fabric art I have ever seen here at the Marco Center for the Arts. When you walk into the gallery, you almost have a visceral response to the exhibition with the various themes, colors, and expressions from each artist.” Crane is inviting everyone to come and experience modern quilts at its best.

There are no rules, no right or wrong way of doing fabric art. You can even take a scene from your travels and use it as your pattern. You can also have a quilt commissioned to honor that special someone or a special pet. For the artists, inspiration comes from books, places, people they’ve met, and the ideas and images that are constantly evolving. The artists are always trying new things, experimenting with colors, lines, and textures until it feels right.

This exhibit came about when fabric artist Jean Mau of AQU, also a resident of Marco Island, approached the Center for the Arts with an idea of a fabric art exhibit. The Center for the Arts was receptive to the idea of trying something new and different. The theme of the exhibit was a group effort. Since the quilters use materials that are so common and ordinary to create inspiring one of a kind fabric art, “Out of the Ordinary” was the perfect theme.



Twenty artists and 72 art pieces are displayed filling the main gallery of the Center for the Arts with a three-dimensional experience. Sally Dutco is a very contemporary fabric artist and like most of the fabric artists, she does a lot of hand dying and hand painting of her fabric. 

Lisa Gorski’s piece is titled “A Moment in Time” and looks like an impressionist painting, you really have to look very closely to appreciate it. The main gallery is filled with artists “pushing the boundaries” of fabric art and creating new ways to blend the past with the future. 

Admiring the stitched silk painting by Debra Crine’s “Don’t Ruffle My Feathers”.

When you use the term “traditional quilt” it brings up images of quilts made by Grandma with classic colors and repetitive layouts with a unified theme. If you look very closely at the displayed modern quilts, you will still notice elements of the past but might feature unusual color combinations or embellishments such as beads or glitter. There is less repetition in the pattern and a breaking away from the “rules” to achieve their desired results. 

Mary Pat Palombo is a member of AQU and also a member of the board for the Center for the Arts. She got her start in high school when she learned how to crochet from a neighbor. Later on, she learned to sew dresses for her children and to make quilts for them. After joining AQU, she learned a lot from the workshops offered and from other fabric artists.

Cheryl Costley is a member of AQU and also had an exhibit of her Fabric Art at La Petite Galerie. Her journey took 20 years after leaving the corporate world. For the first ten years she took as many art classes as possible from the Center for the Arts and from AQU. 

The Marco Island Center for the Arts has become a showcase for local, national, and international artists. It is located on 1010 Winterberry Drive and open to the public Monday-Friday, 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM. For more information, please visit



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