The event, running from Jan. 13 to Feb. 24, has been organized by the York College Commemorative Quilt Committee. Martin Luther King Day will be observed Monday, Jan. 21.Quilting Co-chairwoman Marion Webber said the quilts, some hanging from second-floor railings and others affixed to walls with dowels, were created by several different community groups.The offerings varied greatly in size, style and theme, with some featuring intricate patterns, others depicting women and children, and still more showcasing simple shapes with splashes of contrasting colors showing Lutheran, African or family motifs.Webber, who has been making quilts for more than 25 years, described the process as a community effort not only in its production but its purpose. The organization started a scholarship fund for college students six years ago, awarding four scholarships a year to college-bound students. "These aren't students who are the top students academically, but in terms of community service," she said.Last year Webber noted, the organization handed out eight $1,000 scholarships.She also said the group donates quilts to nurseries and veterans' groups, and even created a large quilt, shown in a glass encasement on the first floor, celebrating the school's 30th anniversary.Along with quilts, paintings also adorned the walls.Art curator Charles Lilly, many of whose works were on display, said there was no one unifying theme. Instead a variety of work was accepted, ranging from the amateur to professional levels without editing."We encouraged anyone to contribute," Lilly said, "though each year more and more are coming in, so we will have to edit at some point."Although he said the art included contributions from those "with raw talent to refined talent," Lilly himself had not yet had the chance to stand back and assess the effort as he was preoccupied with organizing the event's logistics.A graduate of the School of Visual Arts, based in Manhattan, Lilly said he was drawn to art since the age of 6. "It's in the blood," he said, offering as proof the inclusion of his 25-year-old son's work in the exhibit.Painting presented a multiplicity of different scenes, faces and landscapes, some appearing idyllic and others haunting.Some of the artwork contained political and social messages. One painting showed a dark-skinned Jesus on the cross, while another depicted anguished soldiers.A particularly poignant piece showed three young African-American teenagers, one with the word "hustler" emblazed on his T-shirt, posing in front of three gravestones set against grim clouds, with the specter of Martin Luther King hovering almost helplessly above. The exhibit is open on weekdays from 12:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. and on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. In its February days, it will also be open from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday.Reach reporter M. Junaid Alam by e-mail at malam@time
©2008 Community News Group
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