PNW Quilt & Fiber Arts Museum: Connecting Threads

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Name: PNW Quilt & Fiber Arts Museum: Connecting Threads
Date: October 2, 2019 - October 27, 2019
Event Description:
Beth Blankenship
I’ve lived in Anchorage, Alaska for 38 years but I grew up 100 miles south of here near the Sound, in the little town of Steilacoom.  Where I would often wander down to Saltar’s Point beach to observe the creatures living there and see what the tide brought in.
Nowadays, I live in downtown Anchorage, where my view from the studio is the streets and buildings of the city framed by the beautiful Chugach Mountains. The offices of the oil company ConocoPhillips are right in front of me and the Cook Inlet ebbs and flows behind me.
Since I’ve always lived near a body of water, there’s a special place in my heart for the life of the sea. Many of the vessels you see here reflect on the changing marine environment—the negative effects of “resource development” and the shifts brought on by climate change. 
I think all the time about the intersection of the man-made and the natural. I think about oil spills, tailings pond leaks, the rise of ocean temperatures and other adverse effects of climate change on Alaska’s waters and subsistence way of life for its indigenous people—the many ways sea life and human life are connected. 
We are all connected.
There are countless symbiotic relationships in the natural world. We humans—through our actions or inaction—alter those relationships.
And yet the work I make isn’t only about the bad news. Oftentimes, I think about the beauty and bounty that surround me in the wonderful place I call home. Alaska has over 33,000 miles of coastline filled with an abundance of life. The salmon that return to our rivers are sometimes so thick that they say one could walk across a stream on their backs and never touch the water.
The threadwork of these vessels is a metaphor for the concept that one thread is indeed fragile but many threads, holding together, make the world.
Pacific Northwest Quilt & Fiber Arts Museum
703 S 2nd St
La Conner, WA
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