The Duderstadt Gallery located between the Duderstadt Library and Pierpont Commons has always caught my attention. With the school of art and design being one building and the school of music theater and dance being up a hill from the main part of North, it is an island of art in a sea of engineering. The Duderstadt Gallery has open doors that invite anyone walking past to wander in. Currently, the doors look more inviting than usual with quilts hanging inside ready to invite students into their warm embrace.
From March 6th to 15th, the Duderstadt Center Gallery is filled with lovely hand stitched quilts made by the Faculty Women’s Club in the “Stitched Together” FWC Centennial Quilting Exhibition. It is slightly ironic that such traditionally feminine art is displayed at the heart of North Campus, where the majority of students are engineering students and engineering classes sometimes have more Stevens in a class than women. However, it is a wonderful display of handmade quilts that reminds anyone who walks through of a missed loved one who has wrapped them in a tight hug.
I do not know the specifics of the Faculty Women’s Club. However, one quilt speaks of the closeness of the group. Angie Nagle Miller’s Birthday Signatures features squares made from the group for her 50th birthday. She then completed a quilt for her 70th birthday which is now on display. This quilt not only highlights how close and supportive the group is of each other, but of the longevity of the group.
The size, themes, and colors of the quilts are as varied as a basket of fruit. Standing in front of these quilts is a lesson in color, texture, and pattern. Each of which has a unique personality and the heart of the maker sewn into it. The reason behind each of these quilts is different. For example, the Safe House Quilt was made by the group to be donated to people who come to the “Safe house”, Laura’s Quilt was made for Laura on her diagnosis of cancer, and some were made for a challenge. However all the quilts demonstrate the caring hand and passion of the maker.