Submitted By MONTGOMERY PLACE
Montgomery Place residents unveiled a Fiber Arts show on Tuesday, Sept. 4, in the game room of the life plan community located at 5550 South Shore Drive. Featuring weavings, crewel embroidery, needlepoint, quilting, tatting, crochet, knitted lace—all created or collected by Montgomery Place residents—the exhibit is open to visitors through Friday, Nov. 30.
Among some of the more unusual pieces are delicate antique tatting, knitted lace and crochet items given to Jan Moore by her mother who was of German-Swiss heritage, and a massive Serbian royal crest of red and gold fiber embroidered by the mother of Nina Dicken. The crest represents the monarchy of Serbia which dissolved during World War II when King Peter was exiled to London at age 14.
Ruthie Herman, curator of the exhibit, created an elaborate quilted wall-hanging featuring tree leaves in various seasons as well as several needlepoint pieces with detailed stitching with colorful beading.
Other needlepoint works feature maps of the world, cityscapes, ornate samplers, tropical flowers, a lion and other images stitched by residents Bernice Auslander, who heads the Montgomery Place resident art committee, Marilyn Weigensberg, Dottie Barron and Laurieann Chutis. In addition to needlepoint works, Chutis is exhibiting some contemporary weavings she made while living at Montgomery Place along with weavings made by Sheila Elwyn, a resident who recently passed away.
While some of the items garnered more attention than others, just about all sparked inquiries from residents and visitors. A common thread for all who made items in the exhibit seemed to be they regard the process of creating fiber art as a soothing proposition.
“I was able to quit smoking by doing needlepoint,” said Herman who once worked as a real estate broker. “It occupied my hands.”
Astrid Mack, Ph.D., who retired as a leading researcher of sickle cell anemia, comforted himself with crewel embroidery while going through a difficult time when his children were young. “I felt calm and at home when I was doing this,” he said. “It settled me down.” His framed image of a flower basket is one of the largest pieces in the exhibition.
The art committee at Montgomery Place plans four exhibitions each year. “Our intention is to liven up the game room and make it more interesting,” said Auslander.
The committee, which meets once a month, also maintains a close relationship with an instructor at The School of the Art Institute who teaches a Friday art class for residents in the Montgomery Place art studio.
As in previous years, the committee is organizing a winter art walk. Residents wanting to show art in their apartments sign-up for one of two nights when fellow residents can visit. “This makes it easy for participants to still visit apartments on the night they’re not showing their art,” Auslander said. “Some residents serve wine and cheese. It’s a lot of fun.”
“We like sharing what we’re doing with the Hyde Park community,” said Herman. “We hope people might follow our example and get together to share their common interests. Hyde Parkers are welcome to see this exhibition when they visit Montgomery Place.”