Unique artistic quilts on display at Butler

“Beyond Comfort,” a traveling exhibition of art quilts, opens Sunday at the Butler Institute of American Art.

The juried show was organized by the Studio Art Quilt Association (SAQA), a nonprofit organization whose mission is to promote the art quilt through education, exhibitions, professional development, documentation and publications.

It features 30 quilts by 26 artists from the United States and abroad who use the art form to cover themes including political protest, domestic violence, religious persecution, the devastation of environmental disasters and modern warfare.

Traditional fiber media combine with unorthodox materials, including LED lights, found objects, precious metals and recycled CDs to create these amazing artworks. “Beyond Comfort” reflects each participant’s personal journey to explore new ideas and push their creative abilities to make new exceptional works of fiber art.

Juror for the show was Marci McDade, editor of Fiberarts magazine. In her juror’s essay, McDade wrote, “The goal of the exhibition ‘Beyond Comfort’ was to challenge participating artists to venture beyond the comfort zones of their established body of work into uncharted territories of creative expression. This premise provided a permission slip to experiment fearlessly with radical new conceptual and narrative agendas. Artists were encouraged to employ techniques, technologies and materials new to them. Over 200 daring pieces were submitted for consideration by artists from around the world working in the studio art quilt field. I was honored and delighted to have the daunting task of narrowing this selection to 30 works.”

“Beyond Comfort” will be on display Sunday through March 10 at the Butler, 524 Wick Ave., Youngstown. For more information, call 330-743-1107.