Words to guide us

     Hi Van Wert!

     It’s very exciting to be here! I am humbled and grateful for the open, warm welcome from all of you. Thank you! It will equally be a pleasure to meet new faces and to continue expanding the creative journey of the Wassenberg Art Center.

Hope Wallace

     In the many conversations I’ve had over the past weeks, I’m struck by two recurring words – foundation and trust – in reference to the Wassenberg’s path. Though these words were intended with a different meaning, trust and foundation are completely true descriptions of The Wassenberg in entirely another sense.

     First, the Wassenberg Art Center was built on a strong foundation and love of the creative spirit in many of its manifestations. The strength of this foundation is evident in the long history and support of the arts in the Van Wert area and beyond. The Wassenberg is a household word among the residents of this area and is equally respected and recognized in the art community far beyond. Becoming a household word can only happen when a foundation based in strength and trust is present.

     Trust has already established the faith that the Wassenberg will continue its contribution to the community through art and its creative forms. With trust and foundation – in the words of Charles Wassenberg – the mission to “encourage the study of art, sculpture and architecture and to interest pupils in such professions” will evolve, grow, explore and encourage the creative spirit in all.”  Creativity is basic human nature and is inherent and necessary. Whether a person is a painter, sculptor, photographer, digital artist or a bricklayer, creativity is present in us all. Be watching for – and join in – the coming adventures of the Wassenberg Art Center!

    The Wassenberg Art Center is located at 643 S. Washington St. in Van Wert.  Contact us at 419.238.6837 or wassenberg@embarqmail.com.  Visit our website at www.vanwert.com/wassenberg for a current calendar of events. 

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“Barbara’s Flower Garden” quilt.

     “The Art of Fiber,” on display through February 25 with quilts on display from the collection of Barbara Pemberton.  Most of the quilts in the exhibit were designed by Barbara using traditional patterns.

     Barbara grew up in St. Louis, Missouri. She attended teachers’ college and graduate school in Chicago and moved to Van Wert in 1967 after she married her husband Dale.  She served as an elementary school teacher, a learning disabilities teacher, a gifted education teacher, and was the K-12 Curriculum Coordinator for the Paulding County Schools.   She also was a writing instructor at Indiana-Purdue University in Fort Wayne, Indiana.  Between teaching, working, taking graduate classes and raising two children, Barbara designed and sewed quilts using the sewing machine she received from her husband as an engagement present. She still uses the same Singer straight-stitch sewing machine. 

     Pemberton learned the technique of patchwork and quilting from books and magazines. Her first quilt was ‘Barbara’s Flower Garden.’ It was pieced using the English paper-piecing method — using small, thin cardboard pieces, pinning the fabric around them, and hand-sewing the pieces together. The quilt took 20 years to finish by hand – as she focused on learning new techniques for quilts, wall hangings, pillow tops, and other fabric art. During this process, Barbara relied heavily on the sewing machine — which is much faster than hand-quilting.

     Several quilts were quilted by Susan DarrahIona and Hubert Keuneke also quilted several of the quilts from their commercial quilting business located in Ohio City.




Published by on February 2011. Filed under Archives, Back Porch Section, Commentary. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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