"Connecting Threads" is a celebration of Jewish industry and artistry, on display at the Mandell Jewish Community Center's Chase Family Gallery. SAQA-CT artist Phyllis Small is participating in the exhibition and was recently interviewed about the show for the Hartford Courant.
"One of her pieces is a memory quilt she began when the owner of the kosher Crown Market announced in February that the store would close. “I shop there all the time," Small said. The community atmosphere of the store is beloved by many, she said, adding, "I was just so sorry it might be closing."
Investors have since stepped in and saved the market, but Small finished the quilt, which took about three months from conception to completion. It incorporates the store's logo, images of hot dogs and yellow mustard, and a square cut from one of the store's paper bags that Small treated with acrylic to make it more durable.
Small's other piece is a quilt that was built from blocks stitched by other crafters in a quilters guild that meets in Simsbury once a month. Four times a year, the guild has a "friendship block raffle," in which each member creates a block based on a pattern. Small won one of the raffles and got to keep the completed blue-and white squares, to which she added more blocks to make a completed quilt. Her daughter loved the quilt so much that she used it as her wedding chuppah.
"It really meant a lot to me that all my friends had donated blocks to that quilt," Small said. "And then when my daughter wanted to use it, it was like another layer of connection to the quilt."
The curated show of 30 pieces by 15 different fabric artists is free and open to the public through August.
The Mandell Jewish Community Center
335 Bloomfield Ave
W. Hartford, CT 06117