FLORENCE - Roberta Olmstead's "Interpretations in Fabric" will be on exhibit Aug. 31-Sept. 30 in the Francis Marion University Smith University Center Gallery as part of the 1999-2000 FMU Art Gallery Series. The Gallery is open 8:30 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday - Friday and 1-5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
The exhibit is free and open to the public.
Subtitled "Road to Arabia," Olmstead's exhibit includes a collection from a four-year period she spent in Jordan. As an Arab American, she traveled to Jordan 12 years ago hoping to discover something about the roots of her family's culture.
"I found a people and land which have inspired my artwork ever since," she says. "I loved the kindly warmth of the people, which for me was reflected in the warm and varied tones of the landscape whose patterns I have attempted to capture in my quilts."
"Quilting is an art form which I embarked on 15 years ago. It has proved suitable for expressing my vision of this beautiful country," Olmstead says. "The color choices in Ommayyad Garden were influenced by Palestinian cross stitch embroidery... The gold and blue and red of East Window were inspired by the desert... West Bank incorporates authentic Palestinian cross stitch designs using traditional cotton perle threads bought in Amman...
"The gold and black fabric striped fabric in Hashemiyya and Interior Geometry was woven in Damascus...The two floor cloths were inspired by Byzantine mosaics from the floor of a church in the Christian town of Ma'daba, near Mount Nebo, where Moses is said to have died after beholding the Promised Land."
Olmstead holds a B.A. degree from Capital University.