Quilt Mural to Debut on Floodwall at Fall AQS Show
By Rosemarie Steele, Paducah Quilt Murals, Inc.
PADUCAH, KY - On the heels of Solar Eclipse 2017, Paducah Quilt Murals Inc (PQMI) is proud to announce that the countdown is officially on for the unveiling of Corona II: Solar Eclipse–the premier panel of Quilt City USA® Murals. The unveiling will take place prior to the AQS QuiltWeek® kick-off ceremony on September 13, 8:15 am, outside the Carroll Convention Center, 415 Park Street in downtown Paducah.

Lead artist Char Downs has devoted more that 550 hours recreating Caryl Bryer Fallert-Gentry’s iconic quilt, Corona II, Solar Eclipse, in her Pinecone Gallery studio in Paducah’s Lower Town Arts District. The finishing touches on the 10 feet tall by 100 inches wide mural were applied last weekend. The result is a powerful painted rendition of the award-winning quilt.

“The original quilt design and artistry of Corona II: Solar Eclipse by Caryl Bryer Fallert-Gentry still amazes me, but the vision, talent and work of Char Downs and the dedication of all involved in Quilt City USA® Murals, amazes me even more,” said Barbara Veazey, consultant/member of the PQMI fundraising committee. “The Quilt City USA® Murals will be another landmark project that distinguishes our community.”

It had long been the hope of American Quilter’s Society co-founder Bill Schroeder, who passed away this year, to look out from the lobby of the Carroll Convention Center, where 30,000 quilters from across the globe attend AQS QuiltWeek®, and see murals of quilts on the floodwall. He noted that the Paducah Wall to Wall murals, which draw approximately 1,600,000 visitors each year, connect locals and visitors to Paducah, but the Quilt City USA® Murals will link the UNESCO Creative City to the world.

The timing of the unveiling, with the launch of AQS QuiltWeek® Fall, is ideal. Dr. Jay Downs Siska, Project Administrator, manned a booth during April 2016 QuiltWeek to introduce the concept to the international quilting community. “The excitement by the quilters was consistent and energetic,” said Siska. “I watched them look out the windows of the Convention Center lobby and imagine vibrant colorful quilts painted on those blank walls. Their eyes lit up and they always smiled.” The transition from concept to reality will have an appreciable impact on the quilting community who already identify with the Quilt City USA® moniker.

M & M Decorating, a Paducah-based painting and wall covering installation company, has been cleaning and sealing the floodwall in preparation for the mural installation. Once this initial quilt is installed, others are slated to follow.

“This wall will be dedicated to the historical and educational aspects of quilts from across the United States and around the world,” said Bonnie Browning, AQS Executive Show Director and Quilt City USA® Murals Quilt Selection Committee chair.

Much time and organization has gone into this worthwhile project, but donations and sponsorships are needed to get this initial project from the studio to the floodwall. PQMI recently launched a Go Fund Me campaign at to raise funds for start-up and installation expenses and ensure the sustainability of the project.

“You can help fill these panels faster by donating to the Go Fund Me campaign for the Quilt City USA Murals,” said Browning.

Published 07:21 PM, Tuesday Aug. 29, 2017
Updated 09:38 PM, Wednesday Aug. 30, 2017

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