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Monday, February 26, 2024

‘Wilma Shimkus Quilts’ coming soon to Marmion’s Art Gallery

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Above / Inspired by nature and the world around her, Wilma Shimkus has created quilts that will be exhibited at Marmion’s Art Gallery, January 28 through February 16, 2024.

The “Wilma Shimkus Quilts” will be on display January 28 through February 16 at Marmion Academy’s Dr. Scholl Gallery, located at 1000 Butterfield Road in Aurora. 

A free reception with the artist, open to the public, will be held from 12-Noon to 2PM on Sun., Feb. 11. A raffle for small selected works will take place during the reception.

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Prior to the reception, the Marmion Music Boosters will host their annual Pancake Breakfast from 8AM to 12:30PM. Find details and tickets ($10 each) at www.marmion.org/pancake. 

Any individual who would like to view the exhibit during school hours is invited to contact Lisa Dzuricsko via email ldzuricsko@marmion.org to secure an appointment time.

Brief Bio about Artist Wilma Shimkus

Wilma Shimkus has always enjoyed art in many forms, specifically taking photos and exploring ways to make color and design come together. 

As a docent at Blackberry Farm, Shimkus taught others how the pioneers survived. She demonstrated how they made soap, raised food, and used a fireplace to cook meals. When she found she was expecting, working in a smokey environment was not the best option, so she volunteered to become the quilter and work in the Early Streets building. 

Having no experience as a quilter, but having sewed most of her adult life, Shimkus felt she could do the job. To better prepare she signed up for a quilting class at a quilt show in Geneva. As fate had it, that class was full, but she was directed to another class on quilting designs. This class opened a whole new understanding of the quilting process and the care of quilts.

While working at Blackberry Farm, she constructed two quilts on a treadle sewing machine and hand quilted them on a frame in the pioneer cabin using some of the knowledge she had learned at the quilting class. She incorporated pioneer themes in quilting including blackberries and animals that were prevalent in the pioneer’s lives. By doing this, children saw the designs of the quilting, not just the quilt pieces.

At a DeKalb County Quilt Guild meeting she found her passion in quilting. She was a member of the DeKalb guild for many years until she found Common Threads Quilt Guild in Sugar Grove.

Always trying to improve, she has taken many classes at the guilds, quilt stores, and quilt shows and has learned many techniques over the years. As with other artists, she learns by going to quilt shows and studying the work of other quilters. She now does most of her quilting by machine, both domestic and on a long arm. Art quilts have become a favorite of hers and she enjoys creating quilts inspired by nature and the world around her.

For more information about Marmion Academy, a Catholic and Benedictine college preparatory school for young men, and its upcoming entrance exams, visit www.marmion.org.

Marmion Academy is located at 1000 Butterfield Road in Aurora.

Story submitted by Terri Rios, Creative Director, for Marmion Abbey & Academy.

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