As a chemistry professor at the University of Mobile, Dr. Gail Shelly loves her work. But she has another passion outside the classroom: she handcrafts unique quilts, which are truly works of art. And through December 5, a collection of her quilts will be on display at the Marilyn Foley Art Gallery on the University campus.
Admission to the exhibit is free, and the gallery is open Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. The art department will host an Artist Talk on November 20 in Weaver Hall Auditorium.
Dr. Shelly learned her love of needlework at an early age. At 10, she became something of an expert at embroidery, being taught the art by her mother and grandmother. And as she watched the two join others in a group to piece together colorful scraps to make warm bed covers, she developed her love of quilting.
In 2005, Dr. Shelly began her own quilting projects, making each piece one-of-a-kind. "There's no point in making the same quilt twice," she said.
During the summer, just as her mother and grandmother did, Shelly quilts with a group of women in Atmore, the oldest of whom is 99.
And of her passion for quilting, the artist said, “Using my hands to create stitched designs allows me to honor the women in my family that worked with needle and thread and who took the time to show me how to continue a time-honored tradition,” she said.
For more about this or other exhibits at the University of Mobile, visit umobile.edu or call Phillip Counselman at 251.442.2283.