April 1, 2008

Welcome Communication

by Eileen Doughty

Copyright © 2002 E. F. Doughty and Utah Public Art Program

The artist says, "This is a triptych commissioned by the Utah Public Art Program. It hangs in the reception area of the Community Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing in Taylorsville, Utah. The colors and landscape were inspired by the American West.

Some of the symbology of the quilt, therefore, relates to Sign Language and Barrier Free Communication. The circles on the large tree have the manual alphabet drawn on in metallic foil, and the ground around the tree has over forty quilted pictorial sign language 'words'. The words relate to what the patrons of the community center might feel or do while they are there, for example: enjoy, celebrate, welcome, curious, dream, imagine, pleasant, succeed, teach, together, community, challenge, group, interact, advocate/support, and share. The tree itself has branches suggestive of a hand, and similarly there are five roots. The circles flowing between the large tree and the group of distant trees represent barrier free communication.

I learned sign language when I was a cartographer, many years ago, and supervised deaf, hard of hearing, and hearing cartographers. I was delighted to be able to use my knowledge of this wonderful, expressive language again."

Eileen Doughty founded Doughty Designs in 1991 and has been creating commissioned textile artwork, primarily landscape wall quilts, ever since. She loves the concept of “place” and previously worked as a cartographer. In 2001 she founded Q&A Quilt Artists, a regional group formed to share, critique, promote, and exhibit art in the form of nontraditional quilts. From 2002-06 Eileen was the co-representative for Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina for Studio Art Quilts Associates and is now the Website Coordinator. She has taught workshops and lectured in several states. Eileen's quilts have been shown in numerous exhibitions on five continents. They are in private, government and corporate collections in the United States and Japan. Eileen can be reached via e-mail, and you can find more of her work at her website, Doughty Designs.