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Gualala Arts

Promoting public interest and participation in the arts since 1961.

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Threads of Life

Opening Reception: Saturday, March 13, 2010, 5:00 p.m.
Exhibit remains through April 4
Gualala Arts Center

Gualala Arts will present an exhibit of pictorial quilts by the Los Hilos de la Vida group from the opening Saturday, March 13, 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. through April 4, 2010. This mostly Latina group tell their stories with fabric and thread.

Threads of Life

Molly Johnson Martinez, Bilingual Parent Educator of Anderson Valley's Even Start program, teamed up with Susan Kerr, a Behavior Specialist and a member of the Mendocino Quilt Artist Guild, to introduce story-quilting techniques into a parenting class as a way of attracting more women into the class. Since Even Start is a literacy program, the women also wrote short stories about their quilts and what the designs represented in their lives.

Threads of Life

What began as a class intended to enrich women's lives began to emerge as a business that was bringing needed income into the lives of the artists and their communities. Participating in the cooperative helps the women learn English, and quilting is work that can be done while the women are at home and caring for their children.

Threads of Life "In Northern California's Anderson Valley, Los Hilos de la Vida (The Threads of Life), a mostly Latina cooperative quilt group, has quietly been making pictorial quilts for the past four years. Their quilts depict scenes of family life, border crossings, life in Mexico, dreams, and reverence for the natural and spiritual worlds. The universal themes of home, hardship and struggle are rendered with authenticity and straightforward directness. Vibrant with color, the quilts make an immediate impact on the viewer as they unselfconsciously capture the pure essence of the women's stories. Even more impressive, the women have little or no previous experience creating art of quilts."

- from an article written by Karen Musgrave,
the chair of Quilters' S.O.S (Save our Stories)

In 2008, the Museum of Mexican Art in Chicago opened an exhibit called, "A Declaration of Immigration." It featured several quilts by the Los Hilos artists.

For more information on Los Hilos de la Vida (The Threads of Life), please visit or

The Gualala Arts Center, located at 46501 Old State Highway in Gualala, CA,
is open weekdays 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., and weekends from noon to 4:00 p.m.
Please call (707) 884-1138 for more information, or email

Serving the coastal communities of northern Sonoma & southern Mendocino Counties.