Today was a fun day at Wickenburg. The main reason for the drive was to visit the Desert Caballeros Western Museum. It’s a pleasant surprise, with many neat exhibits. The special exhibit in progress was Kenneth Freeman – some incredible art going on in there. Also, the holiday trains were still set up and that is something that always takes me back to winter days in NJ, watching the train set that my brothers received for Christmas, impatiently waiting for my turn to be the engineer.
Walking through the town is pleasant as well, since it is very clean and well maintained. No lack of food, that’s for sure. Both volunteers at the museum and the visitor’s center recommended Nana’s, which did not disappoint. There are statue markers along the streets which are linked to audio descriptions of why that point has historical significance. Although I loved the museum and its displays, I was disappointed that the one picture of a native American Indian “spinning” was not accurate. It was obvious that she was unwinding the completed yarn (at least to the trained or experienced eye). The depiction indicated that she was in the act of drop-spindle spinning. Not! Passing Storm, by George Molnar Thomas Moran (1920) was my favorite overall painting on display in the museum.
An extra surprise for me was the fact that the annual Wickenburg Quilt Show was in progress – presented by the Vulture Peak Patchers and the North Ranch Quilters. What a display of talent! 2011 results from the Hoffman Competition (use of a chosen pattern as a theme) were fabulous and quite creative. The backs of some of the quilts were more ornate than the fronts! I did have four favorites overall from the general exhibit – Laura’s Garden by Caryl Spenny – if you love red poppies this is a gorgeous re-creation. Fractured Leaves by Joan Tarpin was a column tiled piece that had my sage green color way favorite. Testament to Time by Hartley Bennett was an ingenious suitable for framing rendition of what could be an alligator or a cypress tree – you decide! And Sleep Warm, Cowboy by Joan Dodson made me want to take the quilt down and curl up right then and there. Good work, ladies! I know several people who dabble with quilting, and I actually quilted a potholder (believe me, that was a big thing). But I leave the big details to the women (and men, if you are out there) that really excel at the art.