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Avenir's 'Hawaiian Quilts' open through August 2

July 25, 2012

A cultural art form, Hawaiian quilts are imbued with the myths and traditions of the native Hawaiian population and references to the plant life and mythology of the islands. The Avenir Museum's exhibition, 'Hawaiian Quilts: God in Expression,' closes on Thursday, August 2.

Quilt 8 in the Collection. Image provided by the College of Applied Human Sciences.

Bold colors, unique designs

Don’t miss your chance to experience bold colors, intricate designs, and unique island charm in “Hawaiian Quilts: God in Expression,” at Colorado State University’s Avenir Museum of Design and Merchandising.

The exhibition showcases Hawaiian quilts from the Henry and Angela Hite Collection. The exhibit will close on Thursday, August 2.

View photos of a few of the quilts online.

Origin of quilt designs

Hawaiian applique quilts, known for their unique, "snowflake" designs, were first created after New England missionaries brought quilts to the islands.

Imbued with the myths and traditions of the native Hawaiian population and references to the plant life and mythology of the islands, Hawaiian quilts are among the most visually striking of all quilt designs.

Guest Curator Elizabeth Akana

Guest Curator Elizabeth Akana is one of Hawaii’s premier quilt historians as well as a quilter, teacher and lecturer. She has been demonstrating the art of Hawaiian quilting since 1972 and has taught and lectured throughout the United States, New Zealand and Japan.

As a guiding force behind the Hawaiian Quilt Research Project, which documented hundreds of historic quilts throughout the islands, Akana has advocated for the preservation of this cultural art form. Her quilts are included in many private and corporate collections and have been accepted in numerous juried and invitational exhibitions.


The exhibit is in the Avenir Museum, Room 115 in the University Center for the Arts. The exhibit is free and open to the public. Museum hours are:

  • Mondays through Wednesdays and Fridays, 11 am.–6 p.m.
  • Thursdays, 11 a.m.–8 p.m.
  • The museum is closed on weekends and national and University holidays

Museum closed August 2-23

The Avenir Museum will be closed August 2–23 in preparation for the next featured exhibition, “ABCs of the Avenir Museum,” slated to open Aug. 24.

Note: Quote in story introduction is from an interview with Elizabeth Akana that appeared in Quilting Alliance.

Contact: Tracy Kile Schwartz
Phone: (970) 491-7525