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Yalo Studio to Hold Opening Reception for Quilter Ethel Lea Benson this Friday

Water Valley’s Yalo Studio will hold an opening reception for the textile works of quilter Ethel Lea Benson this Friday evening.
Water Valley’s Yalo Studio will hold an opening reception for the textile works of quilter Ethel Lea Benson this Friday evening.

Water Valley’s Yalo Studio will hold an opening reception for the textile works of quilter Ethel Lea Benson (1923 – 2013) on Friday, February 12, from 6-8:30 p.m. at Yalo Studio on Main Street. Special guest at the reception will be the collection’s owner and Benson’s grandson, David Buford.

Ethel Lea Benson quilt
Ethel Lea Benson quilt

Ethel Lea Benson’s quilts are made from pieces of her husband LeRoy Benson’s denim work-clothes and other found materials. The family is from the Oxford/Water Valley area and the quilts are excellent examples of traditional quilting that Benson made out of necessity.

“She used to teach me everything,” her grandson, David, said. “Once she even got me to start a quilt.”

Yalo Studio co-owner Coulter Fussell
Yalo Studio co-owner Coulter Fussell
“It’s the story behind the quilts that makes them so beautiful,” gallery co-owner, Coulter Fussell said. “What makes good art is when there is history to back it up. You can’t get these kinds of patterns unless you’ve worked in these clothes for 20 years. You can’t reproduce this work.”

Included in the show are photographs of Ethel Lea Benson and artifacts from her life.

Ethel Lea Benson quilt
Ethel Lea Benson quilt

Friday evening’s opening will include refreshments at Yalo Studio and there will be music from Teardrop City with barbecue by Willie Foxx in the park on Main Street. Bozarts Gallery will also be hosting an opening reception that evening for its new exhibit, The F Files.

Yalo Studio is a working artist’s studio and gallery located in the heart of downtown Water Valley, Mississippi. Sandwiched between an old-time grocery store and a flower shop, Yalo Studio inhabits an historic building roughly the dimensions of a boxcar (10 feet wide by 100 feet long) making it, in a very literal sense, a good fit for this old railroading town.

Having been an old barbershop since the late 1800s until recently, what the Yalo Studio building lacks in size is recouped in character, history and content.

For more information visit YaloStudio.com

Ethel Lea Benson quilt
Ethel Lea Benson quilt

Jeff McVay is a staff writer and graphic designer for Hottytoddy.com. He can be reached at jeff.mcvay@hottytoddy.com.

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