An art exhibit featuring oil paintings and art quilts by a local artist will be on display beginning August 15 in the Close Community Room of Eckhart Public Library.
“Margaret Kessler: 40 Years in the Arts” will be on display August 15-28 in the Close Community Room. A reception honoring Kessler and opening the show is scheduled for Friday, August 15, from 5-7 p.m.
Kessler, an Auburn native, and her childhood sweetheart, Jere, raised two sons in Texas. During that time, Kessler pursued her interest in art by painting oil landscapes. She painted her first painting of wild sunflowers at a Dallas county recreation center in 1973. Ten years later, she began teaching week-long workshops across America. She won major awards in Dallas, New York, and Indianapolis, and her work was included in the National Arts for the Parks exhibit in Jackson Hole, Wy.
Kessler also began submitting oil-painting articles to trade magazines. When an editor requested more how-to articles, Kessler decided to write a book instead. Her “Painting Better Landscapes,” published in 1987, is considered a classic.
Kessler decided to hang up her brushes 30 years after she completed her first painting and completed her second book, “Color Harmony,” in 2004.
Kessler also began a new artistic pursuit: artistic quilting. She explores a variety of subjects, including flowers, cats, rabbits, birds, and underwater scenes using hand-dyed batik fabrics from Indonesia. However, Kessler is best known for her bookcase quilt, “BBK: Bookcase Before Kindles.” Kessler visualized a piece of hand-dyed fabric that looked like wood grain as the back panel of a bookcase, then began to hunt for fabric that would work for books.
Kessler’s quilts have been accepted international quilt shows in Houston and Shipshewana. Her bookcase quilt won the Viewer’s Choice Award at the Shipshewana show.
Margaret and Jere Kessler, a retired mechanical engineer, returned to Auburn two years ago. Their two sons and families live in Washington, D.C. and Hong Kong, China.