The Wicked Cherrywood Challenge
The idea for The WICKED Cherrywood Challenge was born while planning a trip to New York City for the Quilt Alliance "Quilters Take Manhattan." A group of quilters went to see the musical production. Inspired by the spectacular set, amazing costumes, and meaningful story of WICKED, Karla Overland (owner of Cherrywood) developed the parameters for the first Cherrywood Challenge. The idea was pitched to the producers of WICKED who embraced it, agreeing to display the finalists in the Gershwin Theater in New York City as an added incentive.
In early 2014, an open invitation was announced for quilters and fiber artists to submit a 20" x 20" quilt using any techniques they chose. Quilts had to be made entirely from Cherrywood, primarily using Onyx (black) and our three Wicked Greens dyed exclusively for this challenge. By the August 1st deadline, we had received a surprising 114 quilts! Five judges had the impossible task of narrowing down the results to 27 Finalists, including prize winners.
Grand Prize $650 Gift Card: Lynn Synhorst from Fargo, North Dakota.
First Place $200 Gift Card: Sandi Snow from Lutz, Florida.
Second Place $100 Gift Card: Robin Gausebeck from Rockford, Illinois.
The Finalist quilts hung on Broadway for two months, drawing attention and surprise at the non-traditional nature of the quilts.
The exhibit is a cohesive collection of artwork held together by a flood of gorgeous lime green and black. The strong visual impact of this exhibit was due not only to the limited color palette, consistent size, and interesting theme, but also to the amount of thought and detail each artist put into the quilts. Whether inspired by the Broadway hit musical Wicked™ or all the wicked ways of the world, the images in these quilts are wickedly inspirational.
It was decided early on that this would be a traveling exhibit - it needs to be shared with the world! Several quilt show companies picked it up as a "Special Exhibit" with the potential to be seen by tens of thousands of viewers. By request, Cherrywood published a photo book to accompany the exhibit. This gorgeous book is a wonderful keepsake and source of inspiration for quilters, non-quilters, fans of WICKED and everyone in between.