Westerville artist Kate Gorman's "Bernadette in Artichokes" depicts a winged girl before birch trees, painted in sharp lines on stitched linen. He quilt will hang in the Quilt National '13 exhibition, open Jan. 30 through April 12 at the Ohio Arts Council's Riffe Gallery.

Westerville artist Kate Gorman's "Bernadette in Artichokes" depicts a winged girl before birch trees, painted in sharp lines on stitched linen. It's a detailed drawing, yes, but it's also a quilt. Like the others in the Quilt National '13 exhibition, open Jan. 30 through April 12 at the Ohio Arts Council's Riffe Gallery, hers was never intended to adorn a piece of furniture.

"Set aside what comes to mind when you say the word 'quilt' and approach it as an art show," says Kathleen Dawson, director of Quilt National at the Dairy Barn Arts Center in Athens, which founded the biennial exhibition in 1979.

Thirty of the 85 pieces selected for last year's show by artists from across the nation (as well as Great Britain and Australia) will line the gallery's walls. The hanging quilts explore a variety of textiles from cotton to plastic and feature techniques including painting and printing. Themes span from nature to politics. The pieces also range in size and price: 12- to 100-square inches, $900 to $13,000.

"Contemporary quilters keep pushing the boundaries of quilt-making," says gallery director Mary Gray. "It's very exciting to see from one exhibition to the next what they come up with." oac.state.oh.us/riffe