UM Carey Law is not a school that lets good wall space go to waste. Visitors will find a variety of art adorning its corridors: landscapes of Baltimore and Maryland, Professor Larry Gibson’s photographs of community members, antique legal cartoons, and, most unusually, several stunning, handmade quilts.
The quilts are the work of Patricia Yolande Ciricillo, a working artist and the wife of David Bogen, T. Carroll Brown Scholar and Professor Emeritus of Law. Ciricillo finds inspiration for her quilts from the fabric itself as well as from history, current events, and her own life. The law school is fortunate to display three of her full-sized quilts: Malcolm (Waves 12), Australia 4, and Polar Bears at Las Fallas. Several faculty members have smaller pieces of Ciricillo’s textile works in their offices as well.
Malcolm (Waves 12) depicts the life of Malcolm X, whom Bogen and Ciricillo heard speak. Australia 4 serves as a homage to the Aboriginal peoples of that nation, which Bogen and Ciricillo visited, and where Ciricillo bought scraps of fabric from the artist Mandy Muir. The scraps, which are painted in the indigenous exoskeletal style, are now part of the quilt.
Ciricillo developed the concept for the third quilt, Polar Bears at Las Fallas, during an artistic consortium she attended in San Diego, where she learned to create the interlocking stylized bear design during a course on the artist M. C. Escher. The Valencian holiday Las Fallas, with its long tradition of bonfires, inspired the quilt’s brilliant red colors.
To check out the quilts for yourself, head up to the second floor, across from the staircase to see Australia 4, then keep climbing to the third floor, where, at the top of the stairs again, you’ll find Malcolm (Waves 12) and the Polar Bears at Las Fallas.
Photo of Australia 4 by Greg Schaler. All rights reserved.