Public invited to view thimble exhibit at PRCA

An exhibit of thimbles, now on display in the Prairie Renaissance Cultural Alliance (PRCA) Gallery, aptly fulfils the organization’s goal of “weaving arts, culture, and heritage into the fabric of community.” Once a mainstay in every home, the tiny thimbles tell grand stories of artists and artistry, politicians and advertisers, businesses and manufacturers, history and tradition. The exhibit runs through Sunday, April 25, 2010, when a closing reception will be held from 1 until 3 p.m. The exhibit and the reception are free and open to all.

Melissa Yauk, Morris Public Library director, estimates that her collection numbers about 1,500. She’s been collecting since 1976 and is active with the Thimble Collectors International organization, which attracts enthusiasts from around the world.

“Talk about networking!” says Yauk. “You learn, and share, and study, and read-yes there are books about thimbles-and pretty soon you get to recognize thimbles by their style, place of manufacture, and understand how they were made and by whom. More importantly, you recognize what to look for in a quality thimble and understand its value.”

Thimbles created for utilitarian purposes as well as art objects are included in the exhibit. The thimbles displayed represent different manufacturers, materials, and countries.
Yauk will speak about her collection, including her antique thimbles, at 2 p.m. during the April 25 reception. You are invited to bring your thimbles to the reception, and Yauk will review them with you. She would like to organize a thimble collecting group in west central Minnesota, and welcomes your participation.

Complementing Yauk’s collection, the gallery also features hand-stitched fabric art and objects. Contributors are Clarice Dieter, Susan Gilbert, Carole Johnson, and Sara Spohr.

To view the exhibit, visit the PRCA, located at 630 Atlantic Avenue in Morris, Tuesday through Friday from 11 a.m. until 5:30 p.m., and Saturday from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.

The nonprofit PRCA’s mission is to advocate, promote, and coordinate arts, heritage, and cultural activities in Stevens County and the surrounding area.