Flying Solo

Last Friday I had the pleasure of visiting the College Park Aviation Museum to see my friend Misty Cole and her solo exhibit of quilts entitled Flying Solo. The museum is on the grounds of the College Park Airport, the oldest continuously operating airport in the world!

Misty’s exhibit was originally scheduled to run through July 9, but it’s been so popular that it will now be open until September 3.
Here’s Misty surrounded by her work. Notice the Pojagi pieces that she created hanging from the ceiling.

This exhibit is fascinating on many levels, but what I find most intriguing is that Misty created the quilts in the exhibit based on her impressions of items in the museum’s collection. To see her work shown in the environment that inspired it is very special. She and her two sons have frequently visited the museum, and the details of color, texture, and contrasting materials caught Misty’s eye. She set out to interpret what she saw in cloth, and she has certainly succeeded in meeting that goal. Here’s a photo of an item from the collection, a gas pump/tank from what was originally the Croom airport. Below it is Misty’s rendition in fabric.

Gas Tank ©Misty Cole; Misty used rust dyed and hand dyed fabrics to create this “portrait” of one of the few remaining artifacts from the Croom airport.

I love her use of rust dyed fabrics, and the mere suggestion of the numbers.

During her visits, Misty was particularly intrigued by this wall of propellers, and it’s easy to see why. The lines and play of color and textures are fascinating!


Here’s a collection of three of Misty’s pieces that illustrates her vision of a variety of propellers at the museum.

Two Brown Propellers, Diagonal Propeller, and Key Propeller, all ©Misty Cole
Two Brown Propellers, Diagonal Propeller, and Key Propeller, all ©Misty Cole

Any artist who’s interested in creating a cohesive body of work, or series, can learn from Misty’s experience. By creating pieces inspired solely by items at the museum, and limiting herself to three specific sizes of work, the exhibit flows beautifully from piece to piece. She also created a book with the work from the exhibit. It highlights each artwork alongside the photo that inspired it.

If you live in the Baltimore/Washington, D.C. area, or are visiting, it’s well worth your time to head to College Park and see both Misty’s exhibit and the aviation museum. I’m sure they’ll inspire you as well!

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