Local artist Bonnie Dubbin Askowitz created a special mixed media quilt comprised of images capturing the aftermath of Hurricane Andrew. That quilt, titled Andrew: a fellow of infinite jest, is on display in the “Hurricane Andrew: 25 Years Later” exhibit at HistoryMiami Museum.
After the exhibit ends, the colorful quilt will become part of the museum’s permanent collection.
Askowitz was born and raised in Miami and attended area schools. She currently lives in unincorporated Miami-Dade directly west of Pinecrest but grew up near the Rickenbacker Causeway. She and her family experienced Hurricane Andrew first hand and, as with many people, the monster storm had a significant impact on her life.
“We were all in shock and at the time I thought I’d never recover,” Askowitz said. “My house was a mess and I walked around buckets for 18 months until our roof was finally redone and we refurnished where it was damaged. Also, we lost several hundred pines that made up the pine forest that was our yard. However, when we saw the disaster that was Florida City, I felt worse for those who lived there.”
The experience prompted her to make the Hurricane Andrew quilt long before the current exhibition at HistoryMiami.
“I was part of a group of women who are artists that make quilted wall hangings,” Askowitz said. “We decided to make quilts to help us through the trauma. Our work showed in many venues as a specific exhibition including The Miami Herald building, the Department of the Interior in Washington, DC, and the Historical Museum of Southern Florida.”
The exhibition at HistoryMiami Museum, 101 W. Flagler St., will remain on display through Jan. 15, 2018.
Being an artist is nothing new for her. The artist urge goes back to childhood.
“I have always done some sort of art and I got in trouble in the third grade for drawing all the time,” Askowitz said with a laugh. “Right now I am doing mostly fiber work, the quilted wall hangings, but I am interested in painting instead of piecing and appliqué, which makes up most of my Andrew piece.”
HistoryMiami isn’t the only place her wall hangings can be seen.
“I have art quilts ‘livening up’ the lobby at the King’s Bay Branch of Capital Bank, 144th and S. Dixie, in case anyone is interested in seeing more of my work.”