22 Jul

Tears don’t email well

IMG_2704, originally uploaded by Umzavi.

The good news first: these two lovelies were both accepted into the Blurred Boundaries exhibit at the Fabrications Retreat in Kalamazoo Michigan (August 31 — September 4, 2009)!

The call for entries stated:

Fiber artists are incorporating more mediums into their work, creating unique art that reaches across previously defined boundaries. Artists from other mediums are discovering the infinite possibilities that fiber can offer, also creating hybrids that are eye catching and moving. 

… and I knew that these combinations of quilting, collage, embroidery and embellishment, presented on stretcher bars like a painting fit the bill.

Now the reality. Even at a modest 32″ square, “Fairytale Forest” requires an oversize box by mailing standards. It will cost me literally hundreds of dollars to mail it to and from the exhibit. I’m taking a deep breath and chalking it up to the cost of doing business.

But, it got me thinking about future artworks. Do I edit myself by not mounting large works in this manner, even though, in my mind, it called for it? Do I not try to exhibit large works that can’t be folded? Do I stick to small work? As an artist, I don’t want to limit my creative options so I will pay up — but I can sure see why so many painters want to live within driving distance of NY where the galleries are!

Little “Pink House” was not without her hurdles either. I needed to decide how to sign the piece since a quilty label on the back wasn’t necessarily the only option. I opted to sign and title the front like a limited edition print, but once done, it looked awful! I just couldn’t live with the distraction on the bottom of the canvas. So, in a fit I cut the canvas out of it’s frame, leaving the offending name and title behind. I then sewed the art back onto another canvas. It looks much better, but in a way it defeats my purpose of the collage being an integrated part of it’s canvas ground. It is what it is and the imagery is still just as pretty as the original version, so I emailed a photo to the event coordinator (knowing that they reserved the right to reject any art that did not live up to it’s entry photo). She wrote back saying I was much calmer than she would be, and that, of course, the art was still welcome in the show. Relieved, I replied that I only seemed fine because tears of frustration don’t email well! Then, I grabbed another canvas and a pile of bits and got sewing on a new composition.

I’m feeling better already.

7 thoughts on “Tears don’t email well

  1. From a lecture by Faith Ringgold, she said that she started making quilts because they could be rolled and shipped easier. So, some times practicality does influence art.

    (I’ve been reading your blog for awhile, coming out of hiding.)

  2. Ouch!

    I don’t let logistical constraints inhibit what I create but I often literally weigh things up before deciding what pieces to submit to exhibitions.

    Are any of the Blurred Boundaries pieces for sale. Maybe you can save the return shipping?!

  3. sorry to hear about the shipping costs, but you shouldn’t make your artwork just “ship-able”. the pieces are perfect as they are and your decision of mounting/framing them was made with a special effect in mind. what you do should look and feel right for you – not for the postal service.

    i keep fingers crossed this exhibition will get you some customers/money back in some way. the two pieces are perfect and some people have to notice that.
    ah, i’m already thinking about coming over and rob the postman when he delivers those lovelies 😉

  4. hey well first….congratulations. and second, isn’t it so difficult to realize all the other stuff involved in getting out there? it is so frustrating yes and does contain a whole set of additional things to think about. but hey. i have realized it is a choice and you either do it or don’t do it. i think its great that your art will be viewed by many. hopefully your stuff will show up in new york one day! i’ll be there.

  5. Congrats on your pieces going to Blurred Boundaries. I’ve got one going too. YAY for us! Wow, that shipping headache really sounds awful. Between shipping and submission entry fees, an artist definitely starves.

  6. Congrats on your pieces being accepted to the exhibit! I had not considered how expensive it might be to ship one’s art for an exhibit. I, too, hope that you can recover the costs if you decide to sell the pieces.

    I’m from Kalamazoo, MI originally and I wish I happened to be going back for a visit during that time so I could see your lovely work in person. Unfortunately, we won’t make it back until Christmas.

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