I went to Maryland yesterday. In preparation for next week’s showing of The Army Wife at Ft Eustis, I had to go to NIH in Bethesda to pick up the two aprons on display there. Of course, I couldn’t drive three hours for a five minute task, so I planned a few other stops as well.
First, I went to Black Rock Center for the Arts. It’s 15 miles further north, but when you’ve already driven over 100, what’s another 15?! From now until March 28th, the exhibit in the main gallery is A Tribute to Fiber Art, curated by Jodi Walsh.
The space is lovely with lots of breathing room and light. I was mostly there to see my friend Lorie’s work, which are the two darker ones in the photo above. You must go to her website for better pictures. I’m just teasing here.
I quite enjoyed the variety of work chosen. It ranged from the subdued to bright, textured to polished, abstract to pictorial. And still, it all flowed nicely from one piece to the next. Of course I love Lorie’s 3 Hearts with Wings II, and My Grandmother’s Dresses II, but I also enjoyed Cindy Griselda’s Neighborhood and Around the Block. Her work is bright but not garish, and she’s finished the pristine quilts nicely by mounting them to fabric covered stretchers and/or canvas.
Diane Garrison’s Grandmother’s Compost was utterly charming. Note the hexagon base on which she’s created pleated and ribboned centipedes and other colorful bugs. Fun, fun, fun.
I was mesmerized by Albert Feldman’s One O’Clock. I saw another of his works at Sacred Threads last year, and I still can’t figure out if he’s programmed a quilting machine to create his images, or if he painstakingly counts every stitch as he sews. Whichever, I admire the cleanliness and design of his monochromatic (reminiscent of rework?) pieces. And it’s completely unique in this genre.
I made a quick lunch stop and then turned towards home. On the way, I stopped in Chantilly, VA where I knew that SAQA coordinators, Mary Beth and Eileen and their crew, were hanging the regional SAQA show, Living with Art: real art for real people:
Contemporary fiber art accessible and integrated into the daily work environment of an urban office-plex. Too often art is held at arm’s length and sequestered in dim, hushed halls to be thoughtfully pondered during a specially scheduled trip to see ART. This exhibit is designed to bring art into the daily lives of hundreds of people, coexisting with them as they move from work task, business meeting or personal break time. Fiber is the perfect medium for brokering this experience of real art for real people.
I’ve got THREE pieces in this exhibit! I recognized many other pieces from other art quilters whose work I know and admire, like Lotta Helleberg, and Cindy Griselda to name just two. Plus, it will be on display for three months. My sneak peek says it’s definitely worth making time to come see the work, especially if you’re coming to DC for the SAQA conference. The exhibition will run March – June 2014, so there’s plenty of time to go see it, plenty of time for all the executive types in the building to enjoy all the work (and maybe decide a piece or two needs to stay in their own lobby…). The location is Washington Technology Park, 15000 Conference Center Drive, Chantilly, VA. I’m looking forward to seeing the finished show in May when I return to DC for the annual SAQA conference.
Finally, I stopped at the nearby Hancock’s Fabrics to look for thread and batting. I picked up some notions, but they had almost no batting. It’s not a place to go for traditional quilting supplies, but if you’re in the market for dupioni silks, any kind of buttons, or zippers, and dressmaking fabrics in general, this is the place. I strokes the silks and thusly fortified, drove home. It was a good day.