Excellent Arty Weekend

The weekend actually started on Wednesday afternoon when my mom and I packed up a large portion of my Army Wife Series, and all it’s accompanying and borrowed display gear, and drove to Yorktown, VA so we wouldn’t have to be up at the crack of dawn on Thursday. Besides, my friend JoAnne, who, in typical Army wife fashion, I had met in Hawai’i and will now keep in touch with whenever our paths cross, is a wonderful hostess.

The Army Wife all packed up

Our occasion was a Joint Services Luncheon at Ft Eustis, VA. The speaker was Tanya Biank, so JoAnne, who was on the organizing committee, suggested my artwork as a compatible display. I enjoyed the opportunity to share my work with an audience who might not normally take the time to see it in a gallery, yet would very much identify with it.

The Army Wife

I enjoyed talking to many of the ladies and sold a few catalogs and card sets. It was a lot better than letting the artwork sit in my dark closet. On a whim I brought my Square credit card reader which I had never used. It was so convenient to have on hand!

Selling The Army Wife cards and catalogs

The main event though, was for my mom and I to spend two days in the Philadelphia area to attend the Art Quilt Elements opening night reception and related Saturday events. My Grumpy Cat inspired quilt, Zeitgeist, was in the show and I thought it would be a fun outing for us to go see it, to visit another gallery or two, maybe a few Philly sights, and hear the juror/artists talks.

Art Quilt Elements 2014

I knew my cat was huge, especially since someone noted when it was hanging at my local McGuffey Art Center that it was seven feet tall, but I kind of assumed it would look normal sized in Wayne Art Center’s large gallery and surrounded by other large art quilts. Wow! It stood out as huge from the moment you walk in the entrance.

But the REALLY BIG surprise was that Zeitgeist won Best in Show! I was flabbergasted. I absolutely love the quilt, but I was even surprised that it was accepted into AQE. It doesn’t really look like what comes to mind when one thinks Art Quilt show, and it definitely wasn’t what I assumed would be considered prize-winning.

Me and Zeitgeist

I floated for the rest of the evening. I texted and FaceBooked with my friends and family, and let Sara Wood, who long arm quilted the beast know the good news.

We had Saturday morning free, so I decided we needed to see the fiber art mecca, Snyderman-Works Gallery. Their Fiber Biennial had just started and so the gallery was filled with a wide variety of top-notch fiber work. I took a few photos, but really, one needs to check out the much better photos at Snyderman-Works’ website or the individual artists’ websites. Aside from the wonderful artwork, I really, really enjoyed that everyone at the gallery was friendly, informative, and readily available. Frank was our docent without hovering too much, and I even had a chance to chat for a bit with the founder, Ruth. Everyone was warm and charming. I wish I had a million dollars so I could support the gallery and the artists they feature.

Snyderman-Works Gallery Philadelphia

My favorite may have been Richard Saja’s work. I’d seen it online before and it really does stand up in person. So quirky, so well executed, and so unique. I loved the red hair on this lady:

Scenes from a Marriage by Richard Saja (detail)

Scenes from a Marriage (detail) by Richard Saja

Compound by Norma Minkowitz

I also liked the work of Norma Minkowitz. One piece upstairs was frieze- or headstone-like with bird-ish forms and downstairs was this piece entitled Compound, which tells the story of the capture (and killing) of Osama Bin-Laden. The work is knit and then stiffened with resin, which intrigued me since I’ve been knitting a lot lately. It was at once cozy and hard.

Petal Edge by Piper Shephard (detail)

Petal Edge (detail) by Piper Shepard. I’m always attracted to cut paper art.

At The Sea by Pamela Becker

There were several vessels by Pamela Becker, like this one entitled At The Sea. They were exquisitely made, and the contrast in sheen between the linen and the rayon threads she uses is subtle and elegant. The patterning and surprise flowers in the bottoms of the bowls was beautiful too.

After Snyderman-Works, we walked over to Independence Hall, but didn’t have time for a tour or the Liberty Bell. It was nice to see the historic neighborhood though and Independence park.

Our next stop was the Art Alliance of Philadelphia to see some funky work by Caroline Lathan-Steifel.

Caroline Lathan-Steifel "Greenhouse Mix"

After Snyderman-Works, this was kind of a let-down. It was so crafty in comparison. But I did like the way the viewer could interact with the pieces by walking around them or looking through them, often at another piece. With fabric being a wrapping, enveloping media, I think we should be thinking more in terms of installation work.

The rest of the afternoon was back at Wayne Art Center to hear the jurors’ comments about some of the works, and to give the artists present a chance to give a little insight too. I’ll save that for another post though since this is pretty long.

Sunday’s drive home was punctuated by a stop at Historic Savage Mill, MD for the annual Homespun Yarn Party where I helped my friend Elisabeth sell her wonderful color changing yarn. Long day, but she appreciated the help, and I had fun being surrounded by yarn goodness. My mom and I came home with beautiful scarf pins and a skein of Elisabeth’s yarn to make next year’s Christmas present for my mom.

8 Responses to Excellent Arty Weekend

  1. Natalya says:

    What a fab weekend!! CONGRATULATIONS CONGRATULATIONS CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!
    Can’t wait to see the show (shows) myself!

  2. Diane Doran says:

    So happy for you! I knew that quilt was going to be great as soon as you started it. Congratulations!

  3. love the pic with you and Zeitgeist in the background – really does help with the sense of scale. Well-deserved win for a fabulous quilt. I think it helped that this isn’t something expected in an Art Quilt show – it’s fun and bold. woohoo!

  4. Sue Reno says:

    So very happy for you! Congratulations and well done.

  5. Karoda says:

    Shepard and Minkowitz…DAMN FABULOUS! My pulse stopped at several pieces going through the websites!

    and you are looking marvelous too!

  6. Jeannie says:

    Happy dancing all day since you announced that you had won. All your hard work over the years is finally being recognized. I am so glad you and your Mom had a fun “girls” weekend. Looking forward to seeing what you do next. Thanks for the links to the galleries. Nothing like eye candy to make a rainy day better. Have a fantastic week.

  7. Lorie McCown says:

    Nice nice! What a fun trip and ooo wee on the big win. I bought the catalog, but I want mine autographed! ;)

  8. Carol Sloan says:

    Congratulations! You must (still) be so excited. And what a well deserved honor!