It’s that time of year again, when SAQA members start donating 12×12 work for the annual benefit auction. It is great fun to see the variety of work from fellow members. Some years i donate artwork, some years I just donate money. This year I’m donating artwork as part of my quest to get my work out from under my bed and into the open where it can be enjoyed. My donation this year is Americana V, part of my series created from an older quilt that wasn’t working and is now transformed into smaller, more attractive, and easier to incorporate into one’s decor, pieces.
The Portland chapter, or pod, of Studio Art Quilt Associates (to which I belong) is well attended and very active. Back in November or so, the group arranged to meet at the Portland Art Museum for a docent led tour of the Seeing Nature exhibit. It was great to get out of the routine of meeting in community center rooms and surround ourselves with inspirational art. It was even better to hear insight and connections from our well practiced docent. I highly recommend that groups similar to ours look to their local museum(s) and schedule a group tour once in a while. It’s inspiring and a fun change from the usual. I look forward to the next time Portland SAQA does this again.
I loved the way people’s outfits were matching the varied artworks!
A small painting by Klimt was reproduced writ large on a stairwell window. I think it looks even better than the original.
Terry, Gerrie, Suzie and I took a little extra time to check out the Paradise, Fallen Fruit exhibit. It looked chaotic and “too much” at first, but once we realized that each wall had a unifying theme, then we started to draw connections between the individual works and the chaos became a conversation. It was very different, and quite interesting.
This wall reminded me of the work of Kehinde Wiley. Mostly, I think it’s the pattern and color.
I’m here. I hope.
My computer died, and at the same time I had compatibility problems with my website program/template and our server on which it all resides. Ugh. I probably shoo,d have just hired a professional to sort it all out, but the budget could only support having my husband work on it in his free time. Needless to say, it’s been too long, and it’s still not completely sorted out. So this is kind of a test post to see how much is accessible.
For the past few months, I have been working on a new piece for my Army Wife series, with the hope that it might also be appropriate for an upcoming SAQA exhibit at the National Textile Museum. Good news, my piece was accepted! Here’s a little peek. I hope to create a companion video for it which I’ll post soon with more photos of the piece.
I also have pieces from my Feisty Femmes, Rooted, and Americana pieces at the Craft-Tastic show and sale at Pelham Art Center in Pelham, NY. Craft-Tastic is a great place to purchase one of a kind artful gifts. I’d love to sell at least a few pieces in order to pay for mailing them there and the leftovers back home again.
I hope to post again soon with more art, some adventures exploring our new home-town, knitting, and home improvement!
Friday, I went to the Original Sewing and Quilt Expo in Fredericksburg, VA to volunteer at the SAQA table and see whatever there was to see. I went last year and I think this year may actually have been better. It seemed like tree might have been more people, or the layout was better, or maybe it was my imagination. Anyway, I had an enjoyable day, mostly hanging out and chatting with my pal Lorie when there weren’t people coming up to talk to us about SAQA (definitely more people were actually joining the association this year, whereas last year was mostly just talking).
The SAQA exhibit is Metaphors on Aging, which I had seen in Portland at Quilt!Knit!Stitch! There were other more traditional quilt exhibits too. The two that caught my eye were Quilt as Desired and The Double Wedding Ring Challenge.
Apparently I only took photos of one Quilt as Desired quilt, although there were several I really liked. This one is Kansas by Kelly Cline. The exhibit is curated by Marry Kerr. She gave vintage quilt tops to some of the best long arm machine quilters and asked them to quilt the tops “as desired.” The result is a lovely new life for some old quilts.
The other exhibit I liked was the International Double Wedding Ring Challenge from NYC MOD and Victoria Findlay Wolf. Can I just say out loud that I bow down to Victoria Findlay Wolf. You are a quilting machine, woman! The sheer number of quilts she makes is amazing, they are not small, and every single one is beautifully made! Quality AND quantity — not easy. Plus, she coordinated a challenge which is the exhibit at Expo, wrote a book, and had a solo show this summer. Victoria’s Big Red was there, as were a varied selection from the Challenge.
Detail of “Liberty (of London) and Justice For All” by Sarah Elizabeth. Pretty traditional until you make the connection between the title and the rainbow colors of the Liberty of London fabrics. What impressed me was the commitment to making the intersections of the rings into faceted diamonds. There are about a million teensy pieces in each of those solitaires!
Overall, it was a fun day with plenty to see and lots of good conversation with other attendees and arty camaraderie with Lorie. And just like last year, I spent the next two days at the Fall Fiber Festival. I love weekends like this.
This is not a potholder. It is my donation to the SAQA trunk show. Last year I had the pleasure of seeing one of the SAQA traveling trunk shows, and I have to say, it’s a great way to introduce the breadth of art quilting to any group. A trunk is a large mailable container filled with 51 tiny art quilts mounted and protected so they are easy to pass around and get a really good look at. My donation is in Trunk C. These trunks are great for SAQA regional groups, critique groups, and for quilt or textile guilds in general. Information to rent a trunk show is on the SAQA website.
I was asked a month or so ago to curate one of the monthly mini galleries on the SAQA website. Curators choose from the photos uploaded by the Juried Artist Members. I enjoyed browsing all the artwork and trying to pull together a cohesive group with a common thread I was excited about AND that hadn’t been explored already by another curator. I eventually decided to focus on the thing that brings me to this medium, the fabric!
Fabric and stitch. It’s what excites me about art quilts. I’ve chosen works that celebrate this with the use of domestic textiles, obvious quilt references, hand stitching and embellishments, exuberant use of commercial prints, and processes specific to fabric. These artworks need the fabric they are made with. They could not exist as wonderfully in another medium.
I invite you to look at Unabashedly Fabric, the gallery I curated — and enjoy the others while you’re there as well!
Several months ago I had the pleasure of being asked to speak on a panel of local artists at the Studio Art Quilt Associates annual conference which was held two weeks ago in Alexandria, VA. The invitation was just the push I needed to register for the whole conference. This was my first one so I had no idea what to expect, but I am very glad I attended.
I wasn’t able to be there for the Thursday night check in and activities. There were meetings for the regional reps and for the Juried Artist Members (formerly PAMs), which I think is a great idea since these two groups have specific issues that affect only them and they can use each other for networking and resources. I spoke to a couple of regional reps who attended and I think they got a lot out of the experience. One mentioned that the meeting made her feel more confident about what she was or was planning on doing for the region. Not being in either group, I couldn’t have gone to those meetings, but I would have loved to go to the artists speed dating session open to all which seems like a fun ice breaker and chance to network.
Friday was the main event. It was great to see so many local members — those whom I have met before at our parlor meetings and a few new-to-me faces. With sessions like photographing your artwork, navigating the gallery scene, promoting yourself, and growing your business, it all seemed geared towards members who are ready to sell work at or near a professional level. I don’t think that’s a bad thing though — I suspect that those who would invest in a conference would be at this place in their journey. I certainly am, and I came away with lots of good info. I attended the photography lecture which was very helpful, and the promote your work without apologizing which was OK. Lesley Riley gave a lecture on being your own art coach, which might have been good for someone looking for some direction in deciding where to go next with their work (maybe I would have gotten more out of that than the no apologies session). There was also a digital designing session that would probably appeal to people not as interested in the how to be a professional artist stuff but looking for inspiration. Our local artist panel went well. Lots of people came up to me later and said they enjoyed it. Cindy Grisdela did a good job getting four people whose art is very different. My new artist crush is Jinny Smith. Since the Textile Museum is nearby but currently closed as they are moving to new digs, the director brought a slideshow of some of her favorites in the collection. Lots of costumes and historical ethnic stuff from around the world. Very nice.
Saturday I attended a lecture on navigating the gallery scene which I really got a lot out of. Curator Trudy Van Dyke spoke, and not only is she very knowledgable and instrumental in Fiber Art Now, but she is very approachable and helpful. Lots of people were handing her business cards after she spoke so she said she’d just email us all back and we could continue our individual conversations from there. I thought that was a great way to move quickly through the crowd and still be able to give thought and time to each person’s request. I look forward to more contact with her.
The other highlight for me was hearing several students from Maryland Institute College of Art speak so enthusiastically about their work (which is inspiringly “out there” compared to what most of us are doing!). Then we took a field trip to see the Radical Elements show which went well. On the bus, I caught up with Nanette from NC who is doing fantastic legwork on making my Army Wife show happen at her local art center and growing it into an exciting event. I only wish I could have seen our Tarnish show as well, but it was too far away to add to our bus trip and there really wasn’t enough time for a separate field trip.
It was great to see so many faces I knew. Lots from the DC/MD/WV group that I join in on when I can. I said hi to everyone I saw and spent some time with the lovely Diane Doran. I ended up hanging out mostly with the NC people I had met when I’ve gone to their area for combined SAQA and PAQA-South events (Nanette Zeller, Eileen Williams, and Christine Hager-Braun). Also, my VA pal Lorie McCown was there so were were pretty much each other’s sidekick the whole time. It was kinda fun being the one who could introduce people from one group to people in another group.
I missed Sunday’s retrospective with Yvonne Porcella because I really needed to get home, but I did meet her (and Iris from MistyFuse) via Lisa Ellis last night. I wore my aqua cowboy boots on Friday and so everyone not only noticed me, but remembered me. That was a good move — wearing something memorable, so people will have at least half a clue who I am if I ever wish to contact them again.
So, in conclusion, a good time. I’m not sure I’d be able to justify spending the money to fly to a conference, but if there’s one that’s reasonable easy to get to I’d definitely go. The networking possibilities alone are worthwhile. Next year’s is to be in Portland, OR, so I’m not sure if that one will fit into our plans, but we’ll see…
Wednesday I’ll be delivering artwork to the VisArts gallery in MD for the SAQA regional show, Tarnish.
If you happen to be in town for the SAQA conference (or just happen to be in the area), please come to the opening reception Friday, May 9th, from 7 to 9pm. I’ll be there!
And, in case it wasn’t obvious, the organizers chose my piece, Dominant, to be the image on their flyer. Yay!