Monthly Archives: March 2018

Things That Matter

 
More than a year ago, Sandra Poteet and Lin Schiffner reached out to several highly accomplished, diverse and passionate fiber artists in a grassroots, artist-initiated effort to form a Coalition of Artists with Purpose. I was one of those artists. They invited each of us to create artwork on the theme Things That Matter.
We were charged to create artwork at least 6o inches wide, either one large single piece or multiple smaller pieces, focused on one single concept, just one 'Thing'.  It could be anything the artist felt strongly about - family, justice, clean air, fairness, democracy, honesty, re-cycling, faith, climate change, equality, respect, literacy, peace, humor, education, etc. We were to create a visceral reminder, at this moment in our shared history when the world feels uncertain and divided, of things that truly matter.
Thirty one artists came together, committed to the project and retreated to their studios to ponder and reflect, to craft and hone their concepts into their creations. While finishing up other projects, I contemplated what I would make, letting ideas come and go. I struggled to find that one Thing that resonated with me the most and still fit within my body of work. As the months (yes, months!) passed, I found myself becoming overwhelmed and depressed by the constant barrage of the media. All media. Social. Mass. Fake. Whatever. I just wanted it to stop. I couldn't breathe. And, then I knew what I would make. I knew what my Thing was. Peace and Quiet.
Above is a detail of Horizon XII - Peace and Quiet and you can see the full image in my silk gallery. We were also asked to write a statement about our Thing. Here's mine:
"In this age of mass media and social media we live in a culture of information overload, with a growing dependency on our personal devices - non-stop texting, tweeting and selfies, liking, sharing and emojis. The media’s constant barrage of and obsession over the latest tragedy, scandal, ‘fake news’ bombshell and the increasingly hostile political climate are so overwhelming and depressing. More and more, for my own well-being and peace of mind, I just need to completely UNPLUG…
To turn off the television, put down the phone, walk away from the computer.
To silence the media madness.
To escape to the wilderness, to the water, to the vast horizon.
To listen to the gaping silence.
To breathe in the fleeting precious splendor of the dying day.
To feel lost yet found in the solitude of peace and quiet.
To just be."
Sandra and Lin, as well creating artwork of their own, tackled the daunting job of approaching art museums and securing venues for the exhibition. They have secured two definite venues so far and more are in the works. Next month, on April 21st will be the opening of a preview exhibit at the Vision Art Museum in San Diego, CA. It is a partial exhibit as the museum was not able to accommodate the entire show. Mine is one of the fortunate pieces to be included in this exhibit. I'm so pleased, I am. And, then later this year in November, the Chandler Center for the Arts in Chandler, AZ will present the show in its entirety.
Sandra and Lin have also been working on producing a catalog and that will hopefully be ready for the Visions exhibit. I won't be able to travel to San Diego to see the show so I am most eager to see the catalog.
I want to thank Lin and Sandy for all your hard work in mounting this very ambitious and important exhibition. I'm sure I speak for all the artists when I say how grateful we are for entrusting us with your vision and for empowering our voices.
Finally, I share with you the Exhibition Statement used to promote the show:
 
"Exhibition Statement:
 
Fabric and other familiar fibers, found items and cast-offs have great power when melded by the artistic hand precisely because of their everyday-ness. We are startled by how something so common can be transformed into something so new and unexpected. We are compelled to touch the artist’s textiles to reassure ourselves that they are indeed something we know. It is wondrous, but at the same time reassuring. The medium itself is relatable. When paired with purpose it is inherently understood.
 
Grown out of ordinary artist-citizens demonstrating mastery of their medium, this exhibition is a timely and powerful response to this moment in history. Fiber artists are using their collective talents to say THIS thing, this idea, this place, this part of humanity is important and should not be forgotten or undefended when at risk to intolerance, ignorance, indifference, or greed."
 
Posted in Exhibitions, New Work

Art Quilt Elements 2018 Opens! Part II

Continuing down the long hallway past the array of tempting edibles and potables, we found the second gallery space of the Wayne Art Center filled with a dazzling display of visual delight.
The Ethel Sargeant Clark Smith Gallery 
         
Left to right, Simple Joys by Kay Campbell, Recollections by Viviana Lombrozo and Lost and Found: Green Panel by Kay Healy.
 
Patty Kennedy-Zafred's Steel Town: First Shift and Teresa Barkley's The Life Cycle of the Little Black Dress.
 
Rosemary Hoffenberg's Cafe hangs beside Pat Kroth's Fiber Optics.
 
Marti Plager's Conversation and Bonnie J. Smith's Alviso.
 
Jill Kerttula's Urban Voyeur - Tracks with two detail shots below, and Gerri Spilka's Moving Through received the Wayne Art Center Award.
   
I love the combination of techniques Jill uses to build her imagery.
     
Liz Axford's Counterpoint 6, a wonderful example of resist dyeing.
 
Kathleen Probst's signature minimalist style in Corner.
 
More minimalism here with Sherri Lipman McCauley's Branches Orange, one of my favorites in the show.
Hand stitching takes center focus in Marianne Burr's Desert Pools, winner of the The Greater Than the Sum Of Its Parts Award. Detail below.
   
Best of Show Award goes to Niraja Lorenz for her amazing Strange Attractor #20. She only works with solids, every stripe, triangle and square is a separate piece of fabric, as you can see in the details below. Masterful!
     
And, to finish up the tour, winner of the Innovation in Medium Award, another of my very favorites by an artist I've admire for many years, The Crossing Times 13 by Chiaki Dosho, made with old Japanese kimono fabrics. I am always struck by juxtaposition of the power and the delicacy of her work, both simple and complex. I can get lost in these details...
 
I hope you enjoy my posts about exhibitions and contemporary quilt art and hope that they inspire you to go see them, to own them and/or to create more of them!
To see a more complete view of all the artwork (with better photos, too!), please visit artquiltelements.org.
Posted in Exhibitions

Art Quilt Elements 2018 Opens! Part I…

This was my first time being juried into Art Quilt Elements at the Wayne Art Center and I am truly honored to be among this group of artists, some of whom are on my must watch list. My photos do not do justice to the artwork due to my very old Iphone. I apologize in advance for any poorly framed and blurry photos or photos with inaccurate color.
I'll start with some overview pictures to whet your appetite and give you a sense of the spaces. There are two main galleries at the Wayne Art Center, for those who've yet to visit, the Davenport Gallery and, down the hallway, the Ethel Sargeant Clark Smith Gallery. The first time I attended an AQE opening reception in 2012, I didn't know about the second gallery until the end and almost missed half the show. So beware!
The Davenport Gallery
         
On the left, Sandra Palmer Ciolino's Precaria #8, Crucible won the Leslie Patterson Award for Best Use of Color. Scroll up to see the full piece. Center is Elizabeth Brandt's Slipstream beside Astrid Bennet's Fields and Fences 2.
Catherine W. Smith's Transfusion #3, Dan Olfe's National Gallery of Art in the center and, Lenore Crawford's Pinecones, winner of the Heartstring Quilters Award.
Susan Lenz's Large Stained Glass LXXXI, Heather Pregger's Banded Iron Formation #1 and Aryanna Londir's Red Flags.
 Diana Savona's innovative work Structurally Unsound hanging next to Karen Schulz's Juxtaposition 1: Crossing Lines, winner of the Juror’s Award of Merit.
 Erika Carter's Backyard II and Andrew Steinbrecher's Crossroads #5: This Could Be the Way.
Hope Wilmarth's Constructions III beside my own River Daze. 
Margaret Black's Curb Appeal V took the Carolyn Lee Thrasher Vehslage Award. Karen Brown's Seeking a Common Ground graces the cover of the AQE 2018 catalog.
 
Above is Ruth Marchese's Death and Destruction Amid a River of Blood, a lovely example of Korean bojagi.
I love the work of Marianne Williamson. This is one of my favorites, Perpetual Motion. 
 
And finally, just for sheer delight, I finish Part I with Betty Busby's stunning Wing, my favorite piece in the show. I love the way it moved and fluttered as people walked by.
 Up next in Part II, I'll bring you the work hanging in the Ethel Sargeant Clark Smith Gallery where Best in Show hangs. Stay tuned!
 
Posted in Exhibitions