This past week I took a trip to Groton, New York to the Main Street Gallery to see the 2110 National Small Art Quilts exhibit. It was a really worthwhile drive. The gallery, owned by Roger and Adrienne Bea Smith, is displaying 36 small works. The works are as diverse as the artists. I recognized a few names, Lisa Chipetine - president of SAQA, fellow GVQC member Nancy Hicks, and fellow blogger Jeanne Marklin whose note in her blog on the opening of the exhibition gave me the idea to drive down and see the exhibit.
I wasn't permitted to take photos of the individual works, but you can see images of each quilt on the Main Street Gallery website. That will give you a sense of the works but you really need to see them in person. After viewing the works in person, I went and looked at the photos online. Some simply did not show well as photos. I could barely recognize one of my favorites - Jewel Box by Sherry McKeever, which had the most delicate framing of the main body of the quilt. Another of my favorites - Heron by Anne Hiemstra - photographed quite well - perhaps because it was made from cottons rather than silks.
The quilts are displayed in one simple horizontal line along the gallery's white walls. I really feel this method of display allows the observer to focus upon each work. Roger mentioned he could fit more quilts in the exhibit if he filled the walls more but he chooses not to do that. I heartily agree. I circled the gallery any number of times, first taking in the general themes, then paying particular attention to style and technique, and then focusing upon bindings - an area I am particularly interested in a the moment. I probably could have kept circling all afternoon without a problem. There was so much to absorb! Trapunto, mixed media, applique, silk dyeing, digital printing - you name it - there were works represented. Each artist excelled in their style and method and the exhibit presented an snapshot glimpse of the expanse of the art quilt field today. It was a wonderful way to gain inspiration and education in one fell swoop.
After viewing the exhibit, I had a chance to visit briefly with Roger and Adrienne. They are totally dedicated to their mission in the gallery to offer exciting new contemporary art works. We are really lucky to have them located in the Finger Lakes.
The Small Art Quilts exhibit continues to September 5. If you are able to visit the gallery before then, I really encourage you to do so.