|First prize, Stacked Mummy Bags 2010, Pat Pauly|
I found the exhibit intriguing on a number of levels. As a metaphor, an onion comes to mind - except for the tears! The more you walk through the exhibit, the more you see in terms of levels of analysis and experience - a bit like an onion that comes apart in layers revealing more and more aspects of its being down to a core.
If I had to use one phrase to describe the art quilts in this show, it would be technical mastery. The stitching in each piece was impeccable. At times, in fact, I felt overwhelmed by the perfection. I had to keep stepping back and getting beyond technique to take in the compositions displayed. It was at this level that I could appreciate the diversity of the works. There were abstracts, landscapes and portraits. I would look across a room and notice the use of contrast to draw the eye - but then be drawn over to a piece that didn't use contrast at all. What fun! Similarly, there were many very linear quilts, but just when I would think this predominated the show, I would begin to notice all the beautiful curvi-linear pieces. There was indeed diversity of fiber - silk, cotton, wool, velvet, canvas, and linen to name a few. Many works used hand-dyed fabric but when I searched, I could find some that were all commercial cottons. There were some digital prints and quite a bit of hand painting. Viewing the exhibit from another perspective, there were pieces representing artists from around the world.
|Foliage in Transition, Carol Taylor|
Any show that makes you think this much has to be good. Did I have favorites? Of course. I was delighted that a member of our local quilt guild, Pat Pauly, whom I had just taken a class from, won first prize for her quilt, Stacked Mummy Bags, 2010. There was something about Anthills, Study in Gold by Sue Dennis that I really liked - probably because it reminded me of a trip to South Africa where I saw unbelieveably big anthills. I found it impossible not to be drawn to the huge figures in Nancy Erickson's piece, In the Beginning, which greeted you when you entered the exhibit. I loved Carol Taylor's Foliage in Transition as it seemed to honor the traditional roots of quilting but express repetition in a wonderful display of colors. I could go on......
|Anthills, Study in Gold - Sue Dennis|
So, there you have it, my personal take on the show. If you live nearby, I hope you will take the time to visit Quilts=Arts=Quilts. I am sure you will find plenty to admire and to like. If you are unable to visit, then I hope you have the good fortune to visit another art quilt show soon and that it takes you on a similar journey of appreciation and challenge.
|Tangled Timbre, Randall Cook|