Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Taking work to galleries

I had a very pleasant experience yesterday visiting a local gallery/antiques shop. Athens, GA, where I live , is a fairly “old” town by US standards having developed around the university which was started around 1776. Originally there were several streets of older “Greek Revival” types of houses and Victorian homes – with the very traditional woodwork, deep porches and large windows.

Since they were usually made from wood, time and “developers” (whom as we know are usually “undevelopers”) have demolished many of them. However, people are beginning to realize their value both as homes, and for businesses. One local Athens business, Antiques and Jewels, has every room in a lovely old house filled with – well yes antiques and jewels ! – but also paintings by local artists including Mary Porter whose gorgeous paintings which are full of life. Mary is a great inspiration to me and I recommend that all art quilt makers make friends with artists in other media – stretch across the aisle to painters, potters, sculptors….you’ll get so much help and inspiration from talking to them and seeing their work processes.

Mary recommended Antiques and Jewels (they don’t have a website, sadly) as a gallery and so I made an appointment with the owner, Karen Fisher, and took some work down to show her. She was very enthusiastic – there was no hesitation about fiber being a lesser medium than paint! My friends in “fancier” places (like DC) say that their local gallery owners are very dismissive of fiber. I find that in smaller, less “sophisticated” (or perhaps I should say less “affected”!) places, people are much more open to possibilities beyond what’s considered “in”. The same is true of fashion of course…

So ..I would encourage you…look to the smaller places, check out the local fashions!, and if there’s a wide variety of acceptable garb….the galleries might be very happy to show your work! And , if you’re in town, visit Antiques and Jewels – they’re on Milledge which still has many old houses. Since I don’t have any pictures of Athens (weird!!..I’ll take some next time I go into town), I've posted a couple of the quilts that are going to be in the gallery.

And, if you have been, thanks for reading!

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