You are all invited! I'm having a solo show - approximately 25 quilts - at the Campus Gate Gallery at Young Harris College, Young Harris, GA. The opening is on Thursday night: November 5th - Guy Fawkes day! I sure hope my quilts sparkle! Yesterday I drove upto Young Harris through the Smoky Mountains and it is a gorgeous time of year up here - oranges, golds and reds with a misty blue background. Nature does a good job with her split complementary colour schemes!
Take it from Ma Nature every time!
It's always a little nervewracking taking quilts to a show - not every gallery person understands the importance of getting the lighting right, not too much (especially not sunlight) and not too little - I remember a Jinny Beyer quilt show that was practically pitch dark....quilters feeling their way around it!!! She was using a lot of commercial fabric and (at least in those days) the dyes they use seem to be much more fugitive. It's important that our artwork will hold upto normal light exposure - anything that a watercolour painting or a photograph would survive. Fabric is not as delicate and friable as many people suppose - after all we have examples of blankets from South America that are thousands ofyears old. So if anyone wants to buy one of my quilts and carefully bury it for a thousand years...I think it will be just fine!
Putting art quilts on show,therefore, has a number of goals: it demonstrates that they are an exciting and viable medium within the art world - worthy of consideration alongside more traditional fine art forms. It opens people's eyes to the possibilities of fiber...all too easily dismissed because it has long been seen purely as a "domestic" medium...like domestic animals...something you use, but don't hang on the wall! Have you ever seen a cow's head mounted on a wall? but not 10 feet from where I'm sitting there's a deer head...and deer have not been so helpful to man! Fibre is a very versatile medium - it's not too easy to peel off a section of paint and move it! yet you can easily do that with fabric. Another reason for a quilt show is that it's so approachable a medium it brings people in to appreciate art who otherwise feel they cannot understand it. A soft introduction!
Seeing one'swork in a proper gallery setting is also very helpful...you can see what holds up, what looks great across a long room...what might be a little weak. Also, I always try to ask people which is their favorite piece and why - it's good to learn how people see and interpret art. What might be quite clear to me as the maker, might not be communicated as well as I could hope.
And I'm looking forward to seeing how the curator arranges the show - it's always a suprise...and best left to an experienced "fresh" eye I think. He doesn't know that this is the one I sweated over so I want to give it pride of place...and this one just flowed out and so I might discount it. He (or she, but it happens to be he in this show) will judge the work solely on its visual impact and not on what's in my head. Instructive! It's SO hard to get away from what's in your head!
The show is up through December 5th, the gallery is open from 9-2, M-F. See you on Thursday!!....and start thinking about venues for your own quilt show! ( I found this one through a call for entries in Art Calendar).
If you have been, thanks for reading! Elizabeth