Friday, November 4, 2011

How to get rejected from a Quilt Show, Part 2

In Part 1 a few days ago I wrote about several important things you should remember when you enter an art quilt show. Here are some more things to bear in mind!

6. Maturity: ageing in place. Whatever you do, be very careful to make sure that your ideas have matured well in the market place already; stale bread makes excellent toast, fresh bread can upset your stomach or even give you piles* if you sit on it!

teeth 7. Midnight vitamins. In the middle of the night, it struck me that if you’re actually going to go to the lengths of composing the shapes in your quilt, make sure they are set out separately and boldly, like the teeth of someone with advanced scurvy. Every tooth has its own space and is therefore of considerable prominence.

8. The importance of an art education. A neat thing to do is to copy a famous artist’s work – the jurors will never notice that Andy Warhol or Monet has done it before



bike 9. Drawing ability. If you’ve done a drawing and it didn’t work out quite right – make a quilt from it!! A bad drawing is an excellent start for an interesting quilt.





10. The natural look is in. Whatever you do, don’t make any attempt at designing the quilt. You want it to appear as if the various patches and sections have been slapped on higgledy piggeldy, that way it looks a lot more natural.

11. Working in a series. Jurors really like being able to recognize a quilt as being part of a series; if you’ve had success with something before, whatever you do don’t try to change it. Stick to a proven formula – look what happened to Coca-cola!

12. The post modern movement. Jurors particularly like a generally lumpy, unbalanced and muddy appearance to a quilt. This is called “post modern” and is both avant garde and garde derriere (as in watch your back or, beware of sitting on warm substances).

13. Eve’s dilemma. The best work has no substance. Substance is so stuffy and hard to digest. It’s vital that you don’t expect the jurors to think, thinking is the root of all evil. Furthermore, wishing for knowledge led to that first lady’s downfall!

14. Fast and Easy is the B(u)y word! And don’t worry about craftsmanship; that idea is so yesterday!! The important thing is that you made the piece Quickly!! Preferably while standing up eating a hamburger, watching chat tv and painting your toenails. The better the idea, the more important it is to execute it poorly.

15. Cross pollination. Don’t confuse a genuine naiveté (shudder) with a cross between folk and hallmark. Hybrids of that nature are very acceptable and will win you plaudits (somewhere at least) all the time.

16. Cloth? Fabric? Textile? Merely a substrate. Don’t even think about the medium and how it plays with the idea; the cloth is there because you like to pet it, and you can make anything with it that you wish. It doesn’t have to be justified.  jump

17.    Exercise the jurors. A lot of different ideas in one piece is very exciting, that will definitely get the jurors jumping up and down and exclaiming.


18. Necessary cautions. However, it’s very important not to take one idea and push it as far as you can, after all you might fall over, and then you’d be in the drink. Don’t take any risks!! Quilt insurance does not cover them.

19. specifications. “they” say a lot of pieces get rejected because they’re entered into the “wrong” show and actually suggest you find out the kind of work that that particular show is interested in!   Well, this doesn’t apply to you! If your work is good enough (and you know it is!) even if the show specifies they only want red pieces and yours is blue, don’t worry about it.  If that particular art center or gallery has only ever shown large pieces and yours is small, that doesn’t matter either – because if you’ve worked hard at making it, especially if it’s got a lot of beads on it, it will be bound to be accepted.

20. The name of the game. And finally: the title!!! It should have at least two meanings, jurors love puns and the more strangled they are, the better. Sentimentality is excellent too.

There are so many ideas I could give you about entering a show, but I’ve limited myself to these few. Together with the suggestions I made in part 1 of this post, I think your future is assured! I just hope mine isn’t too!

If you have been, thanks for reading!




Anonymous said...

Snort! Nearly choked on my toast :)) Now I know where I've been going wrong.

Cherie in Del Mar said...

Sage advice...hahaha...Too funny!

Natalya Khorover Aikens said...


Sally said...

Especially love the vision of slapped together higgley/piggley. So apt! Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

Karen Eade said...

21. Amusing gimmicks. The more the better, I say. Put a zip up the left-hand side for no reason and stick the bums off yoghurt pots in place of buttons down the right. Provide a nice bit of linking with maybe the string bag from a pack of supermarket oranges tacked randomly down the middle. How cool is that?
22. "re-purpose" as much as possible. "Re-purposing" is the new cool. Make sure it is really CLEAR that is what you are doing though. Subtlety is so last century. Leave the original labels showing; stencil in a few well-known brand names, that sort of thing. Use a lot of green in the background.

Ha ha - this stuff is addictive!!! I love your quilts. Are landscapes always likely to descend into hopeless twee-dom? Am worried about my stuff now...