Every odd year the Dairy Barn in Athens, Ohio, hosts the prestigious juried show Quilt National. Since I live in Ohio I try to get to Athens to see it. Last weekend was my chosen time.
I arrived for the show’s opening, which featured short talks many of the artists gave about their work. It made for a crowd, but I loved hearing about the thoughts behind the works. Some artists talked in abstractions; others cried.
How did I think this show compared with previous ones? It seemed solidly in the middle, with a heavy emphasis on abstract work. Craftsmanship quality was good and there was a mix of previously shown artists with new ones. I don’t recall any wildly offbeat pieces or any that I felt didn’t belong there. On the other hand, while I admired many of the works, there were few I had an emotional response to.
Lots of: piecing, solid colors, parallel line quilting.
A bit of: experiments with quilt shapes (one was like a gathered curtain, another was separate tubes of bound cloth,) social statements (women’s rights and the wall,) use of digital design.
Little of: representational art, photographs, multi-media (i.e., over painting), dense showy quilting, unconventional materials.
Following are photos I took that are clear enough to publish. There were many other works I wanted to capture, but crowds made that difficult.
I was glad I had the chance to see some rock stars of the quilting world – Caryl Bryer Fallert-Gentry, Betty Busby, Jean Wells Keenan, Eleanor McCain, Sheila Frampton Cooper, to name a few. I even had lunch with two of the artists. Unfortunately, I didn’t spend as much time as I would have liked with the pieces themselves. For one of the show juror’s takes and lots more photos, check out Judy Kirpich’s post. You can see the award winners here.
I’m linking to Off The Wall Friday.