Last Friday night my husband and I attended the opening reception for a landscape art show called Against The Sky because my “Sunset On Main” was juried into the show. I was glad my piece overcame the attitude that a quilt can’t be art, though my piece was indeed the only fiber art in the show.
After I checked out all the other work in the show and had some lively conversations about my work, the show awards were announced by the show’s juror. He began with the honorable mentions, which I thought maybe I had a shot at. No joy there. Then third and second place works were announced and I thought it was enough to get into the show.
My jaw hit the floor when the juror awarded first place to “Sunset On Main.” There was some talk about how a craft can become art, but I was too stupified to take in all the speech.
Here are the few photos I took at the show. The crowd didn’t seem to be taking pictures, so I snuck in just a bit of smart phone photography.
As you can see, there was lots of photography in the show; I’d say about half of the 69 works.
And what do I get as first place winner? – a certificate and a little sticker by my work. It’s a start.
Way back at the beginning of 2018 I set myself a few quilting goals. One was to have my work accepted in an art show, not just a quilt show. To that end I mounted “Sunset on Main” on a prestretched canvas in hopes that would appeal more to an art show juror. Such a presentation precluded any usual quilt show entries with their “must show your work” rules about quilt backs.
I’ll know more about the other entries after I attend the opening reception this Friday night from 5-8 p.m. From the few I saw when I took in my piece it will be an interesting mixture of media.
So, if you’re planning to be in downtown Akron on Thursday, Friday, or Saturday afternoons, stop by. Summit Artspace at 140 East Market Street is a block from the Akron Art Museum. Specific hours are 12-7 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays, and 12-5 p.m. Saturdays. Special Artwalk hours are from 12-9 p.m. on Thursday, November 3.
I’ve gotten two pieces across the finish line in June and one is almost there. You’ve seen the two in various stages, but here’s the reveals.
“Sur La Table” features many bits of cloth I’ve messed around with over the years. It’s named for the two tablecloths that are the base for many of the squares. The greens are from a gradation dyeing I did, while the border is dyed linen. In fact, the only all commercial fabric in it is the Grunge I used for the flange and binding. The backing is a sheet someone gave me, with the hanging sleeve made from the hem of the sheet.
“Sunset on Main” is now mounted to a pre-stretched canvas, for better or worse. It’s ineligible for most quilt shows, but sometimes you just need to do things differently.
The third piece that sidled into being is “Primary Directive,” an improv work based on already sewn together bits. It needs a facing, which will probably wait until July. The stripey print is one of my fave fabrics – “Everglades” by Alexander Henry. A few years back you’d see this fabric used in at least one quilt at every show.
Aside from taking apart a quilt I’m not satisfied with, I now have no excuse not to work on my canal map quilt. I think I have a path forward, but I’ll see how the embroidery goes before I call it all over but the sewing.
Back in 2016 I used a phone to take this photo of a downtown Akron intersection, drew up a sketch from it, and then did nothing with it.
I resurrected the sketch when I saw an announcement for a juried local art show called Against The Sky. While I haven’t had luck getting into all media shows, I thought I’d make up my work and then decide whether to enter it.
Luckily I had bought the perfect piece of hand painted fabric for a sunset, which I combined with simplified outlines of the buildings in the photo. I adapted the technique Heather Dubreuil uses for her cityscapes. She outlines buildings and architectural details with black thread by drawing her design on a Sulky heat-away product. She uses the drawing to place fabrics underneath, fuses the fabrics, and then stitches the lines on the iron-away product over everything. She tears away the product after stitching.
Instead, I drew a line design, made freezer paper templates from the design to cut out fused fabric, fused the fabric on my background sky and pavement, and then traced the line design on the Sulky product (I had purchased a package at a quilt show) and stitched over it. Because my fabrics were dark, I used a dark gray thread.
Sketch as line drawing.
Freezer paper templates before cutting out.
Thread color trials. I went with the dark gray that’s on the bottom.
Start of stitching over Sulky product.
Despite the product instructions NOT to use a permanent marker, that’s what I ended up using as wash away markers wouldn’t leave a mark. I was able to tear away most of the plastic so there was little to remove with heat.
I may glue the quilted top to a pre-stretched canvas with black painted edges. Maybe that will make it more appealing to a juror.
Final (before edge finishing) on stretched canvas.