For the second time in its history, Studio Art Quilt Associates organized a traveling trunk show. Deb and I had the honor of curating the show. Every member of SAQA was invited to submit a piece, and every pieced was accepted as long as it conformed to the size requirement (must fit within the 12″ frame with 8″ showing in the middle). We ended up with 268 pieces, seven of which were 3D. Deb and I wanted to include 3D pieces because a) we love them and b) we wanted to give more exposure to this art form. Of course, we didn’t know what kind of Pandora’s box we had opened. Actually, if we could have just gotten hold of her box, we’d have had no problems. Do you know how hard it is to find someone who can build you seven acrylic boxes of varying sizes in the time frame you need because you dawdled, thinking this wouldn’t be a problem? Needless to say, many thanks to Tom of Integrated Plastics for coming to our rescue. We matted, framed, and covered 261 pieces at a matting party we had up at Deb’s house. I guess this is the real reason we love being members of SAQA – no shortage of members willing to volunteer and party at the same time! The premiere was at SAQA’s annual conference last week. They really did look nice! Contact SAQA to see if a trunk is traveling your way.
Our friend Jamie helped us pack the trunks. No joke – we had to pack seven trunks that are now circling the globe! Trying to ensure each trunk reflected the diversity of SAQA art was no easy feat. There were many abstracts, some portraiture, and LOTS of trees. Add to that color, and it was like choreographing an intricate square dance. “Hey, does anyone need a bird, I have two birds in this group.” “I’ll trade you birch trees for a portrait.” “Hey, my trunk has too many black and white pieces.” It went on like this until lunch. We always break for lunch.
Here we are at the Denver premiere with Lin Hsin-Chin, the SAQA regional representative for Taiwan. We tried to meet as many of the artists as possible. We think Hsin-Chin won the I-came-the-farthest-to-attend-the-conference award.
This piece by Yael David-Cohen is simply stunning. Fifty of the pieces were juried into the permanent collection at Michigan State University, so Deb and I decided to pick our own fifty favorite pieces. We didn’t agree on many pieces, but we both agreed on this one. The textures and sharp shifting lines of the abstract kept bringing Deb back to the piece. I saw the black piece as the torn piece of clothing Jews rip when mourning the dead. The arrangement reminded me of internment camp clothing. Mourning the dead of the Holocaust. Very powerful.
We went to an art conference once where one of the moderators opened up the question-and-answer period by admonishing us NOT to ask about technique – real artists don’t do that, and we fiber artists should act like “real” artists. Well, pooh on that. We want you to see this piece by Mary Pal because of her technique! Can you imagine creating such incredible facial and bodily expressions using cheesecloth?!?!? You need to see her work in person. The texture, the depth, the cheesecloth.
This is our trunk show submission. This was our fourth piece on war. People don’t seem to be listening to what we’re saying ’cause we’re still fightin’ them wars. We added the target not simply because we ripped the theme out of the headlines (we finished the piece soon after Congresswoman Giffords was shot), but because we think people don’t digest that war kills. We’re children of the Vietnam War – the war was in our living rooms every night – so we’re just trying to say war takes its toll even if it’s not televised.