Art and Community


Deb and I recently returned from a meeting of the Northern California Quilt Council. They devote two meetings a year to “Meet the Teachers.” Any member interested in teaching at a guild can sign up to present her/his classes to other members. These meetings attract upwards of two hundred people. We always come away inspired and wanting to get to work not only on our classes but on our art, too.

Lunch with friends after the NCQC meeting.


I got to wondering why this is. After all, you’re only allowed three minutes – yes three – to tell the group how wonderful you are and which classes they just have to book from you. Multiply that by 30, and you have a very intense 1 ½ hour meeting. Now, I have a pretty good reputation for a loud mouth, and I can be pretty blunt, but there is an art to getting all that done in just three minutes.

I decided it wasn’t the topic that was so inspiring. I mean, Deb and I aren’t booking any teachers, after all. I think it’s the being with people whose art you admire. You want them to get as many bookings as you yourself hope to because you know that is how they support their art making. Sewing and quilt guilds are part of the new brand of patronage, along with corporations that collect art (and there are many), and various governments. It’s not as sexy as, say, the Medicis, but it keeps us going. Oh, and it’s the partying afterward – the good food this time was Afghan Tandoor, 1586 Gateway Blvd., Ste C-5, Fairfield, CA 94533 – that gives us the opportunity to discuss art and the art of teaching. No wonder we come home wanting to finish or start a new project. And it’s no wonder that when you learn about artists, you find how often they were a part of an artists’ group. More on that in a future blog.

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