Archive for the ‘exhibitions’ Category


Friday, March 4th, 2016

reflectionsI spent hours today looking for ‘new work’ to submit to two juried exhibits. It was a fruitless effort which brought up a major pet peeve on this subject. Dated work is something that happens predominantly in the quilt/art quilt world. It doesn’t happen so much, if ever in the fine art world. Galleries seldom, if ever, say no work made before 2013.

Since I have been engrossed in a three-year collaborative series since 2014 all my new work has been predominantly series work. I have taken time out to make a small piece for a fundraiser here or a members show there, but mostly nose to the grindstone on the collaboration.  It galls me no end that entry prospectus writers/curators request work made since a particular date; and that said date is usually just one or two years prior to today.

Granted there are clueless people who will enter the first piece they ever made in 1990 but most professional artists do not enter work to (a) “get rid of it” or (b) that is not their best work. Why on Earth would I want to show work that does not speak to who I am as an artist? Besides if they did allow entries from 1990, these shows are juried so the old work can easily be found and plucked from the pile. Think of the money they could make from all these fees for old work submissions! Another subject for another day…

People might say, well just make a new piece that fits the parameters of the call. I could but some 7-8 years ago I vowed to never make work specifically for an entry call. Never say never but mostly I do not create work for someone else’s muse, only for my own. So that said I have nothing that fits the DATED call and so will not be entering my work. It is their loss really, as I see it. My work could add so much substance to their exhibit, were they not so rigid in their vision.

going places…

Tuesday, November 17th, 2015
Defining Moments 7: Fleeing the City

Defining Moments 7: Fleeing the City

I received great news today that one of the pieces from my ongoing collaboration with Marion Coleman was juried into Stories of Migration: Contemporary Artists Interpret Diaspora at the newly renovated Textile Museum in Washington, DC from April 15-September 4, 2016.

The jurors Rebecca A.T. Stevens and Lee Talbot, chose my work “Fleeing the City”; one of 39 pieces chosen from 292 entries. Beyond the thrill of the venue and the prestigious jurors who understood what I was communicating with this piece, is the joy of this being my afterthought entry. This is not the first time my ‘afterthought’ entry was accepted for an exhibit. It has happened twice before. There is obviously a lesson in that.

I was able to submit three pieces so the first two were Defining Moments 1 about my maternal great-grandparents and their emigration from Russia in 1899 for religious freedom. The second piece I entered was Defining Moments 2  about my paternal grandparents’ predecessors emigrating from Wales and Ireland to farm in the Midwest.

And then I thought that this piece Fleeing the City is about a different kind of migration. A mid-20th century migration of whites ‘fleeing the city’ for the suburbs so their children could go to school with their same kind. The piece was based on a direct quote from my father ten years ago before he was struck with dementia. I had asked him what motivated the move to the East Bay suburbs from San Francisco and his response was ‘so you kids would not have to go to school with colored children.” I was so shocked by his answer that it seemed an important piece for this collaborative series.

The text at the bottom of the piece is comprised of my elementary school photos where all faces were white. The word COLORED is comprised of Marion’s elementary school photos.

This acceptance has renewed my inspiration to continue on making work that says something and makes an impact. Undoubtedly there are some who’d prefer I would just zip it while I find narrative work really meaty, challenging and timeless. I do love making beautiful abstract work but so often anymore I question how many pretty quilts can a girl make?!