Friday, September 12, 2014

Crabby about entries again


Yesterday I did my entry for Quilt National '15, feeling quite proud of myself that I finished ONE WHOLE DAY before the deadline.  After my afternoon of struggle with the online system I happened to go back in my blog to that September day two years ago when I entered QN '13 and had a similarly frustrating experience.  I am happy to report that many of the logistical obstacles that I whined about two years ago have been fixed.  But it still took me four emails (three robo-responses, and finally one actual human being) to get logged in to the system.

Crazed 17: Hot Summer -- NOT my QN '15 entry

I will never understand why online entry systems demand that you log on with a password so secure that Chinese hackers couldn't break it, and why they think that you will remember that password from the last time you used the system (in this case, two years ago).

I know that some such systems allow artists to upload a whole lot of images, them pick and choose from that library every time they want to enter a different show.  In that case, a continuing password would be a good idea.  But in systems like QN's, where you have to upload new images this year, wouldn't it be easier if you could just click on the "enter" button without worrying about a password?  Especially since you're explicitly not going to be allowed to go back to your entry after you hit the submit button.

One of the questions on the Quilt National entry asked whether you were a resident of Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Pennsylvania or West Virginia, to quickly sort out entries eligible for the Heartland Award, a $250 prize.  According to the rules, that prize is given to "a resident of Ohio or one of its neighboring states."  So imagine my surprise to discover that Kentucky, where I live, has apparently stopped being a neighboring state of Ohio!

And speaking of residency requirements....

For some reason I chose to work off my frustration yesterday evening by checking through Fiber Art Calls for Entry, the wonderful blog that keeps us posted on all the shows in the world, or so it seems.  And came upon a call that disturbed me, because of the show's eligibility requirement.  This was a show at a museum of the University of South Carolina, and the rules said artists "must have been born in, raised in, or be currently living and working in one of the states that joined the Confederacy....  This eligibility requirement ensures that the prize-winning artworks that will become part of (the) permanent collection are aligned with the Museum's collections policy."

Now I understand quite well that South Carolina, like several other of the Confederate states, has a hard time letting go of that delightful escapade when 750,000 Americans died fighting one another.  But to have a formal policy that a state-sponsored museum will acquire artwork based on participation in a 150-year-old rebellion in defense of slavery strikes me as really pathetic.

Gustav Vigeland 4 -- the people's choice


I've been in too many museums where the sculptures are roped off from the public and where the viewers solemnly contemplate the Great Art.  What a joy to see children having fun with the Vigeland people.







Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Gustav Vigeland 3 -- babies everywhere


You could easily infer that Vigeland's favorite subject is babies, because they show up in great numbers in his sculptures.
























Often they're being tossed about by their siblings or parents, as I showed yesterday, but sometimes they're just milling around en masse.

Sometimes they're playing with animals or climbing on things.























Sometimes they fly.

The strangest sculpture of all is this one, where some guy, apparently fed up with his childcare duties, is dropkicking one of his charges through the goalposts of life.  But not to worry, the baby has a smile on his face; this is fun.