Just found out that I have been selected to participate in an exhibit sponsored by Studio Art Quilt Associates that will debut at the Houston show next fall and then tour for two years. The theme and the process are kind of interesting, so I'll share it with you.
The exhibit is called "Seasonal Palette," and the concept is that each artist chooses a season, then makes a quilt of uniform size (32" wide x 78" tall). We were asked to submit a portfolio of quilts we have made, say which season we wanted to do, and explain what palette we would use.
My theory on making work for challenges or theme shows is that I don't do it unless the piece is something already on my to-do list or would fit into an existing body of work. Much as I love the intellectual challenge of working to a theme or specifications, it can become a distraction and keep you away from doing something that advances your artistic vision. But this challenge appealed to me and I sent in an entry.
I knew immediately what I wanted to do. My statement read: "Winter! This year I sailed to Antarctica and was enthralled by the icebergs. The palette: brilliant white, many shades of blue, and the unexpected black and gray of dirt and stones picked up by the glaciers. The fracture pattern of my recent quilts will perfectly depict the fractured ice."
I was pleased but not really surprised to be chosen for the exhibit. Since my vacation I've learned that Antarctica trumps most other cards in the deck, and indeed, my preexisting technique is pretty well suited to this subject. Ever since I got home I have been toying with the idea of making a fractured ice quilt anyway, so it seemed as though this particular challenge was a no-brainer (for me, at least, if not the juror/curator).
But here was a real surprise: it seems that more than half of the 38 people selected for the show also wanted to do winter! Who knew that is such a popular season? My experience is that for every person who loves winter, there are a dozen or more who hate it. But apparently quilt artists are different from the run-of-the-mill population.
I was happy to be one of the people who got to do winter; others were reassigned to other seasons. I was asked to make my new quilt specifically using the style and techniques of one of the quilts in my portfolio:
Fault Lines 1
I'm excited about this project and after the brutally hot summer, am particularly looking forward to working in ice colors. My husband, however, had to be a party pooper. He pointed out that it wasn't winter in Antarctica, it was summer. But I hope this won't get in the way of making a wintry-looking quilt for Seasonal Palette.