Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Creative Statements 1

A week ago I attended the opening of Creative Statements, a show of work by SAQA members in Ohio, held at the Zanesville Museum of Art.  I had the honor and pleasure of serving as juror for the show, and it was nice to finally see the work in the flesh after having scrutinized it on the computer.  I wasn't asked to make awards, but let me show you some of the pieces that I liked.

Let's start with some representational pieces.

Patricia Kennedy-Zafred, Photo Booth Shot (detail below)

This work, with lots of straight and zigzag stitching on shiny vinyl, had a Warhol flavor and a nice juxtaposition of before and after: happy newlyweds and assassination headlines.  (Of course it's all ancient history now and I wonder how old you have to be to recognize the people in the photos.)

Debra Bentley, June's Dementia -- A Life Unraveled (detail below)

Photos of the artist's mother, rust-stained, raveling and fading away, are the focus of this sparse but powerful work.

Jancy McClellan-Ryan, Battles (detail below)

What's not to love about this cheerful saurian, fending off flying dragons and other creatures while skyscrapers burn on the horizon?  It's airbrushed onto whole cloth, then overlaid with hand-stitched raw-edge appliques, and is quite unlike anything I've ever seen on quilts before.  I've left the electrical outlet in the picture so you can judge the size (medium big, so he makes quite an impression).

Paet VanDyke-Burcham, Dream or Nightmare, It's Your Choice (detail below)

Here's another cartoon-like piece, nicely executed in a variety of styles and techniques, with lots of hand-stitching and good use of novelty fabrics.  A lot is going on in a very small space, about a foot square.

Shelley Brenner Baird, Countervailing (detail below)

And while we're talking cartoons, here's a quilt by Shelley Brenner Baird, with complex layers of silkscreened and painted imagery, complemented with heavy machine quilting.  Almost the entire composition is made up of photos of faces, but I found this little detail tucked in a corner. 

So you thought I didn't like representational quilts!!  Especially those using phototransfers!!  I've said many times that I think fabric is not a medium that is particularly friendly to representation, and that phototransfer is easy to do poorly and hard to do well.

But I was happy to find a lot of representational work that escaped those traps.  (Well, heck, since I was the juror I guess I ought to like what I put in the show....)

I'll show you some abstract works in a later post.  Meanwhile, if you're in, near or driving through Ohio between now and July 6, please stop by and see the show.


  1. Kathleen, I just found this post! Thank you for your comments on my piece!

  2. Hi Kathleen. Because of Deb's posting on Facebook I found your commentary too. Thank you for the publicity. I was at the museum on Saturday and they have had several bus loads of quilters come to the show as well out of state attendance,including some Canadians. Thanks again for jurying this show