Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Form, Not Function -- the big winners

"Form, Not Function: Quilt Art at the Carnegie" opened last weekend, the tenth year for this show.  To celebrate, there's a beautiful catalog that shows not only everything from this show but also all the previous best-in-show winners, and a listing of all participants, jurors and judges from the past.

Best in show this year was Betty Busby -- the second year in a row!  Her quilt features a thread-painted center surrounded by an expanse of natural handwoven cotton and a sunburst of fat wrapped cords, quilted with big, beautiful, subtle hand seed stitches.

Betty Busby, Retia, 60 x 45" (details below)

This year the Carnegie received a grant that will fund a generous award of excellence -- in effect, the second place winner -- for five years.  It went to Judy Kirpich for her intricately pieced quilt.

Judy Kirpich, Circles No. 6, 57 x 61", detail below

What's notable about Judy's work is that all those circles are pieced in, not appliqued, not fused.  I've seen her working in person and still don't understand how she manages to get everything so perfectly flat.  And her quilting is wonderful, making the circles pop and giving lots of variety to the backgrounds.

Because the Carnegie was doing the catalog this year, it asked artists to deliver their work a few weeks early so the show could be judged and the winners listed in the catalog.  That also had the pleasant side effect of allowing the two big winners to be hung in the prime spots of the gallery, at the two ends of the long classical room, which showed them at their best.

I'll write more later this week about other works in the show that I liked.  Meanwhile, why not give yourself a present and buy a copy of the catalog?


  1. Thanks for the lovely shout out. And it was a treat to see the gallery photos since I am not sure that I will make it to the show. As an artist that I do admire, I value your opinion. Thanks again! Judy

  2. Thanks for sharing these. Betty Busby has been a favorite artist for quite awhile now. Judy's work is stunning, too. I never realized it was all pieced. Looking forward to seeing more.

    I see that you went with word verification. It's a lot easier since they removed those impossible-to-read numbers. I've been getting a lot of spam. Most of it gets caught, but it's still very annoying,

    1. After resisting for a long time, I finally had to bite the bullet on word verification -- for some reason Google's automatic spamcatcher program, which had worked beautifully for years, started failing a lot. On occasion it would block one spam message and let through the identical message on the same day. I was having to delete spam that got published several times a day.

      My apologies to readers for having to add this extra step.

  3. I have never thought my work was cutting edge enough...and seeing more of the work, even though I am familiar with both Betty and Judy's work (and am flummoxed with her piecing! MY WORD! I felt the same after seeing her QN piece)....I still don't think I will ever get this cutting edge! Well done !