Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Q = A = Q 2 -- more big winners

I wrote yesterday about the best in show winner at Schweinfurth; today I'll talk about the three next important prizes.  First prize (confusingly named; it's actually the second best award) went to Judith Martin; second prize (actually the third best) to Bonnie Bucknam; and the Schweinfurth Award for Design (fourth best) to Karen Schultz.

Judith Martin, The Canadian Pioneer, 64 x 48" (detail below)

Unlike anything else in the show, this piece is a masterpiece not only of color and design but of process, made of vintage wool blankets, cut in strips and pieced together, mended here and there, felted, hand-stitched and embellished with little bundles of wool bits.

Judy describes it as a metaphor for transcending the effects of time and its ravages, by painstaking effort.  I suspect she had a very good time making this quilt, serenely stitching and stitching and stitching.  It made me happy, exhilarated and calm at the same time.

Bonnie Bucknam, Sea Cave, 72 x 60" 

Bonnie has been on a roll this year, taking best in show at the Carnegie this summer and getting accepted to Quilt National.  In recent years she's been working in a series of similar compositions in which zigzaggy lines depict geologic or topographic forms.  This piece has an unusual subdued color palette that you wouldn't expect in work about underwater forms. Strong, spiky geometric arches convey a sense of space receding into the far distance and make me think of the famous rocks at Etretat that the impressionists so loved to paint.

Claude Monet, The Manneport

Claude Monet, Etretat, the Beach and the Port d'Aval

Karen Schultz, Beckoning I, 50 x 44" 

Since Julius Schweinfurth, the benefactor and namesake of the museum, was an architect and designer, the show always has an award specifically for good design, divorced from craft, color, technique and the other factors that usually enter into judging consideration (although Karen Schultz is no slouch in those departments either).  Donna Lamb, director of the museum, chose this piece for its strong, blocky constructions that conjure up ancient standing stones and steps.

More winners tomorrow.


  1. Thanks for these comments Kathleen.
    I am glad to read that the pieces were judged after they had been hung - from the real thing rather than from photos.

    Also glad that you have clarified the difference between first prize and best of show. It is a little confusing.

    Thank you for your words and understanding in regards to my piece, Canadian Pioneer. I did love making it.
    While I was making it, sometimes I would pull it over myself and take a nap - it works very well for that as it is quite heavy.

  2. I enjoyed reading your comments, Kathy.