Thursday, July 24, 2014

Nicolet College Art Gallery-Northern National

The opening of the 27th. Northern National Art Competition was July 22 and Wayne and I were in attendance.  "Suddenly..." 35" x 45" was on the gallery wall surrounded by top-notch art, and sharing the wall with a painting by Marilyn Annin.  Marilyn, Wayne and I are colleagues at Artistree Gallery Cooperative in Land O' Lakes, WI.  This national, juried show included artists from 35 states.  The juror, Linda Benedict-Jones, curated photos of Ansel Adams via the Polaroid Collection in Cambridge MA early in her professional work. Ms. Benedict-Jones offered an interesting commentary and slide presentation in which she revealed her selection process.  Images that struck her as "somewhat uncommon" were the images she was drawn to.  Top awards were given to works in oil on panel, mixed fiber, and manual typewriter.  Yes, manual typewriter!  This artist created moving verbal and visual communication through this obsolete tool.  Pretty uncommon results from a previously common object.  I am a big fan of Marilyn Annin's work and her painting, "To the Rite of Spring" was very exciting.  Fortunately it did not create an uncomfortable uproar as Stravinsky's Rite of Spring did at it's debut.  One of the works I was drawn to was "Fairies Sitting on the Fence Watching the Approaching Storm", mixed aqueous media by Christine Alfrey of Lac du Flambeau, WI.  I was fascinated by the abstract image and curious title.  

Now about the textiles, quilt.  "Suddenly" had a spotlight in the juror's presentation. She described being attracted to the colorful yet subdued palette and the image she perceived as a landscape.  In addition, she said the artist (me!) was clearly "accomplished".  That was when Wayne gave me a nudge in the ribs, being more subtle than a fist bump.

"Name Dropper" (size was not noted) by Pat Kumicich of Naples FL received an Award of Excellence.  The quilt was indeed clever incorporating designer labels, visually appealing and well constructed.  We had no commentary from the artist but there was a message in this image.  The woman's expression was rather blank and the arms did not end, no hands were visable.  We could imagine she was a slave to fashion, or fashionably vacant and out of proportion, and maybe hungry!  My photo will not do justice to this quilt, however I offer a glimpse to illustrate the work.  Congratulations to Pat!

A virtual round of applause to my companion artists in this show. pjb

"Suddenly..." with view of other works

"To the Rite of Spring" Marilyn Annin
Acrylic on Canvas
"Kaitlin (Paul 1923)" Leslie Nichols
Manual Typewriter
"Name Dropper" Pat Kumicich
Mixed Fiber
"Fairies Sitting on the Fence Watching the Approaching Storm" Christine Alfery
Mixed Aqueous Media

For more of Marilyn's art visit  check in with the Nicolet College Art Gallery for their report of the Northern National Art Competition.


Friday, July 18, 2014

In the Studio

Two quilts left home this week, one on it's way to Paducah and one delivered to Rhinelander, WI.  Kind of feels like they have gone off to summer camp.  I'm home and busy with what is next.  Peek into the studio to preview Pam at play. pjb
Pieces for the next small study.

The start of something big with a pile of fabrics and one small part to begin the process.

In the floor frame for quilting, then.....

this walnut frame with copper tacks will "frame" the bound quilt.  Copper beads will be stitched on the quilt and accent the hand quilting and the copper tacks in the frame.  Well, that is the general plan.  I'll see what develops as I go along.  The walnut frame is by Wayne Walma, my husband and main collaborator.  More on Wayne later.  

Friday, July 11, 2014

Talking It Over

Talking with Marge at the Beaver Island Quilt Retreat, we got on the subject of entering an AQS (American Quilter's Society) show.  Seems like we had both been thinking about it for awhile and we agreed it could be a good challenge.  I had some experience exhibiting quilts in regional art shows, and an AQS event was a leap to a bigger stage.  "Suddenly" 35" x 45" was juried into the AQS Grand Rapids show and awarded 2nd Place in the Wall Quilts-Hand Quilted category in August, 2013.  Andrea Ray, AQS Contest Coordinator asked what I would tell someone who was thinking about entering their first AQS show. Here are some thoughts:  While the process of making a quilt is rich and the result is a handmade quilt, there is a long tradition of quilters and artists exhibiting their work.  I think exhibiting one's work is a good way to say that the work has value.  For many years, I have supported the American Quilter's Society with my membership.  This organization is serious about promoting quilts and the people who make quilts, and they really walk you through the show entry process.  The location of the show, the entry deadline and exhibit duration may influence the decision to enter a show.  Beyond AQS, participation in regional and national art exhibits has expanded my network and offered relationships with artists working in other media.  All things considered, I'm glad Marge and I had that talk.  pjb
Playing It, 37" x 48" detail
Playing It will be in the AQS Grand Rapids show in August, 2014
Wander over to my companion blog to watch the You Tube video with Andrea Ray