One of the cooler aspects of my
job—and one that I think many quilters would envy—is that I often
get a first look at the quilts to be displayed at Festival. No, not necessarily in the flesh…or, uh, fabric…but in photo form.
You see, for most of the quilts chosen to be in our shows—whether juried, judged, or “borrowed”—artists submit a photo of their work in advance. In addition to being used for the process of selecting quilts, these photos are also used in our publications and in promoting the shows. That’s where my department comes in.
We get to pore through literally hundreds of quilt photos searching for the right quilt for the right page in the right publication. (And for the record, some of the most gorgeous, intricately made quilts don’t necessarily translate well in photographs, so it’s not always a matter of which is “prettiest” or “most interesting.”)
If you’ve been to Festival, you know that we have just about every quilting style and technique on display, so, naturally, the photos represent nearly every imaginable type of quilt, from the most abstract to lifelike pictorials to entirely traditional works. Some are ideas/themes/blocks we’ve seen before; some completely original.
And I don’t have a preference…art, traditional, mixed-media, constructed entirely out of old dog collars and used grocery bags…it matters not
to me. Gorgeous is gorgeous; interesting is interesting; and
well-made is, well, well-made.
But I do have to admit to being a
bit of an “art snob.” Okay, maybe the word “snob” is a bit extreme…let’s say that I’m “art particular.” It’s not that I personally have the talent to justify this form of snobbery. During
a momentary lapse in sanity during college, I temporarily put writing aside and shifted my major to studio art, a move that I quickly regretted and swiftly corrected. (There is a limit
to the number of charcoal botanicals and painted waves the world
International Quilt Festival/Cincinnati
April 11-13, 2013
Preview Night & Classes begin April 10
Duke Energy Convention Center
Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
International Quilt Festival/Chicago
June 21-23, 2013
Preview Night June 20
There are no outside classrooms for this show.
Donald E. Stephens Convention Center
Rosemont, Illinois, USA
International Quilt Festival/Long Beach
August 2-4, 2013
Preview Night & Classes begin August 1
Long Beach Convention Center
Long Beach, California, USA
International Quilt Festival/Houston
October 31-November 3, 2013
Preview Night October 30
Classes begin October 28
George R. Brown Convention Center
Houston, Texas, USA
It is often the case that a quilter borrows an idea, design, technique from another quilter (it is, after all,
a kind of shared art), but it’s also
not uncommon that they borrow from an artist of another medium. In the case of several quilts featured in
this edition of Friends@Festival,
the artists didn’t just borrow from
well-known artists…they paid
direct homage to one (or many)
of their works.
I personally love seeing design elements and imagery from many
of the paintings I’ve studied showing up in quilted works. Doing so seems to acknowledge that, while quilting is a cherished, storied craft, it is also a real, bona fide artform, and one that can stand up against works from any other medium.
So, if you’re planning to join us for any of this year’s Festivals (Cincinnati, Chicago, Long Beach, or Houston), I would encourage you to bring a non-quilting friend. Because whether quilting is or isn’t what they may think it is, it’s worth seeing…and getting to know!
© 2013. A publication of Quintessential Quilt Media. No portion may be reproduced without the expressed written consent of Quilts, Inc.