Art Quilt Elements Show 2010 in Wayne PA

I am sitting in my hotel room writing this posting in Wayne NJ. I treated myself to a two day get away to the 2010 Art Quilt Elements Show held in Wayne Pa. WOW! This is a bi-annual show. This year SAQA held an all day conference in conjunction with the opening of the 2010 show. It was an all day affair with Sue Benner as guest speaker as well as a session with the three jurors who judged the show. They also had the SAQA pres and VP give a lecture on technology and composition. Again – WOW! I met Jason Pollen – an amazing guy! As impressed as I was with the show and the work and the gala, this guy has “IT”! He is so knowledgeable and approachable. He finally explained to me why shows like this one and Quilt National chose the quilts that they do for a show.

I will attempt to summarize what I took away. In the case of this AQE show the jurors are chosen each year by the AQE. They chose one educator, one art quilter and one artist that is focused on other areas other than but not excluding fiber. The intent is that they get the quilter who really understands techniques, the educator who is versed in pure design, composition, line and color as well as an artist that works in a different medium. The end result is they chose quilts that work from all vantage points. This is different from most other art quilt shows that have only quilt artists judge. I really respected that intention of the show. The jurors explained that the look through 600-700 entries. They showed 30-40 entries during the lecture. It was interesting to see the actual digital images and detail shots sent in. The photography is CRITICAL!!!!! It was amazing how some of the detail shots were poorly planned and caused the piece to be eliminated. So lesson one is that you MUST MUST MUST compose your detail shot. If the photo is not crisp and well framed – forget it – you are out. That said – if you have great shots, then you MUST have a well composed piece in shape, line and color. The detail shot must be relevant showing either stitching or shapes that are enhanced with enlargement. Some people sent semi-detail shots. They shot the whole image and zoomed in just a little. The detail shot is to see the work- craftsmanship. The jurors in this case were looking for techniques and texture as well as composition. Being a representational artist I asked why is the greatest percentage of work in a show like this or the Dairy Barn always SO ABSTRACT? The answer was…from Jason Pollen (amazing guy!) we are looking to “have a reaction” from the art. Sometimes when the see representational art they get the whole story in one look. The intention of the piece is to show a recognizable subject and the detail may be the precision of the stitching and or piecing. That is what the Paducah shows and the Houston and Mancuso shows are looking for. These shows are looking for a raw response to line, color and composition. That led me to deduce that it can be accomplished in representational art but is more difficult than abstract in certain ways. In fact, in these type of shows the artists has to go beyond the obvious subject and make that subject not only very interesting but represented in such a way that the viewer just has to come closer. Eureka! I have finally “got it”! With that in mind I am just itching to get to another art quilt! But – my book is first!

By suggestion to you is to come see this show at the Wayne art center in Wayne Pa. The show runs from April 17-May 19th, 2010.

I always feel SO inspired to learn and grow. It is so important to get out of your daily rut and get refueled creatively. I met 5 friends and we had a great time together. I look forward to sharing this with the groups I attend monthly.

I also met Sue Benner and lots of VERY creative people. I must say Jason Pollen just blew me away! IN my wanderings I have met few people that have really had “it”! My list now includes, Jane Sassamen, Lonni Rossi, David Walker, Susan Shei and Jason Pollen!


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