Thursday, January 8, 2009

New year, new challenges

Happy New Year! Onward and Upward! Health, Happiness and Prosperity in 2009!

Last year, I took a risk and spoke up in a local Studio Art Quilters Associates (SAQA) meeting (I am technically not a SAQA member and only make it to the meetings occasionally). But I offered up information about art gallery space available at the public library where I work, and now the group, myself included, is preparing for our show there this March! Tonight we met at the library so everyone could see the gallery space, share some of the completed pieces, and discuss our personal Artist Statements.
Many of us, some quite accomplished artists, found this seemingly simple task to be very challenging. How does one sum up, in a few succinct and meaningful sentences, why or how one creates art? I think, being visual artists and not verbal ones, we found this particularly tough. I had drafted something three paragraphs long and ended up scratching the first and third paragraphs. Here is what I had left (with a note of thanks to group member Melanie who is a professional teacher of writing and made an excellent suggestion that improved the paragraph greatly!)
"Lace is snow or sea foam, yarn is moss or hair, thread is sunlight or rain. What I love about fabric collage is that it is so transformative: one material almost magically becomes another. I choose materials as much for their texture as for their color and use burlap, felt, velour, organza, upholstery fabrics, natural found objects and copper foil and wire. Nature's colors, shapes, textures, and contrasts are often my inspiration."
The completed pieces many of the members brought were just beautiful and inspirational, each one unique and special in its own way. Of course, mine is not finished yet, but it must be done by the end of this month, so I'll post it then. I am using more of the copper and turquoise contrast materials I used in a piece I did this summer. The show promises to be fantastic. I think anyone unfamiliar with art quilting will be utterly amazed, and even those who have some experience with the level of talent out there will be quite impressed. I hope to post more once the show is in full swing! I'm so glad I spoke up about the library gallery! It's nice to have the group support and be a valued contributor.

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