Well, dear readers, it has been a very long time.
I’ve got a pretty good excuse though–it’s called Quilt National.
I think of Quilt National as THE BIENNIAL of the art quilt world. And while chances are I will never exhibit at the Whitney, I was invited to share my work at this year’s Quilt National. And really, who is to say that one is better than the other….
For those of you who do not know Quilt National, let me share a few details. Artists from around the world submit work for consideration by the jurors of this show. This year, 86 quilts were selected from nearly 1,000 submissions. Or to put it another way, it’s kind of like winning the lottery. Or better yet, making an Olympic team.
More than 6,000 visitors are expected to attend this year’s exhibition.
I’m been working as if my whole life was leading up to this moment–which, coincidently, it was.
How to get from the southside of Anchorage, Alaska to a Dairy Barn in Athens, Ohio? Good question. I had a major deadline that stood between me and the opening of Quilt National.
So, I quilted.
Until the clock said exactly 7:00 PM on Wednesday evening May 20, 2015. Walt took the quilt off the long arm and pack it into my suitcase, whileI ran upstairs and changed my clothes. We were off to the airport.
From there, I sat in a series of airports for almost 24 hours including a very long stint in the Port Columbus, Ohio airport. Delays, miscommunication, stupidity on my part all resulted in hours of airport waiting.
Things were going poorly for me. All I could think about was that I had a quilt that needed finishing, and instead I was sitting jet lagged and miserable in the rent-a-car section of the airport du jour.
There is only one person to blame for this situation, but we aren’t going to go there right now. We’re in celebration mode–not whoa is me mode. Not, when am I ever going to learn the essentials of time management mode.
The next evening we went to the Dairy Barn–the birth place of Quilt National. For many of the Quilt National artists, our worlds of stitch and thread, piece and patch were on this balmy May day in 2015 joined together for the first time.
Oh, what a night.
This is the artist statement you will find next to my quilt.
“I am a prolific bit-maker. These bits move around and appear in different quilts. For several years, I would pull these particular bits out and contemplate making a quilt composed entirely of them. It made me anxious. I would put them away. Finally, I convinced myself to commit to stitching these 900 quilt blocks–6,300 pieces together. The making of this quilt was a meditation on piecing, an exercise in tenacity, and a contemplation on process as art.”
Gratitude to all of you who make Quilt National a reality.
PS- Thank you Alaska State Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts for helping me travel to this important event!