Well, I am on some level recovered from the stitching marathon I put myself through to create new work for the show at the Kenai Peninsula College.
Here is the story. I stitched and stitched until my studio looked like this.
Then early on Sunday, September 13, Walt and I drove down to Soldotna, Alaska where the Kenai Peninsula College is located. It was a beautiful drive through gorgeous fall colors.
We arrived to find a small gallery full of empty white walls.
So, we began to fill them. First there is the layout of the pieces. And then the measuring.
That Thursday, I drove back down the Kenai Peninsula for the artist reception. Walt was in Juneau, so Tripp agreed to make the drive with me and be my photographer. He did a great job.
Here are the new pieces–there are 15 of them.
They are riffs on the traditional block called Crossed Squares. Hence the show name–Hot Crossed Squares.
I know most artists who work in a series would name their pieces Crossed Square #1, Crossed Square #2, etc… But that doesn’t really work for me.
How do you keep the pieces straight in your mind? I need names. I need words to associate with each piece.
These pieces are named associatively and perhaps a bit impulsively. The name they get is the first word that comes to mind when I look at them.
At the artist talk, I talked non-stop for 1 1/2 hours about my work. This was exhausting and exhilarating all at the same time.
Cam Choy, the director of the art department at the school and the manager of the gallery, was great at prompting discussion. He is on the left side of this photo wearing Xtra Tuffs.
Cam is currently teaching a unit on color in his Art Appreciation class, so the students were particular interested in how I use color. To sum it up briefly–my mission with color is to get it to vibrate–of course that also has to do with manipulating the line. So we talked about that too.
We discussed the quilt’s place on the art-craft spectrum. Cam shared a great story about this.
A friend of his who is a black smith says–As a CRAFTS person, I am obligated to be the last in the line of makers who carry my craft forward. I am the lineage. As an ARTIST, I am the frontier of my craft, the first in line, and therefore, obligated to move my tradition, my craft, into new territory.
I really like the way that blacksmith thinks.
And of course we talked about how many hours, how many hours, how many hours, does it take for me to complete a new piece of work. I think I will share the answer in another post.
They were particularly interested in the backsides of my work. I like them too. Often viewers don’t understand where the “print” on the backside comes from.
Well, it comes from the front side.
I stitch around each section in a matching color and viola, the print appears on the back side.
It was a great discussion about art, craft, stitch, and quilt–ALL my favorite topics.
As we were driving off campus, Tripp shouted out, “Look mom! That’s you!”
So of course, I had to stop the car, and take a few good photos.
There were three screens about my show.
How often do you get to see your name in lights? It was a very good day.
congratulations maria! it looks fantastic and i.w.i.c.b.t.
Great blog post, Maria! Congratulations on such an exciting showing of your work.
Awesome, Maria! As always, inspiring and amazing.
So cool! I hope to hear more about it at the Tues. SAQA meeting!
Thank you Nancy! It was good to see you at the SAQA meeting this weekend!
Really great post–and I liked the blacksmith’s philosophy as well!
Thank you Heidi!
Your work looks beautiful! Congratulations.
Thank you Ann!
Wish I were closer to see the exhibit in person. Your sharing it is the next best thing. The works are outstanding.
Thank you Sharon! I truly appreciate you saying that.
I’m leaving noseprints on my computer screen, trying to get closer to your work to see how it was done. Your pieces have great graphic impact from a distance, but up close, the details are rewarding, too. Good job!
Thank you Pam. It’s really great hear you say that. I am always trying to give good visual impact from a distance but then also really interesting details up close. Thank you.
Your work looks great! Looks like you have a budding photographer in the family. Tripp did a great job on the photo’s.
Thank you Jeanne! It was great fun.
Congratulations, Maria. Your work is inspirational, educational, and beautiful all at the same time. I think you should keep that photographer on the payroll.
Thank you Lesley. He really is the best in-house photographer I have. I’m lucky!
Hey Maria – these are wonderful pieces and they do VIBRATE!!!! I am still hearing your talk at the SAQA Conf in Portland in my head!!!!! Love seeing and hearing about this exhibition.
Thank you Jill! I hope the talk is in your head in a good way.
What a great show. Love the blacksmith quote. And so cool to see your name in lights. You are a rock star.
Thank you Teresa! Takes one to know one.
Great post,Maria! So happy that “all’s well that ended well” Hope you get a chance to catch your breath and relax Hugs Sue
Thank you Sue!
Thank you Maria, for sharing your work, it’s gorgeous! Thank you also for sharing your story. You answered questions about quilting I didn’t even know that I had! Best wishes for your continuing success.
Thank you Beth. That was very nice of you to say.
Congratulations on your show Maria. How exciting to share the event with your son!
Mary, you are so right. Having hiim with me for the day was great. He listened to me practice my “talk” and gave advice, was a navigator, and photographer. I coming to your town! Can you believe it? It’s going to be great!
I’m very excited! ! I will drop an email to you
Looks like a wonderful show. Congratulations! You have so much talent, glad you are sharing it with students. Love the blacksmith’s comments on art and craft.
Thank you Rebecca!
I love the squares! Well done😀
Thank you Lois! I hope you are doing well.
Wooohooo!!!! fantastic show. sounds like an amazing reception as well. congrats!
Thank you Tonya! Yes the reception was great. Cam Choy, who runs the gallery, has a good following in town. People show up because of him, and I am very grateful for that.
LOVE your work. I like that you worked small as well. And showing the back of your work is inspiring me to improve my quilting. Seeing your name in lights–what fun!
Thank you Debby! Quilting is always about practice and there is always room for improvement.
Love the quote and the idea of an artist working in a craft tradition to carry that craft forward to new territory. Wouldn’t that be a great name for a show “New Territory” ?
YES! New Territory. That’s a great idea.
Nice Maria! Hoping on arranging for a workshop in the near future!
Thank you Cam, so much for the opportunity. And you know I would love to come down and do workshop!
Congratulations! Beautiful works. I really like your quote from Cam’s blacksmith.
Thank you Ann. I am pleased with how the show came together. Now I just wish I could finish the pieces that didn’t get done.
That blacksmith story is a great description.
Wooo! Name in lights!
Thank you Carrie! I know. My name in lights in Soldotna!