Quilts, Respect, and the Art Quilt part 2

I received wonderful responses from the art quilters I contacted with the three questions I posed in my last blog post. There is a great variety of styles between them and their answers are informative and thought provoking. I want to thank each artist for taking the time to reply and for allowing me to share their art quilts. If you aren’t familiar with their art I hope you will hop over to their websites.

Here are the three questions and their answers.

  1. Have you ever submitted an art quilt (for the wall) to a venue that was featuring a variety of art work mediums?
  2. If you answered “yes,” did you (or they) categorize your piece as an Art Quilt or something else, such as Fiber Art, Mixed Media, Textile, etc.?
  3. If you answered “no” to question 1, would you consider submitting an art quilt in to a venue featuring art in a variety of mediums?

Joanna Mack (aka The Snarky Quilter) (Ohio)

  1. My work has never been submitted to or shown in any exhibit other than one for quilts. I think this is a function of one’s networks. I’m a lady of a certain age with no contacts in the local art scene.

  2. Even if I called my quilts fiber art I don’t think they’d be considered art by the art world as my observation is that around here works in fiber are considered craft.”

ripples_in_still_water_joanna_mack
Ripples in Still Water by Joanna Mack

Joe Cunningham (California)

  1. Yes

  2. I don’t think I have had it categorized like that. They just ask for the medium or media, and I say, “Cotton fabric, wool batting.” Or something similar. In other words I have only had my work treated as art in a mixed media show.

circular logic joe cunningham
Circular Logic by Joe Cunningham

Nelda McComb (California)

  1.  I have only once submitted work  at a venue that featured a variety of art.  I was the only art quilt artist and it was very successful for me as I sold 9 pieces.  There were all mediums: photo, ceramics glass, jewelry and a variety of fine art mediums.

  2.  They categorized my work as “art quilt”..Altho, I don’t think they really knew what it was all about until I set up and they saw my work in person.

  3.  I would consider entering into a conventional show that exhibited multi medias.

Balboa Park, circa 1930 by Nelda McComb
Balboa Park, circa 1930 by Nelda McComb

Betty Busby (New Mexico)

  1. I show in all media fine art shows all the time.

  2. Mostly categorized as mixed media.

Tributary by Betty Busby
Tributary by Betty Busby

Kelly Hendrickson (Minnesota)

  1. Yes I have. In fact, I found that my particular art work was MORE readily accepted in a venue with various mediums than they were in actual “quilt shows” or exhibitions.

  2. It all depended on the venue really. But I believe most often they were accepted as either Mixed Media or Textile Art.

  3. OK…I didn’t answer no but I just wanted to add my 2 cents worth on this topic. I would highly recommend entering art quilts in shows/exhibitions designed for all types of mediums…not just quilt shows. We are making strides in being accepted as a valid “art” form in the non-quilting world. Each time one of us gets accepted there, it validates our genre. And I’m happy to see that we are also beginning to be accepted as a valid part of the quilt world. That took some time as well!

The Sapling by Kelly Hendrickson
The Sapling by Kelly Hendrickson

Kathy Nida (California)

  1. I do this all the time! I honestly think my work plays better in the art world than in the quilt world. I am also a member of a women’s art group where one other woman works in fabric, but most of them are painters with a few sculptors.

  2. They don’t categorize it as anything but art. Most of the art shows just put the name of the piece, the name of the artist, and occasionally a statement or a price. There’s no listing of materials and technique.

Love (not) by Kathy Nida
Love (not) by Kathy Nida

Carol Ann Waugh (Colorado)

  1. I stopped entering “quilt” shows when I started mounting my fiber onto wooden panels.  That was about 6 years ago so all the shows and exhibits I do are in art galleries.  When I submit to a juried show, it is always an open show of all media and usually, I am one of 2-3 artists working in fiber.  The rest would be painters, sculptors, photographers, etc.

  2. Usually, an artist categorizes their own work so you submit a work as 2-D or 3-D and if they have a space for a “medium”, I submit as “fiber”.

Wildfire by Carol Ann Waugh
Wildfire by Carol Ann Waugh

Wil Opio Oguta (The Netherlands)

  1. Yes I have submitted art quilts for mixed venues – both in real life as well as online.

  2. Most of the time I call my work Fiber Art, but when I submit to a mixed show I always call it Fiber Art.

Cotton by Wil Opio Oguta
Cotton by Wil Opio Oguta

Shyamala Rao (Kuwait)

  1. Yes I have. I have displayed my work in International Quilt Festival in Houston and in The Festival Of Quilts Birmingham and several other venues.

  2. Yes. I (they) did categorize it as an Art Quilt. Sometimes if there was a subcategory of art quilt like art pictorial, I have chosen it, if my quilt was based on a photograph or a replica of an existing architecture.

Mahabat Maqbara by Shyamala Rao
Mahabat Maqbara by Shyamala Rao

I hope you have enjoyed the artists’ contributions as much as I have. We can learn from each other and pass on what we learn, and I think that by continuing to make, show, teach, and sell art quilts, eventually they will gain the respect (and representation) in the art world that we know they deserve.

About Ann Scott

Working with fabric and fiber for over forty years. Design, instruction, and sales.
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2 Responses to Quilts, Respect, and the Art Quilt part 2

  1. I have had six solo shows in recognized art galleries in three different countries. For the last two, I had my pieces framed and hung . I present the quilts as “textile art” and have labels describing the materials and techniques used. I have sold extremely well . I feel strongly that it is time that fabric is recognized as a medium of art expression .

    • Ann Scott says:

      Leela,
      Thank you for the comment. I appreciate that you are a well established fiber artist and have had good experiences. I wonder if framed quilts are more easily excepted as mainstream art. I have always put my heels in when it comes to framing art quilts though I have attached some to canvas. I suppose being flexible regarding their presentation may be the best way to promote quilts as fine art.

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