April 17, 2015

In Dreams I Learned to Swim acceptance for Art of the State

I am very happy to announce that my latest work, In Dreams I Learned to Swim, has been accepted for Art of the State: Pennsylvania 2015.

This is a prestigious all media exhibit held at the State Museum of Pennsylvania, in Harrisburg.  There were 128 works accepted from over 1600 entries, an acceptance rate of about 8%.  I've had work in previous exhibits—In 2013 my Silk Mill #3 won the purchase award—but some years my entry has been declined, so I am thrilled to be included this time around.  The quality of the exhibit is always very high.

The opening reception is on June 28th, and the exhibit runs through September 13th.

I’m also delighted because the gallery space in the Museum is excellent; spacious, well designed, and well lit.  This is a very large quilt, so I am limited in finding suitable venues, and the museum is ideal for its display.

As to the quilt itself, unusually for me, I don’t yet have it online.  My personal life has been very full lately—all good!—and this is one of the tasks that slipped through the cracks.  It’s a quilt with a good story, both in its conception and it’s execution.  So rather than reveal it now, I’m going to post it as a work-in-progress as I usually do.  For today I will leave you with this detail shot:

In Dreams I Learned to Swim, detail 2, by Sue Reno

It’s part of my ongoing series The River.

As always, thanks for reading and commenting, and stay tuned for the story behind In Dreams I Learned to Swim.

March 5, 2015

Skunk and Garlic Mustard in Process and Product: Quilting Redefined

Skunk and Garlic Mustard, by Sue Reno I am delighted that a piece from my Flora and Fauna series, Skunk and Garlic Mustard, is included in an invitational exhibit opening tomorrow evening, 3/6/15, at the Sunshine Art+Design Gallery in Lancaster, PA.

The exhibit is curated by Tim Roda, Pennsylvania College of Art and Design, and gallery owner Annie Kerekgyarto.  Here’s the intriguing statement about the concept:

“As contemporary art continually becomes more interdisciplinary, fine art and craft are beginning to overlap.   We wanted to choose a topic to examine this overlap, and felt that Quilting would be perfect for many reasons.  Although quilting is recognized worldwide, Lancaster County's history and appreciation of Amish quilting runs deep.  The American Quilt Society's Quilt Show and Contest is held one block away from Sunshine Art+Design each year, so hosting our exhibition in March was very important to us.  Our vision or goal for the show is to create a conversation amongst the new and old guard while also developing and fostering a larger conversation within the local art community.   
The exhibition will include seasoned artists both locally (Jerome Hershey, Heidi Lietzke, Sue Reno, Joe Hicks, Salina Almanzar, Jessie Gray, Jason Herr and more) and regionally known(Catherine O'Connell, Kristen Morgin, Laura Alexander, Helen O'Leary and more).  We hope Quilting Redefined will become a yearly exhibition, with the goal of continuing to broaden the definition and expectation of art, craft and quilting.  We looked for artists who went a step further than their originally planned design, making intuitive decisions while using a similar process. Additionally, we looked for work that was directly confronting the ideal of a traditional quilt. We do recognize that we left out many traditional quilts. This was intentional, out of respect for the American Quilt Convention.  With the wealth of traditional quilts on display up the street March 11-14th, we wanted to offer a different perspective."


Skunk and Garlic Mustard, by Sue Reno, detail
To me, one of the interesting aspects here is that I also have work in the AQS show, Jack in the Pulpit.  Read about it here. I feel like this is a golden age for fiber artists, we have so many opportunities and venues to display our work!  The gallery is one block down from the convention center where the AQS show is held, so it is easily accessible if you are planning on coming to Lancaster.  The exhibits runs through 3/28/15.

Follow the gallery on
Instagram:  @sunshineartdesign
Twitter: @sunshineartlanc
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sunartdesign

February 23, 2015

New Work – Ice Jam

Ice Jam, by Sue Reno I am very pleased to reveal my latest work, Ice Jam.  It’s my distillation of many visits to the Susquehanna River in the depths of winter, when multiple freeze/thaw cycles have transformed it into a jumble of slabs and chunks of ice.  The ice piles up on the islands and spills out onto the riverbanks.
Ice Jam, by Sue Reno, Detail 1 The center panel of this work is needlefelted, with silk and wool fabric and fibers.  It is stitched and extensively hand beaded with semi-precious stones and seed beads. (All the pictures enlarge when clicked.)Ice Jam, by Sue Reno, Detail 2 The surrounding and supporting quilt is made from collagraph prints onto cotton, along with strips of patchwork.
Ice Jam, by Sue Reno, Detail 3 The finished work is 43”high by 52” wide.
Ice Jam, by Sue Reno, Detail 4 I’m happy with the way all the elements of Ice Jam came together.  It’s very evocative of the experience of visiting the river on a bitterly cold day—a bit surreal and potential treacherous!

To track back the evolution of this work, and see the pictures that inspired it, click on Ice Jam on the sidebar, or go here.

Thanks for following along, and comments are always welcome.

I just noticed that this is post #500.  I don't do it for the numbers, but it still seems significant.  I'm happy so many of you have been along for the journey.

February 16, 2015

Work in Progress – Ice Jam, Update 4


Susquehanna River Ice
Bitter cold, various types of frozen precipitation,  and intense winds are shaping my experience of the world this month.  The Susquehanna River has frozen over, once again transforming the landscape.  It’s a good time to be in the studio, with the warmth of the coal fire, and finish up with Ice Jam. Sue Reno, Ice Jam, Work In Progress, Image 6
I finalized the design and pieced together the supporting quilt, using the collagraph prints and strips of patchwork.  The center portion is plain fabric, as it will be covered by the needlefelted river center panel. 
Sue Reno, Ice Jam, Work In Progress, Image 7
It’s definitely coming together at this point.  The background quilt is being layered and stitched, and the center panel is getting lots of handbeadwork.  Stay tuned for the reveal!

To see the evolution of this work in progress, and pictures of the Susquehanna River ice that inspired it, click on Ice Jam in the sidebar, or go here.

January 26, 2015

Susquehanna River Ice Tour, part 2


The Susquehanna River ice at this point is widely variable, thin in places, with open water, and thick and chunky in other spots.  This set of images from the area around York Haven, PA, illustrate all the variables.
Susquehanna River, York Haven PA, by Sue Reno, image 1
We saw two brave and intrepid, and hopefully well prepared and experienced souls portaging their kayaks across the ice, testing the thickness as they went.Susquehanna River, York Haven PA, by Sue Reno, image 2
They reached open water and struck out into the river.Susquehanna River, York Haven PA, by Sue Reno, image 3
The river was up over its banks in spots, and partially frozen.  The portage goes around the York Haven Dam and the York Haven Hydroelectric Plant.Susquehanna River, York Haven PA, by Sue Reno, image 4
I heard them calling, then looked up and spotted a bald eagle soaring:Susquehanna River, York Haven PA, by Sue Reno, image 5
Its mate was waiting in the trees:Susquehanna River, York Haven PA, by Sue Reno, image 6
The area around the Plant is open to the public, for portage and fishing, and there is a lot of interesting and photographic stuff on site.Rusted metal, York Haven, PA, by Sue Reno
Any hints as to the original pu
rpose of these objects would be appreciated.

Rusted metal, York Haven, PA, detail, by Sue Reno
Susquehanna River, York Haven PA, by Sue Reno, image 7
Where the dam backed up the river, the ice was arrayed in incredible formations of chunks and plates, all jumbled up together.Susquehanna River, York Haven PA, by Sue Reno, image 8
The trip and images have provided further inspiration for my River series of art quilts.
Susquehanna River, York Haven PA, by Sue Reno, image 9
All of these images enlarge when cllicked, and are up on my Flickr site: https://www.flickr.com/photos/suereno/

January 22, 2015

Susquehanna River Ice Tour, part 1

Susquehanna River Ice at Wrightsville, by Sue Reno
The Susquehanna River has partially frozen over, and we went out to take a look.  Veterans Memorial Bridge at Wrightsville, by Sue Reno
We visited some old favorites and some new photo op sites, all on the York County, Pennsylvania side of the river.Ice slabs on the Susquehanna riverbank at Wrightsville, by Sue Reno
The Veterans Memorial Bridge, crossing from Columbia to Wrightsville, is definitely a continuing theme.  I've photographed it countless times, and made artwork featuring it.Sue Reno, The Old Bridge, detail We made a side trip to another favorite site, the Codorus Forge Furnace, on the Codorus Creek that feeds into the river.
Codorus Forge, York County, PA, Image 1, by Sue Reno
It was especially beautiful this day, partially covered with ice and glistening in the weak winter sun.
Codorus Forge, York County, PA, Image 2, by Sue RenoThe moss and lichen coating the stonework was in high relief.Codorus Forge, York County, PA, Image 3, by Sue Reno
The brick superstructure , with ice, and a backdrop of bare trees:Codorus Forge, York County, PA, Image 4, by Sue Reno Veering back towards the river, we passed the Brunner Island Steam Electric Station.
Brunner Island Power Plant, by Sue Reno
It’s a coal fired plant built in the 1960s.  Brunner Island smoke stack, by Sue Reno
The politics of its continued operation are complicated, as per this article in the local paper.Brunner Island ash pile, by Sue Reno
It’s surrounded by giant heaps of coal, brought in by rail, and large piles of ash.

Up next: a lot more ice.

January 3, 2015

Jack in the Pulpit acceptance for Lancaster AQS

Sue Reno, Jack in the Pulpit
What a great way to start a new year!  I’m pleased to announce that Jack in the Pulpit has been accepted for the American Quilter’s Society show, March 11-14,  at the Lancaster County Convention, Lancaster, PA.
Sue Reno, Jack in the Pulpit, detail 1This is my hometown show, so I will look forward to attending it.  It’s a great opportunity to visit and catch up with many of my friends in the quilt world, and to admire the quilts in the exhibits.
Sue Reno, Jack in the Pulpit, detail 3 Jack in the Pulpit is a large quilt, 5 feet high by 6 feet wide, so it will hold its own in the expo center.  It’s a tour-de-force of my printmaking skills, with cyanotypes, heliographic monoprints, and digital prints from my original photographs.  It has complex free form piecing of hand-painted and commercial silks and cottons, and is intensively stitched.  Like most fiberart, it really needs to be seen in person to enjoy all the subtleties of texture and color.

Jack in the Pulpit is an interesting and striking native plant; this specimen volunteered in my garden, in my currant bed, and it took me two years to make the prints because I didn't want to weaken it by harvesting too many leaves at one time.  I worked on the quilt, off and on, for a few more years….making art is not always a linear process! 

January 2, 2015

Spring Thaw for The 100


Sue Reno, Spring Thaw
Spring Thaw is finished and ready to go to a new home.  It’s my contribution to Virginia Spiegel’s ACS Fundraiser The 100. This brilliantly conceived event opens on February 4th.  The first 100 patrons to sign up and contribute $100 will receive a randomly selected original artwork, made and donated by invited artists.  The money raised will put the total for Fiberart for a Cause at a cool quarter million dollars.  For a preview of the outstanding work made to date, check the Pinterest page graciously curated by Deborah Boschert here.
Sue Reno, Spring Thaw, detail 1 
Spring Thaw is 9” high x 11”wide.  The river in the center is needlefelted with layers and layers of roving, silk and wool scraps, and threads.  The river banks are needlefelted and stitched, and I added hand beadwork to the banks.  It’s signed on the back, and I’ve included a rod pocket to make hanging it easy; it would also look great framed.  (All pictures enlarge when clicked.)
Sue Reno, Spring Thaw, detail 2
This piece began as part of my demonstration when filming for Quilting Arts TV last spring.  You can read more about it, and see examples of my other river-themed work, in my previous post here.  I don’t usually work in this size format, so it’s a very nice opportunity for a lucky collector to own a smaller piece. 

Great art, a great price, and a great cause—it’s a win all around!  Mark your calendar and join in on the fun.