June 10, 2008

Mystery Fern at Images 2008

I'm very pleased to announce that my Mystery Fern has been juried into Images 2008, a regional fine art/fine craft exhibit at Penn State University. The opening reception is this Friday, the 13th, in the Robeson Gallery. I'm planning on attending, and would like to invite anyone who will be in the area. Details are here, along with an excellent essay by juror Dinah Ryan.

For years this fine art exhibit was held concurrently with Craft National, a venerable fine craft show. Last year they combined the two exhibits, which I take as an acknowledgement that the distinction between the two categories is becoming blurred. I feel strongly that art quilts/fiber arts are as valid a form of artistic expression as painting or photography, and it's rewarding to see it recognized in this fashion.

Last year there were three art quilts in the show, my The Organic Garden, and two by Carol Taylor. They were wonderfully displayed in a rotunda off of the main gallery, with three windows that faced a curved interior entrance ramp into the space. From the ramp, you had a tantalizing glimpse of the backs of the quilts. The backs are not generally made for display, but they do often offer a lot of texture and interest, and the stitching outlines the design motifs on the front. Here's a picture of the back:

And here's how it looked inside the rotunda:

This year, from reading the list of exhibitors, it looks like there is one other art quilt, a beautiful work by Cathy Kleeman that was included on the exhibition postcard. I'll be very curious to see how the art is displayed this time.

Here's a detail shot of Mystery Fern, a section with a heliographic print on hemp/silk fabric:

This was originally just my working title for the piece, while I waited to make an identification of the variety of fern portrayed. I never did make a positive id, but I realized that for me this piece symbolized the sense of awe of the natural environment and spiritual renewal that can be found on a good long ramble through the deep woods, so I kept the name.

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