Saturday, April 10, 2010
pride, and a book review
Back in the day, when I was a traditional quilter, each year I would enter the Ventura County Fair. Quilting categories were a subdivision of Home Arts, housed, of course, in the Home Arts Building.
Our agricultural county has its own dedicated fairgrounds to host the annual visitation of carnies and deep fat fried funnel cake vendors, and to showcase our own yearly offerings of hoped-for prizewinning lop-eared bunny-rabbits and homemade apricot jams, and hand-quilted-machine-pieced-queen-sized-quilts.
And every year, without fail, as I walked into that Home Arts building with my quilt, I would look around at all the women offering their wares and feel the simple pride that I think we all felt, that we made this, that we were proud of this, that we were all engaged in something very very fundamental. And we were offering this to be judged.
And what is my point? The making of 500 Art Quilts shares the same sensibility, and that is the book's strength. Though the major players in the world of art quilts are indeed represented, so, too, are those who more quietly produce delightful and sometimes spectacular art, and these are names we have never before seen.
Lark Books put out a call for submissions, and smartly engaged the founder and president of Quilts, Inc., Karey Patterson Bresenhan (also director of the International Quilt Festival) to be the juror. Anyone could submit work to be judged. The result is a beautiful collection of very contemporary work, usually one, at most, two quilts per page, that, to borrow a phrase I recently read somewhere, is not just eye candy, it is "eye protein."
I recommend this book as a necessary part of your art book collection. And to those who submitted their work to be judged, thank you.