PIQF 2012

I’ve been meaning to post for several days, but haven’t gotten around to it. Life has been … interesting.

Each year at PIQF time, I vow that I won’t go flitting off to the show every day, shades of a former co-worker who’d evaporate when the Grateful Dead came to town. However, this year I did it again:

Thursday: “Boy oh boy! It’s the first day of the show! I want to see the exhibits and cruise through the vendor area!” I bumped into Sheila Frampton Cooper, so it was actually good I went. She’s cool, in case you were wondering.

Friday: “Hey, I have a friend who hates sewing and has very little interest in the fiber arts. Why don’t I make her go?” We’ll see if she answers my phone calls next year at this time.

Saturday: “Say, Kathy Nida’s making a quick run through town to see her exhibit, “I’m Not Crazy.” Why don’t I go plague her?” And indeed, she did come down with the plague.

Sunday: “Oops! Last day of the show! I’ll need to boogie over and pick up my work afterward and, say, why don’t I go early and take one last cruise through in case I missed anything?” The place was so dead you could practically hear crickets. It turns out that the last hour-and-a-half of a show is a GREAT time to go through, snap photos, and shop.

This was a nice surprise, given for Flooded:

I’m glad to have it, but I thought it was an interesting choice given the huge quantities of meticulous, intricate stitching on display throughout the show. While I admire such stitching, it simply isn’t my style. My own work has a more organic (*cough* messy *cough*) quality. I’m not particularly concerned with meditative stitching exercises on par with creating Buddhist sand paintings, such as rendering lovely feathers and precise spirals. I regard the stitching more as a tool to create marks and texture, much as I would when sketching with pencil or pen and ink. Anyhow, it’s appreciated, and it sure beats the heck out of a poke in the eye with a sharp stick.

I was also delighted at the lack of comments about “nice, full binding” this year, which I’m sure are a bore for both the judges and me. (Not intended as a poke at the judges … I’m aware that they have hundreds of pieces to view and about one minute to assess each.) I do wonder, though, if I’ll ever receive another comment sheet which says “loved the rivets”.

It was a good show, all in all. Despite my previous mutterings about creases and people feeling obliged to pet my work, everything escaped crease-free and there were plenty of white glove volunteers on hand. People still ran their hands across my work, but at least it wasn’t as bad as last year. I lucked out and A Gift From Earth, which is primarily white, was hung next to someone’s extremely long piece. That work had to have a chain strung in front of it to keep people from stepping on it, so I got to freeload off the chain.

I took a number of photos but unfortunately, I shouldn’t share them. People have been posting images from this site on Pinterest without asking me or crediting the artists. That may seem innocent, but some artists just plain don’t want their work distributed on Pinterest for copyright and other reasons. There was a bunch of stuff I hope people will go see elsewhere, though:

Charlotte Kruk’s dress – Holy cow. Charlotte Kruk has struck again. I’ve been infatuated with her work for about six years, ever since I first saw a matador’s cape and a suit of lights she created from M&M wrappers. This year she exhibited a fantastic gown, Let Me Make Cake, created from the likes of sugar and flour packaging. You can see the lady in action here, waltzing down the runway in her creation.

I’m Not Crazy – This is a SAQA-affiliated exhibit which is traveling the country, curated by Kathy Nida and juried by Sue Reno. It contains some interesting meditations on the nature and effects of mental illness, and I’m happy to report that only one of them depicts a brain, an innovative rendering at that. (When the show was announced, several people reported that they had the PERFECT idea for a piece. Almost always, that idea was a giant rendering of a human brain. I began to fear that the exhibit would be targeted by brain-craving zombies.)

Allyson Allen’s exhibit on black history. Some of these pieces constitute a visceral introduction to the poison of slavery and the race-related issues which continue to plague the United States. I was particularly struck by an ad for “ninety-four prime, healthy negroes” juxtaposed with a cross section of a ship showing the people chained down, flat on their backs. Think about what that means: chained down. Once in awhile maybe the people got unchained, brought up on deck, had the feces and vomit hosed off, had anybody dead or too sick tossed overboard. Sometimes halfway healthy people decided to jump overboard as well, so miserable they sought death. That and other atrocities are part of our nation’s fine legacy.

World Quilt Show – this is a traveling exhibit of (I think) the New England World Quilt Show winners. This is well worth a visit if you can see it at another Mancuso show. I’m always struck by how different some of the work from other places, such as Japan and South Africa, is. There are also some personal favorites from the U.S., such as Betty Busby and Marilyn Belford.

On a related topic, IQF Houston is coming up in a couple of weeks. Although I have work in that show and in the show magazine, I’m not attending this year.

A new piece in my Domestic Mayhem series, Balancing Act, will be offered in IQA’s Silent Auction. I’ll be posting a photo and some details about the piece in another week. Stay tuned.

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