I am in Tacoma, WA for the 2oth anniversary celebration of the Washington Contemporary Quiltart Association. They are putting on a symposium with some pretty great speakers, tomorrow. Tonight there was a delicious banquet and a retrospective of their evolution as an art quilt organization, given by 4 former president. It was very interesting and comforting to hear that they have been fraught with many of the same problems that other organizations come up against. I am impressed at how far they have evolved and the shows they have mounted.
We arrived in a driving rain storm around lunch time. The we being Mary Maxwell, my companion and roommate for the trip. Mary belongs to Columbia Stitchery Guild and is a new friend. We have discovered that we have a lot in common. Here she is posing with this guy we found standing out in the rain.
We saw one of the traveling Gee’s Bend Quilt exhibits at the Tacoma Art Museum. I was underwhelmed and quite disappointed. Many of these were made in just the last few years and seem to me to be made in an attempt to jump on the band wagon. I was not alone in this feeling. I would have loved to see the original show that started all of the brouhaha. There were maybe two or three quilts that I would call “art.” Otherwise, they were very wonky utilitarian quilts.
The CQA has a show titled Evolution of the Art Quilt which is quite stunning. Each quilt is accompanied by a statement from the quilter with a small photo of an earlier quilt. In most cases, it is quite interesting to see how the artist has evolved.
Here are a couple of bad photos of the scene there tonight.
Our first speaker, tomorrow, is Robert Shaw who wrote the first compendium of art quilts. I think it is called “The Art Quilt.” Then we hear from Barbara Lee Smith, Cynthia Corbin and a panel discussion on Intelligent Design with Erika Carter, Jeannette DeNicolis Meyer and Jill Nordfors Clark. The final speaker is Michael Monroe, the executive director of the Bellevue Art Museum.
I have met some heroines, like Janet Steadman, and run in to friends I have before only known on the internet, like Lorraine Edmonds and Andree Fredette. I am making new friends and solidifying friendships with others who have made the trip from Portland. I’m so happy to be here. Ciao!