I’ve had the opportunity in the past few weeks to get out of the studio and attend some panel discussions given by artists, critics and gallery owners. The topic of each was a discussion of the artist’s work and the development of his career. Each was an artist who painted on canvas…a straight forward description…no specialty words needed.
I am also an artist…I paint and I quilt. Umm, that word…QUILT. Many art quilters avoid that word in describing their work. When I first began presenting my quilted work, the majority of my pieces were framed under glass. The photo above is an example of such a piece. Many people thought these pieces were watercolor paintings, but as they looked closer, I assured them they were cottons, pieced and quilted. I did not avoid the word “quilted”. I still do not avoid it when describing what I do. I may explain that I do art quilts or contemporary quilts, for the wall, not for the bed and not using traditional quilt patterns. Over the years I have used fabric art or textile art occasionally, but I don’t feel it is necessary to justify that my quilts are art…whether they are framed under glass or hung freely on the wall. At times, a quilter needs to select a category, or medium, to classify their work for an exhibit or competition, and then the fiber category applies, but in conversation I say I am a quilter. I do not feel I need to categorize myself as a fiber artist…when you talk to me, I use the word QUILT…I am a quilter.
Maybe if contemporary quilts were more frequently exhibited in galleries, the word “quilt” would be used comfortably by more artists. Speaking of exhibits, I have some news…next time…from the studio