I have finally updated my website. If you are just interested in the new pieces, you can scroll down on the first, home page, to new quilts and take a look. The new pieces are in the abstract gallery and the sun gallery. I have posted all of the pieces made for Quilting Arts Magazine along with several other new pieces, several of which have been shown here but have now been professionally photographed.
The Art Quilt list is back to "Is it art?" again. Unfortunately, too many people just don't get the big picture. There are so many levels to this whole question. Anyone can call something art but then, the question is, is it good art? I get very few quilting magazines and many more art magazines. It is really interesting to see what is being presented in the world of painting as opposed to quilting.
I think that pieces that are art quilts that show up in quilt shows are not always very good art. Sometimes they just try too hard.
Textile pieces (quilts, fiber, etc) that show up in art shows are another matter. They are juried in based on the art and workmanship. ( and I don't mean the stitches to the inch type of workmanship, but the overall quality). And the heavily embellished pieces don't usually make it to art shows. I think that if one really wants to see art, that happens to be fiber, would be in the shows that Joanie San Chirico curates. Not the type of work that the people on the art quilt list do!
It is also so sad that people are quick to negatively comment and miss the entire idea of the comments made on the list. I believe that most of those who get defensive are, unfortunately, those whose "art" is the weakest. The reason behind my doing the articles for Quilting Arts was to help educate people about the art part of quilting. Embellishment, new techniques, etc., do not make art. If you look at some of the modern art, it really isn't about the finished product, but about the experience of the creation...therein lies the art! Creating is a process and works best when one understands the rules of the medium used. Once one firmly grasps the rules, then they can be broken with knowledge and intent.
I used to do a lot of pottery on the wheel. I really loved it and admired those who did distressed work...work that had bangs in to them, etc. But I couldnot flop a pot off kilter until I had learned to make one that was perfectly centered and even. Then, the piece was strong enough to get whopped and whacked out of round! But it had to have been made properly before I could do something else with it.
The same goes with art. If one has not learned to use the medium correctly and well, then it just doesn't work. There will always be art that is considered outsider art...that which defies all of the rules but somehow works. But we generally see too many "technique" pieces at quilt shows and not enough art. The comments about older work being art is so true. But not all older work fits the art definition. The good, old pieces have outstanding use of color, balance, design and workmanship that are so often missing in today's art quilt world. As Rayna Gillman says, we are too insular and need to get out in to the world (well, she sort of said that!)