Cartoon my Hugh MacLeod.
I apparently have not learned my lesson and this evening I posted some comments on yet another group blog. Okay – everyone just shoot me. I hardly need another art and perception incident and I suspect my opinions are probably not going to be very popular. At least I’m in no way involved with the admin of the blog and never will be.
The topic is why quilts are not respected in the larger art world. The poster theorized it because quilters don’t make enough "statement" work. Sure the art world seems to lean towards content these days but there is plenty of other work being done that I don’t buy this as the real answer.
You can read the post here: Ragged Cloth Cafe
My comments are here:
My third comment that expanded on my theory got held for moderation but I thought I’d post it on my blog and see what you all think about my theory…..
To expand on my thoughts about there being too many venues to show the bad art. I know this isn’t exactly worded as an opinion but that is what it is – I’m not saying I’m right – but I do think it is worth thinking about.
I think in other art forms the top artists don’t waste their time on juried group shows but in the quilt world I don’t see that happening. Sure there are a few top top names that have walked away from them but these shows can still draw work from some of today’s top quilt artists. So they still have clout with art venues and are easy to book. But there are just too many of these shows to fill with really top quality work so they end up being very mixed shows – many reviews I’ve read point this out (as does my own experience).
I’d like to see the top artists leave many of the juried shows behind and move on. This would leave juried shows as the place for those just starting out – absolutely essential – I’m not saying all juried shows should go away. But I think the relative importance of such shows is the problem.
I hate to refer to the same guy but Edward Winkleman did a really great post on why he feels too many juried shows are a problem for an artist. You have to read the comments also to get all of his comments – but the key word is overexposure. Also look for a post on June 29th about what to put on a resume – priceless information coming from a gallery owner – Winkleman ‘s Post.
Juried shows are a great place to start but after a while it’s time to take ones career further. I’m very guilty of sticking around those shows way too long – they are easy (I suspect most top quilters get into just about all of these they enter – I know I do – there isn’t much challenge). But it’s only a great way to pretend your career is going somewhere – but the reality is it is not. This is my 3rd year in quilt national and I can assure it is neither a start nor and end of a professional art career – it’s just yet another show and another line on the resume that the larger art world really doesn’t care about.
I’m not sure what the problem is with we quilters – why we don’t move past the juried shows quicker? Is it the traditional quilt world that gives these shows more importance than they deserve? I know the large quilting lists put a significant amount of importance on these shows – ones standing in the art quilt community seems to be closely tied to the list of juried shows one has gotten into.
Another caveat – I know many (the majority?) of "art quilters" are not looking to be professional artists and they would probably read what I wrote and say that getting into juried shows is their only goal. I think that’s great – we all need to do what is right for us – but I’m not talking about this group of quilters. I’m talking about the group of quilters that do want more from their art career. Those of use looking to make it as a professional artist.
Maybe the problem is there really aren’t that many quilters looking for more? We all say we want respect in the larger art world but if all we have as a goal is getting into Quilt National what do we need that respect for?
So what do you think?