I was privileged to visit the Quilt National exhibit in St. Charles, MO this week. It held some surprises. Sometimes it’s hard to see what judges are looking for. Best of Show was a surprise. I loved its abstract-ness in the book, but at the Foundry Center I was viewing it too close so I could not fully appreciate the piece at all. The book is invaluable because it gives insight into what the judges were looking for. This sparked conversation as to how to define the term “ambitious” when viewing the work that was presented. I also find it interesting to read the statement from the Quilt National website, which is as follows:
“Quilt National was intended to demonstrate the transformations taking place in the world of quilting. Its purpose was then, and still is, to carry the definition of quilting far beyond its traditional parameters and to promote quiltmaking as what it always has been — an art form.”
I notice some artists with repeating and similar work have been selected over and over again, which surprises me, especially in light of the word “transformations” in the above statement. When a fairly young art novice such as me can easily recognize the maker of a piece just by seeing the piece, I know the judges can too. There were a lot of new artists in this show which I think is a good thing, if they meet the criteria of the purpose of the show. I congratulate the few who were juried in out of the over 1000 entries. That is indeed a privilege when there are so many to choose from. And I do not envy the judges their task at all!