Friday, December 4, 2015

July 15-October 11, 2016, Art Quilts of the Midwest; National Quilt Museum, Paducah, Kentucky

As part of it's year-long focus on the role of place in quilt making, the National Quilt Museum in Paducah, Kentucky will host a collection of quilts from Linzee Kull McCray's book Art Quilts of the Midwest.  I plan to exhibit One Life, as neither of my quilts featured in the book (Venus Transit, Portmanteau) are available for exhibit at this time.

One Life, 2013

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Poppy Field (aka Cross-Quarter Embrace)

March 2014
I was recently thumbing through a book about weaving when I came across a design that really excited me as a potential quilt idea.  I wouldn't make the quilt in black and red, but this is just a simple way of remembering that basic concept so that I can later have the fun of choosing colors.  One thing I love about this design is that it holds together no matter how it is oriented.

July 11, 2015
I'm advancing the inspiration of this found design (weaving pattern) toward one of my latest creative goals: colossal quilts. I want to make large-scale (~8' x 25') work inspired by my fascination with the patina of industrial objects (boxcars that pass by my window each day, and the fishing boats recently encountered in Bayfield, WI)

July 20, 2015
Cross Quarter Embrace as imagined completed and on exhibit (projected size 8.5x24 feet):
December 2015

It's early December 2015 and Iowa City's had its first snowfall.  I've embarked on creating this colossal quilt, Cross Quarter Embrace, but have struggled to get it off the ground.  My typical use of a variety of tones and fabrics of similar color to create one overall color isn't working for a piece of this scale.  So, I am exploring new options.  As I start down this path, I am reminded of how inspiration comes from so many places - including Keith Haring's iconic Act Up imagery engaged to educate the public about the HIV/AIDS crisis during the mid-80's.  The AIDS crisis was concurrent with my own coming out process and permanently shaped me spiritually, sexually and artistically.  It's funny how experiences, some barely even memories, linger and seep into present-day experience and into that which I feel so deeply compelled to express.  It is through the expression and creation of quilt objects that I come to a deeper understanding of why I need to do so - through the recall of all that has brought me to this present moment.

January 2016

My progress is slower than I would've liked or projected, but I am happy with the results so far.  Life has a way of intruding on studio time.  I'm having some structural problems with the piece being 100% square, but I am hoping that it will "quilt out" in the hand-quilting process.  I will quickly run out of room in my small studio/home to view the quilt in total as I make it.  This will present a  new creative challenge for me which I'm determined to find a way around, as it is critical to step back and view the piece in total to make sure it's working as a whole.  I plan to have the top completed by the end of April 2016 at the latest.

...and on Memorial Day, May 30, 2016, I picked up this project again.  I discovered a mathematical miscalculation in the first section I finished (red/turquoise) having to do with alternating rectangles and squares which resulted in odd/even number of seam allowances per finished sewn row.  I would ultimately decide to "salvage" my second version by finishing it with only square pieces - and it may in fact be my favorite of the three.  In order to avoid total demoralization, I started fresh from the center and will work my way out from there.  My new finish goal is by end of August 2016.

As of September 2016, I had three distinct pieces completed on the road to the final piece.  As of January 2017, I have the mid-sized piece (~8x11 ft) back from the hand quilters, and the binding is on.  I am waiting for the first small (~4x5 ft) "sketch" and the final piece (~7x21 ft) to be hand quilted.  Here are a few more photos:

version 1
version 2
stepping off possible quilting design for version 2
with my hand-quilting broker in Shipshewana, Indiana

all remaining photos are of the final version (3)

 on my way to final version

final version (top only) complete, September 2016

August 2017
Putting finishing touches on the final version which I have renamed
Poppy Fields after this one along Morse Road, just north of Iowa City, Iowa.

laying out 21-foot long quilt to measure for hanging sleeve

January 5-March 5, 2016, Art Quilts of the Midwest; International Quilt Study Center, Lincoln, Nebraska

Drawn from the recent book, Art Quilts of the Midwest, by Linzee Kull McCray, the quilts selected for this exhibition hint at the ways in which the Midwest’s geography, weather, people, and culture influence the work of quilt artists from the region.  The exhibition will be presented in two rotations between January 5 and May 8, 2016.  Venus Transit will be exhibited in the first rotation (January 5-March 5, 2016). 

Thanks to the generous loan of collectors Stephen Kotsines and John Hecht, the IQSC will be exhibiting Venus Transit, one of two quilts of mine featured in Art Quilts of the Midwest.

International Quilt Study Center, Lincoln, Nebraska
Venus Transit, 2012

Pumphrey Family Gallery
International Quilt Study Center
Lincoln, Nebraska

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

April 14, 2015, "Art Quilts of the Midwest" book talk; Iowa City Public Library, Iowa City, IA

Tuesday, April 14 7:00-8:30PM
Iowa City Public Library
Meeting Room A (1st floor)
123 S. Linn Street, Iowa City, IA

Art Quilts of the Midwest author Linzee Kull McCray, foreword contributor and fiber artist Astrid Bennett and I will each participate in this Prairie Lights bookstore-sponsored event.  Linzee will talk about the genesis of the book, as well as featured artists' motivations and inspirations. 
The evening will conclude with a large-screen full screening of my video "A Piece of Me."

 with longtime friend, Suzanne Koury
 introductions by Maeve Clark, ICPL librarian

 Linzee Kull McCray presents
Astrid Bennett presents
With "One Life" (quilt)
With "Map of the World" (quilt)
with Suzanne and my quilt (Map of the World)