At the end of September I had the rare opportunity to travel to Boston. While my husband attended meetings for 2 1/2 days, I gave myself the gift of much needed alone time, like a 6-hour date with myself at the Museum of Fine Arts, another date with myself at the Institute of Contemporary Art, and a good hard wander through the gallery at the Society of Arts and Crafts. Did I mention we flew a grandma to Alaska to be with children so this could happen? So many moving parts. So hard to get away.
But the highlight of the trip was driving to Lowell on Saturday morning with the Director of the New England Quilt Museum, Nora Burchfield, to visit their current exhibition "Gilding the Lily: Embroidery in Quilts Past & Present." I was invited to exhibit 8 works for this show in my own "pocket" gallery. In the image below, you can see "Reliquary #8: Scroll through the entryway.
This exhibition will be installed until December 30, 2017. It's beautiful.
It was an incredible honor to be surrounded by 200 years of embroidered quilts in a city known for its long textile history, and have the prestige of representing a facet of this art form's contemporary turn. Work from both the Reliquary and Girl Story series are on display.
I didn't photograph everything in the exhibition, but below are a few broad strokes encompassing historic and contemporary work.
I recommend a good hard wander if you're out that way. You, too, might have a whole new shiny outlook.
I also had the opportunity to talk about my work while Caroline Gallagher created a video of this. I haven't seen it yet, but will link to when it's on You Tube.
Thank you Caroline and Nora for coordinating the effort.
Above is a rare reverse view of the suspended work, "Inheritance," featuring doilies used as "batting" between two layers of silk organza. The "quilting" is done with crewel embroidery wool and a darning stitch.
But enough about my work.
Kelly Cline, Lawrence KS "Champagene & Caviar," 2016. Cotton, silk. Hand embroidered vintage textile, hand-guided long arm quilting (left). Rhonda Dort, Houston TX, 2014. "Second Chances," Cottons, vintage linens, trims & doilies, crocheted pieces, buttons, beads, lace & pearls. Hand embroidery, applique, pieced & quilted. Macine embellished and embroidered.
Also, this happened: I ran into fellow Alaskan artist, Beth Blankenship, who happened to be in the museum on the same day, while visiting her daughter in Boston. Must've been the magnetic north pulling us toward one another, even when far from home.
One year ago on this blog:
Two years ago on this blog:
Three years ago on this blog:
In June, Reliquary #8: Scroll traveled to The Lincoln Center in Fort Collins, Colorado for the 34th Annual New Legacies Contemporary Art Quilts Exhibition, which opened on July 8. The show features 39 pieces from 25 artists around the country -- I was thrilled to be included, and even more excited when the piece was granted the Award for Creative Innovation. I've blogged about the process and impulse behind making this work already, so what I'm sharing here are images from the show, recently sent to me by the good folks at The Lincoln Center.
The exhibition jurors included Jo Fitsell, Louisa Smith, Vicki Carlson and Ellen Martin. Awards judges were Jo Fitsell and Louisa Smith.
I was immersed in the Reliquary Series for 2 years and it's been wonderful to see the pieces all together a few times in various galleries, but just as gratifying to see individual pieces stand alone out in the world (to learn a little more about this series, you can visit the portfolio page, or click on the Reliquary category in the blog side bar... then scroll down).
Many of the artists included in this show have work that is immediately recognizable. I aspire to have that quality as well.
Since I live in Alaska, traveling to see exhibitions is prohibitive for a number of reasons. Unless a friend sends images from his/her own visit, I never see how work hangs together, so it's lovely to have gallery shots.
I haven't received the New Legacies catalogue yet and I believe it will be slipped in with my return box -- which is wonderful -- but I can't attach names to the work without it. I don't want to hold off showing this installation photography until after the exhibition though, since those of you who live closer may want an opportunity for a road trip (I totally would).
The exhibition will be up until September 3, 2016 (Quick, fill the gas tank! Pack the snacks!). Gallery hours are 12 - 6pm, Tuesdays through Saturdays and admission is free.
So, apologies to the artists for not pairing their names to the appropriate art at this time; I intend to pop them into the captions at a later date. If your work appears here, please leave a comment or drop me a line if you'd like your name indicated immediately.
I'm down with that.
At the end of this post is a master list with links to all of the artists, which The Lincoln Center has since provided on their site as well. Our thanks for this.
Congratulations on a beautiful exhibition.
Margaret Abramshe, Mesquite, NV
Pamela Allen, Kingston, Ontario
Linda Anderson, La Mesa, CA
Leslie Bowman-Friedlander, Reisterstown, MD
Marcia DeCamp, Palmyra, NY
Helen Geglio, South Bend, IN
Kerri Green, Dallas, TX
Ayn Hanna, Fort Collins, CO
Rosemary Hoffenberg, Wrentham, MA
Sandra Hopkins, Wellington, CO
Kathleen Kastles, Wailuku, HI
Pat Kroth, Verona, WI
Aryana Londir, Phoenix, AZ
Valerie Maser-Flanagan, Carlisle, MA
Mary McCauley, Fort Collins, CO
Amy Meissner, Anchorage, AK
Melody Money, Boulder, CO
Bob Mosier, Conroe, TX
Clara Nartey, West Haven, CT
Do Palma, Cheyenne, WY
Cynthia Vogt, Kennewick, WA
Carol Waugh, Denver, CO
Shea Wilkinson, Omaha, NE
Marianne Williamson, Miami, FL
Charlotte Ziebarth, Boulder, CO
For information about other exhibitions, please see the sidebar category Gallery Shows, and scroll down to see prior posts.
It's a 5-minute drive from my house to the Anchorage Museum downtown, 7 minutes if you include the time it takes to park and walk in. So my family spends a lot of time there, especially in the winter, and this proximity is one of the perks of living in a small town that has some Big Town feel to it. Half the state lives in Anchorage, so it's all relative: in Alaska, we are the Big City.
And we have a world class museum with excellent exhibits.
And we have our own set of world class concerns that rival those of other Big Cities.
Last night, to commemorate World AIDS Day, 9 blocks of the AIDS Memorial Quilt were on display in the museum's atrium, courtesy of the Four A's (Alaskan AIDS Assistance Association). 12 of the 72 3' x 6' panels making up these blocks commemorated the lives of Alaskans who have died from this disease.
The iconic yellow stars from our state's flag made it easy to find some of them.
Other panels were composed using iconic Alaskan symbols: mountains, Native imagery, the Pipeline, fur.
The ubiquitous insulated Carhartts.
Many held the objects of a life that make us all human.
When this crisis was in its fullest and most devastating momentum, I was in high school and early years of undergraduate school. Too young to lose my community, but old enough to have my shoulders rattled into fear and made to feel like I needed to behave myself accordingly or suffer the consequences. I've talked to friends and family members only a decade younger than I am who don't carry this unease in the same way. If I am half a step removed, they are a full step removed. There is a type of forgetting that occurs when one hasn't fully experienced a horror.
I only obliquely knew a handful of people who died from HIV/AIDS. One was the sweet and gentle man who made all the bouquets for my wedding 22 years ago. Another, an artist.
I didn't take my children with me to the museum last night. A fact that perplexed them, but only momentarily while they dug tunnels in the hard-packed snow in our dark yard and I backed out of the garage, waving. There were a lot of bobbing headlamps and reflective gear out last night -- people running and walking dogs on dry sidewalks. Normally, we have more snow this time of year, but the environment is changing. People call Alaska "Ground Zero," or "the canary in the coal mine."
The world is changing.
The conversations are changing.
Some of these conversations are clever, but so real and contemporary and arresting.
A part of the conversation here can be attributed to the State of Alaska's Wrap It Up Program, developed in conjunction with the Department of Health and Social Services STD/HIV program, the HSS public information team and Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium HIV/STD prevention program. These condom packets are crass, funny, cool and a conversation starter.
More importantly, they'll probably save lives.
One of the first quilts I ever made was from a block pattern called the "Mississippi Wheel of Fortune." It was paper pieced, fussy cut, long arm quilted and before I gave it away as a wedding gift, it won a big purple ribbon at the Alaska State Fair in 2006 and I had a hard time retrieving it afterwards because I had a brand new baby, and at that time in my life, I had a hard time doing anything.
It was a period when I thought I'd probably never do anything well ever again.
My cousins from Sweden visited soon after the baby was born. When we showed them the quilt and the ribbon, someone commented, "That's beautiful, but this is the same kind of ribbon they give the pigs. You should have had a nicer ribbon."
I'm thinking about this quilt right now because it's State Fair time.
Because my thoughts are with the woman I gave it to.
Because I still have two sister pillows kicking around that need retiring.
In the process of trying to find pictures of this original quilt, now 9 years later, I ran across images of cats who are no longer living.
Of a bedroom I no longer sleep in.
Of a baby who is now a little ... no ... a big boy.
Of a man who has a lot more grey hair.
Of marriages that lasted, or didn't last, and others that will always need mending and ongoing care.
This quilt is gone from my life. All I'm left with are patterns dutifully followed and plans that drastically changed, all bits and scraps and the fragility of life.
The ultimate prize.
Artist in Anchorage, Alaska, sometimes blogging about the collision of history, family & art, with the understanding that none exists without the other.