The show.

I am the kind of person who is never completely satisfied. I always want bigger and better, and looking at prominent museum spaces, I was worried about my show that opened at the Aughinbaugh Gallery. Well, I was wrong to be concerned. It was a lovely space and it was marvelous to see most of the Conflict Series hung at the same time. The space was well lit and well hung. And the people were so accommodating and professional. I was feted by the entire Design Department and got to spend lots of time with an old friend, David Kasparek, who I have not seen in 17 years. And, a real treat was that my mom, my sister-in-law and my niece all made the 2 hour trip in from Philadelphia to see the show.

I spent an afternoon talking to some design students. It was so interesting to hear their questions. Everyone wanted to see the backs of the quilts. I got more than a few questions on how I squared using quilting to depict such violent topics. A few felt that it was interesting but strange to see such controversial topics in fabric. It gave me a good platform to talk about the many different kinds of quilts and movements that abound today.
Another interesting element was that looking at the poster and flyers, most of them thought my pieces were paper collage and only about 24" x 24" big. They were absolutely amazed to see the scale and the fact that they were fabric. I am more convinced than ever that scale is critical to my work.

My pieces, with the exception of one, hung straight and flat.... so the many months of unbinding and re-squaring the earlier pieces were worth it. The new backing that I have been using really helps these big pieces stay stiff, and it gave me a great amount of pleasure to see the pieces looking professional.

The next day I spent 4 hours with the Pennsylvania Art Educators Association. After touring the show, I taught a workshop, "Teaching Global Issues Through Art" which was very successful. I felt like I was really giving back! And if it helps young kids learn about what is going on in the world I will be very satisfied.

I hope I have a chance to show more of my work in a series. It makes a huge difference to see an artist's development, and not just one work. I am going to try to work to make it happen.

Photo by Walter Calahan