This has been an incredible year for artists working in the quilting medium. And a big year for Nancy Crow as curator.
First there was Color Improvisations 2 at the Tuch+Technik Museum in Neumunster,Germany. Next starting on May 12 is an exhibit at the Riffe Gallery in Columbus, Ohio, Material Pulses 8 Viewpoints, that will feature 8 international artists. This is followed by Mastery: Sustaining Momentum opening on May 28 at the Dairy Barn Art Center in Athens, Ohio, followed by Circular Abstractions: Bull's Eye Quilts opening on August 25 at the Muskegon Museum of Art in Michigan.
What do these all have in common?- Well they are all curated by Nancy Crow and I believe all of the quilts are large. But that may be where the similarities end. Of course since I have no special knowledge of the shows, all I can glean is what I have found on various sites, or by knowing the artists who will be exhibiting.
Looking at Material Pulses- which has chosen 8 artists that excel in Machine Quilting and Surface Design, I can see a wide breadth of artists who all have very distinct voices. It features artists who have varied techniques from Jan Myers-Newbury's exquisite shibori hand dyed fabrics, to Elizabeth Brandt's imposing abstract compositions to Chris Mauersberger's amazing hand work to name but a few. There is a beautiful postcard featuring one of Denise Roberts pieces that graces the front and I am so looking forward to seeing these artists when I am up in Ohio for Master Class.Mastery:Sustaining Momentum, which I am honored to be included, also has a wide variety of styles among the 12 invited artists. I am especially excited to see the work of Arturo Alonzo Sandoval and revisit the beautiful complicated work of Leslie Riley, whose work I have often admired. Nancy Crow and Margaret Boys-Wolf will also part of the gang of 12 and it will be exciting to see their new work. I know that one of the requirements was a large canvas as well as some way of illustrating our thinking process. It will be fascinating to see how others work and see how their works evolve within a series. And a catalogue will be available for purchase starting online through the Dairy Barn on May 1.
One person has written to me to voice a concern that these are only inclusive of students that Nancy has taught. And my rousing answer is- NOT CORRECT. While many of the artists selected have studied at a class taught by Nancy, I know from looking at the lists that this was not a requirement. It is true that a majority of the artists may have studied under Nancy, but I believe that as a curator Nancy was looking for authentic voices and people who have a dedicated practice of art. I will be looking forward to hearing from Nancy how a curator assembles a show. I will keep you posted.