Tuesday, October 28, 2014
Heading to Houston
I'm heading off to Houston tomorrow for the annual Quilt Festival.
I have mixed feelings about where I belong in this show.
It is predominantly a traditional quilt show, and the majority of attendees appear to be looking for quilts recognizable for use on a bed, and they're looking for fabrics, threads, patterns, and gadgets that they may not have seen at their local quilt shops. That's not to say that art quilts are not represented. SAQA always has a large exhibit space and at least one more special exhibit has art quilts for inspiration. But it's a quilt show, and that's very different than a museum or gallery show. That's not a bad thing, it's just that as I personally see my work fitting in to more of the latter, I wonder why I'm so attracted to the former.
As I move beyond just looking at the exhibits to hoping to have work in them, or maybe even to finding other textile-related ways to share my talents, I see many of my peers gravitating less towards the Festival, but to the Quilt Market where new fabrics and other products are introduced to shop owners and the like. It seems more and more to me that's where the real networking and opportunities happen. But I don't think it's where networking for textile art exhibits like I imagine for my work happens.
So what am I looking forward to this weekend? Inspiration! I love a good quilt. I love to see what people do with fabric. This year I have a quilt in the annual Dinner@8 exhibit. That's reason enough to go, as I like to see my work "in situ." I thoroughly enjoyed the year the Twelve by Twelve group I belonged to had an exhibit (photo above). It was great to see our work together and it was fantastic to get to know these internet friends in real life! I'm looking forward to the socializing. I get to spend time with a good friend and experience the show with her. I also enjoy meeting other enthusiasts who I may only know from our mutual blog reading or work admired in other shows. Shows like this one in Houston are also a good chance to volunteer for the organizations we benefit from. I always spend some time at the SAQA table where I not only get to meet other SAQA members, but I get to share it's benefits with potential new members or simply those who admire the variety in SAQA's exhibits.
Even though a quilt show may not be the best venue for my own work, I hope to return energized about textiles in general. And I hope to have made some new connections because you never know what might lead to something interesting.