Saturday, February 11, 2017

What does Quilt National mean to you?

I have used Quilt National catalogues as learning tools for years and years.  I own all of them and refer to them often.  Even living in Northern Ontario Canada, I feel companionship with the excellent artists I meet through their work in the Quilt National biennial publications.  These artists encourage me to continue working.  I believe in the emotional power and the charged beauty of hand stitched bed-sized quilts.
my studio book shelf
I believe that quilts are connected to the bed and all the messy and beautiful things that happen there. Art quilts can carry this deep and primal energy should they choose to.

All through the history of Quilt National, I have found contemporary versions of the quilt - bed - life - metaphor that inspires me so much.  This in spite of the usual description of this exhibition as one that embraces a departure from 'the tradition'.
 After years of trying, I was accepted into the 2011 Quilt National.  It was an amazing experience.
I attended the opening and saw the Dairy Barn in Athens Ohio and met some of my personal art-quilt heroines.  (Judy Kirpich's Circles No. 4 is on the cover of the catalog that year)
My piece (Cross My Heart) was well received.  In the QN catalog (page 58 and 59) it is opposite Kevan Lunney's Archeology: Fragment #14, Enso).  Cross My Heart sold on opening day and a detail of it was published widely on the internet.  Being included in the 2011 exhibition gave me inner confidence.  I began to really trust my own voice.

I am thrilled to be included in Quilt National 2017.  It's the 20th biennial since Nancy Crow founded it in 1979.  One of my heroines, Nancy is one of the jurors this year.
Soft Summer Gone 2016 Judy Martin detail  plant dyed silk with hand stitched quilting

26 comments:

Lesley Turner said...

congratulations, Judy

Gail Baar said...

Congratulations!

grace Forrest~Maestas said...

nothing. it means nothing to me. It is so FAR BEYOND anything to me, my small world
of Making. Which to me is my world, tho small and Nothing in comparison.

Margaret said...

Congratulations, Judy! Alas, like Grace...no...I've never even entertained the thought of entering either QN or Houston. I am slowly moving outside my comfort zone when it comes to exhibiting but those two? Nope! Terrified at the thought!

Vicky aka Stichr said...

wonderful wonderful wonderful!

Suzanna said...

Congratulations! ❤️🌻👏🏼

Tina said...

Such a great honor for your great work, congratulations

Mo Crow said...

congratulations!

Olga Norris said...

How great for you, especially with Nancy Crow on the jury. It will be a show to look forward to, I'm sure.
I'm afraid that I'm perhaps one of the egregious non-traditional folks, but was also delighted to be juried into QN in the past. It is an honour, and a lottery both, I think.

Carol Wiebe said...

Congratulations. Recognition and appreciation are always encouraging.

Ms. said...

Oh congratulations--Your non-traditional tradition is so very special.

Judy Martin said...

The title of this post comes from a question that the organizers of QN asked us to answer for a page in the catalog.

I finally answered it yesterday and the thought process made me realize that Quilt National has been important to me as an artist looking for authenticity in my own voice.

For years I made art quilts based on traditional patterns that I used like a secret code for women. I felt connected to the women artists who had come before me and how they responded to their lives and surroundings by finding the patterns within the patterns. And they found time in those busy lives to lay out their artist souls into large cloth art works and use those art works to cover and protect their families.

In the Quilt National books, I saw that this tradition of pattern could be stretched or outright abandoned and quilts used to communicate personal truths for the artists as if they ere paintings or poems. And as I have matured, my own work has veered away from traditional pattern and become more and more poetic and painterly.

Was it Quilt National that pushed me closer to the creative edge, or was it my recent degree studies, or was it my own slow maturing and finding time? Now my quilts do not rely on the traditional patterns to tell stories.

They do rely on something that lasts from that tradition however. Emotional truth. Hand stitching as expression of body and love. Ideas of protection and safety, destruction and reparation. Mending. Covering.

Vivian Cothros said...

Congratulation Judy! Your work and your musings are very inspiring.

Val Hearder said...

Beautifully said, Judy. We make work from our inner authenticity, and also need those who are our contemporaries and those who've gone before us as touchstones.

Bea said...

I've been to the show a couple of times and it is fabulous. Congratulations...

Maria Shell said...

Congrats Judy! A well deserved honor.

Cris Winters said...

Congratulations, Judy. It looks like a wonderful piece that was accepted. I enjoy your soulful posts so much.

Velma Bolyard said...

judy, congratulations! great news.

Stephanie said...

Congratulations and wonderful!

Mystic Quilter said...

Congratulations Judy!

jude said...

Congratulations.
I must admit I have never looked at Quilt National. I live in a small bubble. Maybe when I grow up!

henrietta (aka ani aka zani) said...

How fabulous. Looking at the list of exhibitors I spotted an old colleague of mine from the days at the Art Institute of Chicago, Petra Soesemann. How small our circles are. Amazing days to come.

Deb said...


Congratulations, Judy!


Montse Llamas said...

Congratulations, Judy! I don't know much about Quilt National. I live too far from America. But I make an idea of how much it represents in the contemporary quiltmaking.

Jane said...

Congratulations! You know I am thrilled for you. This year's challenge has its rewards.

Deb said...

Until the recent change, the quest for QN felt like a two-year commitment to solitary confinement. No more excuses!