There were many beautiful quilts in Houston a few weeks ago and many special exhibits. I’d like to highlight my personal favorite: Seasonal Palette sponsored by the Studio Art Quilts Associates.
all photos courtesy of SAQA and gregory case photography
This was the most beautiful exhibit at International Quilt Festival for sure! Of course ALL of the quilts in the center are amazingly beautiful examples of their craft and high examples of fine art but there is something to be said for a cohesive exhibit and stunning presentation. Let me explain why.
Setting: Each quilt in and of itself was beautifully done and lovely to see but this is a case of the sum being greater than the parts.
It was the only exhibit in the show (that I saw) that was isolated from other exhibits. When you were in the “room” created by the free standing walls the rest of the show quilts were blocked out from your view. All you could see was the seasonal palette artworks. Each was hung with plenty of space around it.
The signage was subtle but clear and did not interfere with the visual flow of the exhibit. I love seeing all the extras that go into making each work and the idea of having binders available that documented the process of each quilt is delightful. Having these on tables in the center of the large gallery space allowed them to be separate from the artworks and not interfere with seeing the actual artwork.
Having benches to sit and view the work was inviting – I always love being able to sit still and take in an exhibit, especially at an enormous show like the International Quilt Festival. Your feet simply get tired. Taking a moment to sit and rest among such beautiful artworks is a welcome and peaceful respite.
Visual Cohesion: The theme of seasons worked very well in creating a flow of color and subject that moved the eye beautifully from one work to the next. Not a single piece appeared out of place.
So many times when hanging exhibits there are artworks that are very strong on their own but do not “play well with others.” It is always a struggle to hang a cohesive show and give each artwork and each artist a space that will show the work to best advantage. Each work here was on equal footing.
Because each artwork was the same size and format the entire exhibit presented as one stunning whole. There were plenty of other spectacular quilts on display at IQF but this exhibit had, by far, the greatest impact on me. The larger scale of each quilt and the way the entire exhibit read as a whole created something beautiful and much more impressive than the impact each piece would have made individually.
You can see all of the quilts by clicking on any of the pictures above and going to the show’s website. The catalog is beautifully produced, hard cover, and worth owning. Each quilt is beautifully shown and there are some lovely extras (process shots etc.) in the back.