Took a whirlwind trip up to Beantown: got to meet some amazing artists, got scholarly and then a bit dishy with Danielle and Rachel, learned about the super friendly nature of the decorative gourd community [I tried not to giggle, but BLAMMO!] , met new friends (who drove in from Maine!), reconnected with some other dear friends, and tried to be articulate about quilts, cotton, and cotillions. Taking this trip truly was the best thing I’ve done for myself this year.
Unfortunately, I left my ‘real’ camera at home, wanting to pack light and wanting, for once, not to hide shyly behind my camera. All I have is this mish-mash of fruit-phone snapshots that don’t tell the whole story. Part of me wants to just toss them up into this post out of context, but I’ll hint at snippets about the snippets.
Wednesday, 8am: At Newark Airport.
Why, yes, that is a gigantic Barbie doll. No, no one would catch my gaze to confirm that this is…ahem…right? Eh, okay.
9:45am: Landing at Logan in Boston, they do this great dog-leg turn out past the coast. It’s a beautiful fly-by, especially while the sun is still low in the sky.
10am-2pm: A blur of caffeinated conversation that was stimulating in a million ways.
2:30-ish: Loitering in the gallery alone, taking shots on the sly. Danielle and Rachel put together an interesting collection of works to compare and contrast ways one may challenge the artistic boundaries of the quilt. I’ll just show you a couple of them.
The work in the foreground here is Fallen by Kyoung Ae Cho; it’s leaves sandwiched between layers of silk with simple embroidery embellishment. Over time, the leaves deteriorate and the work transforms.
Here it is up close.
Sculptor Andrew Mowbray‘s Tyvek quilts are compelling in another way. His samplers, like this disco one, question our notion of masculinity. And he uses simple symmetry to patchwork the material together into a rather classical design in his The Science of Miracles.
5pm-ish There was a panel discussion with the organizers and Andrew, me, and embroiderer Jan Johnson. I hardly recall a word I said, however I feel I learned a great deal from everyone else about many, many things. [You will be able to read more about these artists and other "modern" quilters in Rachel's new book starting in January.] All in all, it was an honor to be included in this show and on this panel.
And I was so heartened to see familiar faces in the crowd there. In particular, my buddy Kristen drove down from Maine with her mom! It was so sweet of them to come and even sweeter that they brought whoopie pies—a Maine delicacy.
The way to my heart is through my sweet tooth. And that maple one smells like the heaven that was my grandmother’s busy baking kitchen on cold winter days. Thanks again, Kristen!
Thursday, 7am: My driver to the airport was this sweetly curmudgeonly Frank O’Sullivan, who has a great Boston accent. Although I think he price-gouged me on the fare, he got us ahead of rush hour traffic on the Mass Pike and grumbled the whole way anyway.
7:45am: And if you get to the airport early, you get to have a real breakfast.
Those were some goooooooooood homefries.
9:07am: And then it’s time to move on.
Got to do some knitting on the handspun blanket on the plane. Luckily, I only dropped the needle once and I didn’t run out of yarn.
Thanks for indulging me in my show-and-tell. I hope you had a great week and that the weekend ahead is restful and productive!