Monday, July 5, 2010

juried craft shows--oh those slides

It's July--that means among other things--that it's time to start thinking about shows for next winter and spring. I know--it seems far too early. But deadlines are deadlines. And I for one--don't want to miss applying for the American Craft Council shows.

Now you would think that after 29 years in business this would be a snap. But I always have new quilts to show--and just like everything else--one new slide means that the others may not work. Besides jurors like to see that you have new work and are pushing yourself. Moreover, as you may remember, this year I got wait listed for one show that I felt I should have been in.

OK--I need five consistent images--the jury will see thousands of images. I do know I have great photographs--my photographer John Polak is among the best. But I want mine to create a clear consistent statement in the few seconds they have to observe my work both when they run through it quickly the first time and then when they vote the second time. First hills and shadows.


I am intrigued by this piece--but it is busy. And I worry that the jury will think I can't make a flat quilt will they understand that the illusion of depth is much harder than keeping it flat?  I wonder if this will be the first quilt in my series. Maybe with just other earth tone quilts. That would be consistent. Will it pop? I try dreams of the dawn--wonderful piece though slightly strange colors.

I like it--but I'm not sure. Autumn afternoon is a good stand by--calming while making a statement.

But  this is getting rather dull. And hills and shadows seems out of place with the simpler color studies. I have also not included prairie sky--another major piece that right now I have been using for branding on social media. Is this a mistake? For this show, jurors will know my name. I look at it again.

The application is on Zapplication--the images are square. This quilt is not so there will be some black around the piece--will it look less significant?  And it is blue--does not go well with all the other earth tones. However, I love this quilt--it may be worth it just that. What about a close-up? Two blue pieces, one multicolor, one pure color. I decide that colors of autumn will add diversity.

It does go with hills and shadows in terms of colors and feeling. Dreams of dawn feels like the odd quilt out. The close-up of prairie sky is adding too much blue--but maybe a close-up of hills and shadows will convey the idea that the quilt really is flat. Amazing how much effort can go into making five images that all go together. And Zapplication is easy to use--just follow the directions and upload the images--then play.

I play some more and then decide like the British royal family that I need an "heir and a spare" so I apply for another show as well.  I reread the directions and realize the jury is instructed to read the description of the first quilt. I go back in and make sure I have used my 255 characters wisely. Time to send it off and cross my fingers. Will I regret my decision when I look at it again? Not sure. What do you think?


  1. I think that the juring/picture taking/posting/general hubbub of applying to shows is going to put me under. I go through the same second guessing you do. I feel a lot of my energy and stamina goes to the 'presentation' of the art rather than the making of the art (which is joy). Don't second guess, go with what you love and feel best represents your place in the art heavens right now.

  2. They're all beautiful, but to my eye Prairie Sky is the odd one out. The others all seem to show other earth values to me, and go very well together. But, hey! I love them all. :)

  3. Actually you could be right Annie--argh!!! JAS letsme get back inside and change my images--Zapp doesn't unless I can grovel. It's time to grovel with the best of them.