This year I went to the SAQA conference in San Antonio. The hotel was on the famous river walk. I came home with many steps on my fitbit, wonderful pictures and with valuable information to help me improve as an artist and art quilter.
During the conference I signed up to have a critique done by Sandra Sider. Sandra has an impressive resume as an academic, curator and artist. The critique session was held in a large room open to conference attendees. Participants brought a quilt and asked for feedback. Both Sandra and the audience provided specific,helpful and thoughtful advice.
I learned so much from this experience. Sandra was able to share how a juror selects a quilt for an exhibition. Jurors look at a small image sent to them digitally. The quality of that image is crucial to even being considered for inclusion in an exhibition.
- According to Sandra, contrast is key. A image that has little or no contrast risks being overlooked.
- Artists should photograph a 12 x 12 inch section of their quilt in an area that will show the juror a process or a variety of techniques.
- Titles that are long or complex won't impress anyone; including the juror.
- Use the artist statement to make clear to the juror what they are seeing and how your quilt connects to the theme.
I brought a recently completed quilt of my daughter Jana. The initial portrait was taken with a cellphone. It had not be selected for a particular venue and I wanted to find out how the composition could be improved.
Both Sandra and the audience had lot's of positive feedback and a few very good suggestions. When I got home I got out my paint brush. The neck needed a little more shadow below the chin. I added this and toned down the area which included a tattoo of a bird. Although I made little changes; after taking new photographs, I believe they improved my chances for being accepted in the next venue.
If you are a SAQA member, I recommend trying to attend a conference. The experience will help you improve as an artist and allow you to meet some amazing people.
Until Next Time.....