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Check out the Virtual Tour of the Reflections on Spirituality gallery - it's a whole new way to experience the artwork!
What do you do or where might you go when you seek a bit of peace and quiet introspection? Whether in a cathedral or a meadow, with a group of people or expressed in solitude, this exhibition asks makers to share the moments and rituals that nurture their souls and calm their spirit.
It was such an honor to conceive of and jury this virtual exhibition and I want to thank SAQA for allowing members to gain this valuable experience. The process was both exciting and daunting. To select approximately 30 out of 154 pieces was difficult and we had to make some tough decisions. There could easily have been many more pieces included had numbers allowed. Alison Schwabe, my co-juror, and I had some rigorous discussions, and we were able to see the art through one-another’s lens. Interpretations on the theme were varied and highly personal, which was not surprising given the subject matter.
I began the process viewing the fundamentals of composition, line, form, value, color, etc. Some works were quiet, intimate, contemplative and spoke for themselves to the theme. Still others seemed simplistic in their content but had a more symbolic meaning to their creators. The pieces portraying a quieter emotional narrative made me look more closely allowing the story to unfold gradually. The variety of artworks presented a difficult, yet exciting, challenge.
My approach was not to simply select works that I “like”, or that met my taste. I aimed to select pieces that were cohesive and yet also represented an expansive body of work. There were many pieces that demonstrated creativity, skill, and sensitivity but were not selected.
This juror process has left me feeling inspired and privileged to be among this impressive group of artists. Working as a studio artist is often isolating. It can be intimidating to submit artwork for review and assessment. Putting our art and inner life on display a is a courageous act and I commend each artist for their willingness to share their own reflections on spirituality.
There was a wide and interesting range of interpretations of this exhibition theme. As expected, they included designs based on several artists’ strong religious faiths, with imagery of worship, devotions and meditations. Other entries featured expressions of wonder and joy at the beauties and rhythms of the natural world, life experiences and significant relationships.
My own focus at any art exhibition is twofold – first, I think about the impact of each work I’m seeing, and second, I consider the degree of relevance to the overall theme, if any. While making our selections, Diana and I took care to read every artist statement, but when I attend an exhibition or read a catalogue, I don’t always do so, particularly if a work has already made a big impact on me just from looking at it.
It is a privilege to have seen every entry in this exhibition, and finalising our selections from the strong field was not easy. Thank you to everyone who submitted, and congratulations to those whose work was selected. If your work wasn’t chosen this time, please don’t lose heart, because as every experienced exhibitor will tell you, we’ve all had our share of rejection letters; eventually every work finds its niche spot; and along the way we artists learn more about where our works belong.
The domestic fabric and thread skills learned at home and school when young formed the basis of Alison's textile art which she has been exhibiting for over 30 years. Her work is held in public and private collections in Australia, USA and Uruguay. In addition to solo exhibitions in those countries, Alison’s art has appeared in 5 Quilt Nationals and other prestigious international juried and invitational exhibitions.
Diana’s quilt journey began over 30 years ago as a traditional quilter in Denver, CO. Her work took a turn to contemporary art textiles after seeing the excitement and direction of art quilts in the early 2000’s. What started as a hobby turned into a passion and she is most inspired by nature, interactions, and repetition. Her work has been exhibited in Quilt National, Visions, Art Quilt Elements, Evolutions, Q=A=Q, and various publications.
Margaret Lowers Abramshe (Utah, USA) - Be Present
Nancy Bardach (California, USA) - Ark of the Desert
Anne Bellas (France) - Cathedral of the 1000 Suns
Samantha Boot (United Kingdom) - Of Echos and Traces
Shelley Brucar (Illinois, USA) - Cranes Dancing
Irma Bull (Ontario, Canada) - In the Presence of Something Greater than Me
Amy W Cavaness (Texas, USA) - Through My Father's Eyes
Diane Clapes (Georgia, USA) - Luke 2:19
Shannon M Conley (Oklahoma, USA) - Gloria Patri
Cheryl J Costley (Florida, USA) - In the Kiva
Shannon Dion (Michigan, USA) - Gates of Dawn
Nicole Dunn (New Mexico, USA) - Blessed is the Spot
Andrea Finch (Pennsylvania, USA) - Quercus Falling Leaves I: Frosted Shumard Oak Leaves
Jean H Howard (Missouri, USA) - Eve's Rib
Barbara Corso Ide (Tennessee, USA) - Step by Steppe
Sara Lamb (California, USA) - Maeshowe
Rose Legge (Colorado, USA) - My Morning Bliss
Lena Meszaros (France) - Delights of Meditation
Kathy Mullaney (California, USA) - Walk With Me
Lois Parish Evans (New Zealand) - Tranquil Waters
Lorraine R Parker (Australia) - Jacobs Ladder
Claire Passmore (Mauritius) - In Loving Memory
Karen Ponischil (North Carolina, USA) - Madonna
Wen Redmond (New Hampshire, USA) - Reflection
Judith Roderick (New Mexico, USA) - Reaching Higher
Elaine J Ross (New York, USA) - Beside the Still Waters
Beth Schillig (Ohio, USA) - Wandering 'Round my world
Jan Soules (California, USA) - Quiet Places
Wendy L Starn (Louisiana, USA) - The Woods Are Lovely, Dark and Deep
Lilly Thorne (British Columbia, Canada) - Evening Reflections
Parul Trivedi (Wisconsin, USA) - A Bridge To Success