Deux Juror's and Curator's Statements
Deux parlant d’une seule voix: two speaking with one voice. This is the expression we have tried to capture visually in the Deux exhibition. Artists were asked to submit up to four works that best represented their artistic voice. Artistic voice is an expression of the artist’s individuality, whether it is spoken through technique, color palette, subject matter, materials, or a combination of all of the above.
As artists, we are constantly told that we must “find our voice.” However, I believe that sometimes the best way to find your voice is to stop looking for it. Henry Winkler said, “Your mind knows only some things. Your inner voice, your instinct, knows everything. If you listen to what you know instinctively, it will always lead you down the right path.” If you do the work, your voice will shine through as long as you listen to that inner voice and make the work your own.
In talking about choreography and dance, Martha Graham said, “It is not your business to determine how good it is, nor how valuable it is, nor how it compares to other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly.” I believe she was talking about being true to your voice and your instinct, and filtering out the external advice of the voices around you.
The juror, renowned artist, teacher, and former SAQA president, Katie Pasquini Masopust, had the difficult task of selecting just 25 artists and 50 pieces of art from the 258 art quilts submitted by 89 artists. Her final selection shows the depth and breadth of the skill and vision of this group of artists. Their individual voices truly shine through.
It was a privilege to be curator of this diverse exhibit. I certainly didn’t envy the juror her task of winnowing down the exhibit to such a small number from the array of amazing work. Anyone who thinks that there isn’t diversity, originality, and individuality in the fiber art arena should take a turn at being a curator.
I would also like to thank the wonderful people who supported and mentored me through my first experience as a curator — Peg Keeney, Martha Sielman, Lisa Ellis, Leni Wiener, Deidre Adams, and Bill Reker.
— Kim LaPolla
Kim LaPolla has been a fiber artist since the early 1990s. Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally. She is currently the director of the Hudson River Valley Art Workshops, coordinating and hosting about 40 fine art workshops in painting and art quilting yearly.
In jurying Deux, I was looking for two great works from each artist. I want to thank everyone who submitted images for taking a chance by entering their work for this exhibition. Thank you also for sending such great works and clear images of them. Having so many to choose from, it was very difficult to narrow the list of artists and their two pieces down to the number allowed for this exhibition.
I felt strongly that each artist needed to show her own voice and that there should be at least two strong pieces that I could include in the show. There were a few instances in which there was one extremely strong piece, but it was not supported with a second piece. There were also some artists who submitted pieces that were so different from each other that I couldn’t see a single voice. Those submissions seemed to be from a search that the artist hadn’t yet finished.
One of the organizational goals of Studio Art Quilt Associates is to show the world that quilts can be “Art.” With that in mind, I chose to include only works that showed the artist’s originality in design and technique.
The works I have chosen encompass a wide range of styles; for example, storytelling, conceptual landscapes, abstraction, and geometrics, to name a few.
Deborah Boschert and Lorie McCown use storytelling to draw the viewer into the visual narrative of their art. Boschert’s Shelter and Stream evokes the tale of a safe home in the woods, using shades of blues to impart the calm and serene nature of the environment. The house itself repeats and complements the calm blues of the surrounding trees and stream. McCown’s Do As I Say suggests a story of a mother and child walking hand in hand through a town or city, inviting the viewer to imagine the rest of the tale.
Abstraction, a method of simplifying, exaggerating or stylizing of subject matter, is represented by Judy Ross’ sparse but powerful garden in Pussy Willows and Priscilla Kibbee’s color abstraction in If Leaves Were Blue. Both have chosen not to imitate nature, but to use it merely as a jumping off point. They focus on the use of color, line, and form to give a sense of their subject matter.
Kit Vincent’s wonderful swirling conceptual movement calls forth the potency of thrashing ocean waves in Moby Dick 2.Serena Brooks’ powerful use of white negative space punctuates the vibrant color shapes in Math Homework. Both pieces exemplify the geometrics style — using predominantly simple geometric forms such as circles, rectangles, and triangles to compose complex, evocative designs.
The conceptual landscapes of Denise Oyama Miller and Carol Larson use color and contrast to successfully infuse the drama and variety of nature’s landscape into their compositions. Miller uses high contrast to confuse foreground and background in her Rialto Trees – Nighttime. You can feel the depth of the night contrasted with the starkness of moonglow. Larson’s watery landscape, Upheaval #10, uses line and shape to visually express the waves and ripples created by the passage of her swimming form.
I hope that the pieces that I chose will show the world that our art quilts can compete side-by-side with paintings for the eye of art collectors and art admirers everywhere.
— Katie Pasquini Masopust
Katie Pasquini Masopust is an international artist, teacher, and juror. She is the author of eight books on art quilting and was president of Studio Art Quilt Associates from 2000-2007.