Monday, December 03, 2012

Part I: Beginning Preparation for my Deux Entry

After talking with lots of other art quilters at various stages in their careers and lots of other SAQA (Studio Art Quilt Associates) members, I thought I'd take some time to write about my experience of entering the upcoming SAQA exhibit, Deux.

So, I've got five posts. One for each day this week, talking about a different part of the process. I'm certainly no expert. I haven't even been juried into many shows. So, with that in mind... thanks for letting me share.

After a big survey of all SAQA members, the exhibit committee put out a call for entries to SAQA members who have not shown work in any SAQA shows in the past three years. I understand this was a direct response to the survey results. It is a great opportunity for new voices and new work! People like me.

In the past, I entered SAQA's Sense of Adventure and the Seasonal Palette exhibits. I was not juried into either. As you know, there are many reasons an artist may or may not be chosen to have work in an exhibit. Whatever those reasons may be, I feel my work has grown a lot since those entries and I certainly have a slightly larger body of work -- both in number and actual dimensions of each piece. So, I began to think about my entry for Deux.

Entering any show requires careful reading of the prospectus. For this exhibit artists were asked to submit up to four works that best represent their style or voice. Each artist chosen will be asked to exhibit two works that relate to one another in some way. Ok... so keeping that in mind, I knew I wanted to enter four pieces that included the elements I consider important to my personal style: houses, botanical elements, horizontal landscape-like compositions, hand embroidery and surface design.

I had three pieces I felt would be appropriate for this entry.

Green House Manta
(I planned to submit just the center piece of this triptych, thinking that would work better with the exhibit concept.)

Grow Abundant

Spontaneity and Stability 

Even though artists were only required to submit two pieces for the show, I felt my entry would be stronger if I entered four, so I needed one more piece.

I had a piece languishing on my design wall and the opportunity was the perfect push to complete it. It's the finished piece you saw on my blog last week.


Luckily, I gave myself plenty of time to finish. That's another important thing to keep in mind in preparing to enter shows, think ahead. This piece did not come together particularly smoothly and I hesitated often when a design decision had to be made.

Eventually, I finished and began to look toward photographing the work, getting all the details in order and processing the entry.

Then... I looked again at the size requirements and looked again at the pieces I had planned to enter.


Two of the original three pieces I had planned to enter were too small.

All pieces are required to be a minimum of 30" on each side. Green House Mantra is only 26 inches high. Grow Abundant is only 28 inches high.

What now?

Tune in tomorrow to find out what I did next.

I know lots of artists are annoyed by size requirements in shows. I can certainly see the reasoning behind it. How about you?


Karen Amelia Brown said...

You have company.

I thought I was ready to submit four of my best pieces and then read that 30" requirement. the words I uttered were a bit stronger, but I know how you feel. So I am searching through everything to see what I will enter. And, of course, I waited til now.

Cindy Grisdela said...

I'm interested to hear how you solved this one Deborah! The same thing happened to me--all four of the pieces I wanted to submit were smaller on than 30" on at least one side.

Kristin L said...

In a perfect world, I prefer to just make what I am compelled to make, and not worry about show restrictions. But shows have good reasons for their restrictions, so the challenge then becomes whether to make something to fit a specific show or to pass on opportunities if one's current body of work doesn't include an appropriate piece. I prefer those "no larger than," or "no smaller than" restrictions to specific x by y dimensions. I think that strikes a nice balance between the needs of the artist and the needs of the curator.

Vivien Zepf said...

This size requirement is why I didn't enter. I didn't have time to make four entries that fit the minimum size requirement. Can't wait to see what you did to solve the "problem" on your end!

Anonymous said...

Hi Deborah,
I'm in the same predicament! One of my quilts was an inch too small. I came up with a solution
( should be sewing now!!) & time running out. Looking forward reading about yours!

Lisa Flowers Ross said...

I planned on entering Deux as well, but when I reread the size requirement, I didn't have enough pieces the right size.

I had too much other stuff going on to create something new to enter. So I didn't. I wonder how many other people didn't enter because of the size requirement.

Lorraine said...

I was going to enter with a pair of pieces that were designed to go together, but it turned out that one of them was one inch too small on one side, so I blew off the idea. I can see why there are size requirements, but it was sort of frustrating to be so close with a pair of pieces that fit so perfectly otherwise (well, in my opinion, anyway!)