National News

Quilt National Exhibit at the Dairy Barn Arts Center

They have announced the Quilt National 2011 winners!

What, you haven’t heard the news? OMG! Where have you been?

What do you mean you’ve never heard of Quilt National—and why should you care? Now, you’re just pulling my leg.

Why should you care? You’re serious? Why should you care?

Here’s Why For an art or contemporary quilt maker, getting into Quilt National is like going to the Olympics or the Academy Awards. To have your work accepted into this prestigious biennial show is a very BIG DEAL in an art quilter’s career.

The entry requirements for this show are stiff and the competition is fierce. Many nationally known, award-winning quilt makers have not gotten a quilt accepted into Quilt National. Unlike a traditional quilt show, this show is about work that is stretching the boundaries of quilt making. The judge’s focus on artistic expression, not stitch length. The goal of this show is to elevate art quilts to the level of ART—period—end of sentence.

Just to be clear, the quilts juried into this show are art—first—and quilts—second. The criteria for acceptance into this show is equal to that of an art show featuring oil paintings, watercolors and sculpture. The shows’ success hinges on the quilts featured being recognized within the art community as art.

Quilt National’s mission focuses on expanding the boundaries of quilt making—in all aspects—from construction to materials. The artists featured in their show push the limits of quilt making. These amazing creations, along with stringent judging criteria force the art community to recognize quilting as a legitimate art form. This recognition not only helps the quilt artist—but all quilters. That’s why this show is SO important. The artists showcased at Quilt National are pioneers. They are changing the way the art community looks at quilts and quilt making. They are at the forefront of quilts being accepted as art—not craft. This is a VERY BIG DEAL for every quilt maker, from traditional to contemporary.

Because of the show’s importance, I thought you should know about it—but more importantly—I wanted you to see the kind of quilts that get into the show. At the moment, I can’t find many photos or stories from the show, but I have provided links to what I’ve found so far. I plan to update this list as I find new things—so stay tuned.

You can find the basic information about the show and the competition here. The links below feature the award-winning quilts, as well as giving glimpses of the show and the people who made some of these extraordinary pieces.

  • The Quilt National Facebook page features the award-winners and has some of the best show photos.
  • Contemporary quilt maker, Tanya Brown had a quilt in the show. You can see it and read about her impressions of the  show and the town.
  • Fiber artist, Wen Redmond chronicled her experience at the opening of this prestigious show.
  • Kathy Loomis, Quilt National finalist talks about Bonnie Bucknam’s Best of Show entry.
  • Naomi S. Adams talks about her award-winning piece.
  • Mary Stoudt is profiled here. Mary’s quilt won the Heartland award at this year’s show. Click here to see more of Mary’s quilts.
  • Deidre Adams has beautiful portraits of the artists and their quilts.
  • Benedicte Caneill shares photos from her experience and offers more to come.
  • Lisa Call offers a few close up photos of her award-winning quilt and plans to share more from her first visit to the Dairy Barn.
  • Susan Brooks talks about her work and the Quilt National experience.

MORE . . . MORE . . . MORE . . . I have been a very busy boy, so I have lots more to share with you this week.

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11 Responses to “National News”

  1. Dot Collins Says:

    Thanks for some great links – they are fascinating. I especially liked “My Space” – I think she captured the essence of my studio. It was good to hear from you – I have been missing your posts. Dot

    • Tom Russell Says:

      Hey there, Glad you have enjoyed the links. I think some of the work exhibited at QN is astounding.

      I missed posting too. I was extremely busy and just couldn’t stop what I was doing to write. I’ll try not to let it happen again.

  2. Brenda Wall Says:

    Tom, I had the pleasure of attending Quilt National with Sharon Heidingsfelder who had many quilts in QN through the years. It was one of the most amazing times of my life. Totally impossible to describe in actual words ( you probably would have no problem). Sharon introduced me as a “cheerleader”, every artist needs one sometimes. It was a joy to be hers.

    • Tom Russell Says:

      Hi Brenda, What a treat. To attend QN with Sharon must have been an amazing and inspiring experience. I can only imagine how exciting it must have been for you.

      I agree. Every artist needs a cheerleader. Sharon was lucky. She had dozens. You were lucky to be the cheerleader by her side at this amazing show.

      Lots of people will be envious of your opportunity. Cherish it.

  3. jayardi Says:

    • • • I too have been seriously missing your presence. I’m looking forward to viewing all the links posted. Thank you for all you do to keep us informed.

    • Tom Russell Says:

      Sorry for being out-of-pocket, I just couldn’t find the time. I’m back though, and will be working hard to make up for lost time.

  4. Clai Duvall Says:

    Hi Tom, Did you know I was born in Athens Ohio where the Dairy Barn is located? I visited Athens in the summer time. When I was a kid, the Dairy Barn was a Dairy Barn. The Dairy Barn is located next to the Insane Asylum — and yes, when I was a kid, it was called the Insane Asylum. I think the Dairy Barn actually provided milk to the residence of the Insane Asylum — I need to check with Mother on that one.

    • Tom Russell Says:

      Hey Clai, I didn’t know all of this about you and your past. How cool is that? I appreciate you sharing your story about growing up in Athens.

      I remember when these institutions were called asylums. I’m so old I remember when cokes were a quarter and school playground equipment was made of steel and grounded in concrete.

      Ah, those were the days. (Can you hear Edith and Archie singing?)

  5. Quilt National by Tom Russell! | Dreamz Happen Quiltz Says:

    […] Tom Russell <<click there to visit his […]

  6. Carol Ann Wilbourn Says:

    Dear Tom, I been to Quilt National twice! What a Show! The Dairy Barn is an amazing experience. Sharon Heidingsfelder was the National Director for SAQA (Studio Art Quilters) and took me with her on two occations. It is really wonderful.
    (One year someone made a wall hanging of ‘twist ties’ and I saw a bed size Quilt made of ‘coke cans’!) Not particularly my cup of tea, but art, nonetheless.
    Sharon Heidingsfelder, Libby Lehman, Robbie Joy (Goddess of the last minute) Caryl Bryer Falert, to drop names of those whose work has been included there.

    • Tom Russell Says:

      Hi Carol Ann, What an amazing experience for you. To go twice—and with Sharon by your side—I can’t imagine how it must have felt.

      You were given the opportunity of a lifetime—twice! Just another example of how wonderful a person Sharon was.

      Drop all the names you want. It was an exciting opportunity for you and I appreciate your sharing the experience with me and my readers.

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