The Birds and Rabbits seem to travel together as a pair these days. Ok, I’m talking about my two fabric relief pieces, Birds of Beebe Woods and Rabbitat. They were at the Chandler Center in Arizona last fall and now, they are part of Fiberworks Plus at the Cahoon Museum, Cotuit, Massachusetts until April 19th. I’m happy that they are being displayed out in public, so that more people can see them. That’s the primary reason I’m not selling them.
For those of you on or near Cape Cod, I will be giving a talk at the Cahoon Museum on Tuesday, March 24th at 11;00 am. The museum is undergoing renovations, so the exhibit and my talk will be in their temporary location in Mashpee Commons.
The two pieces will be traveling together again later this year, when they go to Winconsin, Oct 21. 2015 – January 10, 2016 for Insects to Elephants at the Wisconsin Museum of Quilts and Fiber Arts in Cedarburg, Wisconsin.
Here’s a mosaic of details showing the process, as well as the two finished pieces:
detail from Rabbitat 2011
Look what came in the mail today! A pack of note cards that feature the unique works of SAQA (Studio Art Quilt Associates) Professional Artist Members. 10 art quilts are in the set, including my Birds of Beebe Woods piece. I feel honored to have my work selected for this collection, which represents the broad range of styles and techniques identified as “art quilts”. Card sales will benefit SAQA and are sold at a very reasonable price on their website here.Just as a reminder– I sell cards as well and have 2 detailed images from Birds of Beebe Woods (shown below) in my Etsy Shop here.
FYI – Birds of Beebe Woods, as well as many of my original fabric reliefs from the past 30 years will be included in this upcoming exhibit:
July 4 – August 16, 2014 ~ Salley Mavor: Expressions in Stitches: Then and Now Falmouth Museums on the Green, Falmouth, MA. Historical needlework from the museum’s collection will be exhibited alongside the contemporary embroidered artwork of Salley Mavor. Sat, July 19th – “Tea at the Museum” and Artist Talk – 1:00 -3:00 pm.
Cards – Birds of Beebe Woods
I returned from our trip to Cuba (see posts here) to find my Birds on the cover of the March issue of the Embroiderer’s Guild of America’s Needle Arts Magazine! Of course, I knew about the article, but I was unaware that my piece would be on the cover, so it was a nice surprise. Thank you, Shirley Wozena, for describing my work so well in the article. Mary Corbet’s Needle N’Thread blog has a post about this issue and EGA in general.
It is gratifying to know that many of the magazine’s readers have been introduced to my work for the first time. The article shows photos of the process of making the Birds of Beebe Woods, which are some of the same pictures I’ve shared on this blog. I’ve heard from people who want to know if I have instructions or a kit to make their own. Embroidery and needlework has a strong tradition of copying and learning from patterns and directions, so it’s a natural assumption that I would share my techniques. I’m glad that embroiderers are inspired to learn more, but honestly, I can’t imagine revisiting this piece like that and writing out detailed directions.
Yes, I post photos of general steps along the way and have written how-to instructions for the dolls in Felt Wee Folk, but it only goes so far. For instance, in the past, some have expressed frustration that I haven’t shown detailed instruction on how to form hands and fingers. My answer is that I consider the more involved process of making my fabric reliefs a proprietary personal expression that I’m not sure I can explain effectively anyways. My work requires a non-analytical approach that I don’t want to tamper with. For me, recounting the process would be going back in time, instead of moving forward. And, I don’t want to ruin the magic, because that’s what keeps me excited about making the next piece!
This month has been an embarrassment of riches, in the magazine department. Because of postponements, it just happened that everything came out in March. In addition to Needle Arts, there was the Cape Cod magazine profile. The Horn Book Magazine has my essay, “The Common Thread” in their March/April illustration issue and Fiber Art Now has included my Birds piece in their On View feature.
The Birds of Beebe Woods is currently on display at Artworks in New Bedford, MA. It’s part of the Fiber in the Present Tense exhibit, which runs through March 29th. If you get there, please be aware that Gallery 65 on William is just around the corner, where 28 original illustrations from Pocketful of Posies are being shown, (hours: W, T, F, S 11:00 – 5:00).
I will be out of town and won’t be able to attend their openings, which are both on Sat., March 8th from 3 – 5 pm. But, I will be giving a lecture at the closing reception for the “Posies” exhibit at Gallery 65 on William on Sat., March 29th, 3 – 5 pm. I hope to meet some of you then!
I just received confirmation that the Birds of Beebe Woods has made the trip across the country safely! So far, this piece has been exhibited in Massachusetts, Kentucky, Texas and now Sebastopol, in northern California. The “birds” have traveled snug and protected in a custom crate that Rob made. Besides being a wonderful husband who builds crates (see below), he makes the wooden shadow box frames, photographs my artwork (including the closeup below) and sets up the equipment for my presentations. I am so lucky to have had Rob’s consistent support all these years. We recently figured out that we have been together for 35 years!
October 24 – November 30, “Birds of Beebe Woods” will be exhibited in Innovations in Fiber Arts VI, Sebastopol Center for the Arts, Sebastopol, California. A flyer for the event is at the end of this post.
It should be a very interesting show, but it’s too far for me to travel for the opening. I will continue to enter the piece into juried exhibits, with the goal of having it seen in as many different locations as possible.
blow up image of 2″ x 3.5″ detail from “Birds of Beebe Woods
I’ll be talking about my art in this room at Highfield Hall in Falmouth, MA, this coming Sunday, Oct. 6th at 1:30 pm. The space will be transformed into a lecture hall with chairs, darkened windows and a screen for my presentation. I look forward to sharing the story of my artistic journey through photos and recollections. 50 original fabric relief illustrations from Pocketful of Posies are hung all over the first floor of the mansion until Oct. 31st. I love having my work shown is such an inviting and beautiful place!
Just for the event on Oct. 6th, two extra pieces will be displayed on easels; Birds of Beebe Woods and Self Portrait: A Personal History of Fashion. The “Birds” piece is home for a short time, between shows, so I thought I’d take it along for an outing. The next day, it’ll be crated and shipped to Sebastopol, California for Innovations in Fiber Arts VI at the Sebastopol Center for the Arts. My Self Portrait is on semi-permanent display at the Woods Hole Public Library, so I’m borrowing it for the Highfield event. We’ll also show a short film my husband Rob and I made about the self portrait. I hope to see locals as well as out-of-towners on Sunday. Be sure to come early to claim a seat and look around at the exhibit!
FYI, I will be speaking to several quilt guilds from Cape Cod to Boston this coming winter. See the schedule on this page.
Poster -Self Portrait: a personal history of fashion, 2007
Poster – Birds of Beebe Woods
I am pleased to announce that Birds of Beebe Woods has received the Juror’s Choice Award in the New Legacies: Contemporary Art Quilt Exhibition! The show will be on display until August 31st at the Lincoln Center Art Gallery, Fort Collins, CO.
Posters (pictured above) are available from my Etsy Shop.
In the past year, the original “Birds” has been displayed in Falmouth, MA, Plymouth, MA and Paducah, KY. I’d like to have the piece shown in public in other locations around the country, so that more people can experience the embroidered details up close. I’ll continue to enter it into juried shows before it ages out, since most exhibits have a date of completion requirement. There’s always the question of which shows to enter. My work doesn’t easily fit into a category, so I usually broaden my search to include shows looking for fiber art, illustration, fine crafts, needlework, mixed media, collage and art quilts. I’ve found that a lot of quilt shows have narrow eligibility requirements, so I pass over most of them. I consider the venue, location, prestige and length of the exhibit to determine if it’s worth the expense of shipping a heavy crate. Then, I look at the jurors’ artwork and gauge if they might be receptive to my combination of techniques and style. So much of the selection process comes down to personal taste. To some, the narrative nature of my work comes across as sweet and precious and it doesn’t fit with the other more intellectual artistic explorations. My work is so outside of the abstract and edgy trends found in today’s art and fine craft world. I admit to being oblivious to what’s going on out there and find the art scene perplexing. Instead of trying to fit in, I will continue to do as I’ve always done; let my art lead the way. And as long as I keep making new pieces, I’ll find a way to have them seen in public!