“Then and Now” sampler

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Since so many of you live too far away to see my exhibit at Falmouth Museums on the Green, I thought I’d put together a chronological slide show of the artwork on display. Because I know that you like closeups, the photos are all cropped images, with lots of details to see. The exhibit includes a sampling of pieces I’ve made from the years 1985 to 2014. The most recent effort is “Wee Gathering”, a collection of dolls featured in my upcoming how-to book, Felt Wee Folk – New Adventures: 120 Enchanting Dolls.

It would be wonderful to meet some of you at the museum this Saturday, July 19th from 1:00 to 3:00 pm. there will be some time to chat and mingle and then I’ll give a visual presentation about my work at around 1:30 or 2:00 pm. There’s still time to see the show. The exhibit, “Salley Mavor: Expressions in Stitches, Then and Now” will be on display until August 16th. Falmouth Museums on the Green is located on the village green in Falmouth, Massachusetts and is open Tues. ~ Fri. 11:00 am to 3:00 pm, Sat. 11:00 am to 2:00 pm and Monday 5:00 to 7:00 pm. The exhibit is free to the public.

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Expressions in Stitches, Then and Now

ThenandNow9This past week, I helped install my show at  Falmouth Museums on the Green. The photos below give a behind the scenes look at the process of hanging my framed artwork along with historical needlework and other interesting objects from the museum’s collection. Salley Mavor: Expressions in Stitches, Then and Now  opens today and closes on August 16th. I will be giving a presentation about my work at the “Tea at the Museum” on Saturday, July 19th, 1:00 -3:00 pm. The museum hours are Tuesday ~ Friday 11:00 am to 3:00 pm, Saturday 11:00 am to 2:00 pm and Monday evening 5:00 to 7:00 pm.

If you want to find out which pieces are in the show, refer to the list at the end of this post. Each title is linked to an image or blog post about it. Many works are on loan from their owners and haven’t been seen publicly since they were purchased decades ago.

ThenandNow4To see how the arrangement would look, the curator, Amanda Wastrom cut out paper templates in the dimensions of each frame, which we taped to the wall. We wanted a lively arrangement and played around with the spacing until we were happy with the flow. ThenandNow5One great thing about the paper technique, besides being able to see how the different sizes look overall, is that you can pin point exactly where to nail the picture hanger, right through the paper. We hung some of the textiles from the museums collection using a clever method that involves sticking a metal washer to the wall and using a magnet to hold the items in place. ThenandNow1Amanda and I started planning the exhibit a year ago, when she came up with the brilliant idea of juxtaposing my artwork with historic items that never seem to make it out of the basement archives. We met several times over the winter and looked through boxes full of tissue wrapped treasures. Of course, I was attracted to the textiles, but we also put aside other objects that fit in with the theme. I mounted a collection of old eye glasses and leather doll shoes to hang along side my pieces.

Here’s Amanda peeling back the wall title.

ThenandNow6My husband Rob came by to help install the display case he made for the wee folk characters from my new book (not pictured).ThenandNow7ThenandNow2I really like the way it came out and I hope that many of you who live relatively nearby will make the trip to see the show. Thank you Amanda, Erica, Sue and Rob for your help bringing it all together!ThenandNow8

The exhibit includes 19 fabric relief pieces, made from 1985 to the present. Click the title links to see images of the artwork. The only one without a link is “A Wee Gathering”, which is a case full of sample dolls from my upcoming how-to book, Felt Wee Folk: New Adventures. Since the book isn’t yet published (spring 2015), you’ll have to come see the wee folk in person!

Noah’s Ark (1986); Feeding Chickens (1985); Picking Peas (1986); Mary Had a Little Lamb (1995); Self Portrait: A Personal History of Fashion (2007); Rabbitat (2011); Birds of Beebe Woods (2012); Walking the Dog (2005); Winter Scene (1986); Rana is Born (1991); Pocketful of Posies book cover (2010); Hush-a-bye-baby, page 56 from Pocketful of Posies (2010); Baa, Baa Black Sheep, page 8 from Pocketful of Posies (2010); Jerry Hall, page 23 from Pocketful of Posies (2010); “Rain, rain, go away”/”There was an old woman”/”Rain on the green grass“, pages 32/33 from Pocketful of Posies (2010); “Humpty Dumpty”/”Peter Piper”/ Two little dicky birds”, pages 48/49 from Pocketful of Posies (2010); The Red Chair (1994); Slow Work, Fine Work (2012); A Wee Gathering (2014).

Borrowing from the past

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I’ve been contacting people who own pieces that I’ve made over the past 30 years and asking to borrow artwork for my upcoming exhibit, Salley Mavor: Expressions in Stitches, Then and Now at Museums on the Green in Falmouth. Most of the fabric reliefs are from local collections, so it’s been relatively easy to arrange pickup. And I’ve enjoyed visiting the people who were early supporters of my work in the 80’s and 90’s. It’s been long enough that some pieces have been passed down to the next generation. I’m grateful to the owners for loaning the work, as many of them have never been exhibited publicly. It will be a kind of retrospective show, which covers the transition from my early work to what I’m making now. The exhibit will also include items I’ve selected from the museums archives–stuff that stuck my fancy and seems to go.

Since this may be the only chance, I’ve been removing some pieces from their frames and Rob is taking digital photos. Looking at them closely has brought back memories of the years when I made them. I’m amazed that I was so productive during the 80’s, especially with young children around. In a way, life wasn’t as complicated. We stayed home a lot and I spent every spare moment focusing on my artwork.  I found a wonderful neighbor who ran a home daycare and I worked every evening after the kids went to bed. There were less distractions; we had no TV or computer. Remembering this time makes me nostalgic for a simpler life. I bet almost every person reading this post feels the same. So much for my wistful musings–I’m going to put on my thimble and pick up my needle and thread and get to work!

I hope that many of you will be able to see this show. I will be writing more about it and posting more pictures in the next few weeks. Here are the particulars:
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.

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Mothers

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On this Mother’s Day, I’d like to share some of my artwork that depict mothers. The domestic scene above is an illustration from Mary Had a Little Lamb. And the one below shows the kitchen in my book, In the Heart. 

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This detail from my Self Portrait: A Personal History of Fashion, covers the years when my children were very young and physically attached to me.

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I made this “Old Mother Hubbard” ornament for the Family Trees Exhibit in Concord, MA.

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And finally, here’s The Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe, from my book Pocketful of Posies which peels away the sugar coating of motherhood.

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Noah’s Ark Poster

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I am pleased to announce the addition of another 18″ x 24″ poster to my Etsy Shop. The poster is new, but the original NOAH’S ARK piece was made 28 years ago!

I remember working on it during a transitional period, when I created animals that were similar in size and style to my pins (see them here), which I sewed to dyed and appliqued background fabric. The animal’s legs are formed with tube beads. I also remember finding the orange upholstery fabric that’s around the border while shopping at a large fabric store in Berkeley, CA. I can recall playing around and re-positioning the animals for a long time until they looked right. It was also during a time when I fell in love with hand embroidering little leaves on bushes and trees. You can see some details of the animals and landscape below.

The NOAH’S ARK Poster is available from my Etsy Shop here.

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Close-ups (women)

The women in my artwork are usually busy doing something. They’re harvesting, teaching, doing handwork, cooking, washing and talking, etc. I use arm gestures to bring my figures to life in an otherwise static medium. And I like the keyhole shape that a woman in a skirt makes.

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detail from “Picking Peas” fabric relief 1986

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detail from “Mary Had a Little Lamb” book published in 1995

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detail from “Mary Had a Little Lamb” book published in 1995

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detail from “The Storyteller” fabric relief 1995

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detail from “In the Heart” book published in 2001

The mother in the kitchen is from my book, In the Heart and the last 2 close-ups are from my book, Pocketful of Posies.

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Scheduled presentations in 2014

Beginning this coming Saturday, I will be giving several talks about my artwork in 2014. Some presentations will be to quilting guilds and others are in conjunction with art exhibits. I hope that many of you who live close enough will attend an event. As well as telling the story of my artistic development, I plan to bring along my Self Portrait: A Personal History of Fashion. See the current schedule of events below:

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Keep up with my schedule on the Events Page.

Saturday, Jan. 4, 2014, 2:00 pm, In conjunction with her exhibit, Pocketful of Posies (11/9/13 ~ 2/16/14), Salley Mavor will give an artist talk, “Once Upon a Thread” at the Cape Cod Museum of Art, Dennis, Massachusetts.

Thursday, Feb. 6, 2014, 10 am, Plymouth County Cranberry Quilters, Carver Public Library, 2 Meadowbrook Way, Carver, MA. Members free; guests $5.00.

Tues., Feb. 25, 2014, 7:00 pm Bayberry Quilters ~ Cape Cod Regional Technical High School, Harwich, MA and Wed., Feb. 26, 2014, 9:00 am at Our Lady of the Cape Church, 468 Stony Brook Rd., Brewster, MA. Members free, guests $5.00. http://www.bayberryquiltersofcapecod.com/

March 29, 2014, 3:00 pm ~ Closing event and talk at Gallery 65 on William, New Bedford MA. Pocketful of Posies Exhibit is on display Feb. 27 ~ March 29.

Friday, May 9, 2014, 7:00 pm In conjunction with her Pocketful of Posies exhibit (April 5 – May 27), Salley Mavor will give a presentation about her work at the Cotuit Public Library.

July 4 – August 16, 2014 ~ Salley Mavor: Expressions in Stitches: Then and Now Falmouth Historical Society, Falmouth, MA. Opening reception and artist’s talk ~ Sat., July 12, time to be announced.

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day on the old king’s highway

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This past week, Rob and I spent a day traveling down the Old King’s Highway (Rt. 6A Cape Cod), which is the largest historic district in America. The “old king” refers to whoever was king of England when the route was being settled by early colonists in the 1600’s.  It was a beautiful day to drive through the villages along the way. Cape Cod is many miles long and I don’t often have a reason to travel down Cape from Falmouth, so it was fun to be a tourist for a day. We had a couple of places to go. First was the Cape Cod Museum of Art in Dennis, where I spoke to a group of docents about my Pocketful of Posies exhibit, which will be on display through Jan. 26, 2014. In this photo, it looks like I’m about to launch into a tap dance routine, which I wish I could do. I must just be answering a question or emphasizing some point. I gave some background information about my artwork and career, so that they would have some stories to share with visitors. The docents were an enthusiastic audience, with lots of great questions. They even took notes!

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The artwork is hung low, so that all ages can see up close. I can’t get over how perfect the gallery’s golden wall color looks! And I really like how the frames are clustered together in group-lets.  My only complaint is with the misspelling of my name on the wall, which they’ve promised to correct! Adding the “e” to Salley is a life time job.

ccmuseum4Since we were going to be in the neighborhood, I arranged ahead of time to stop by Titcomb’s Bookstore in Sandwich and sign books. I posed with their Colonially dressed statue out front and noticed our matching coats and hair styles. I should have brought my tricornere hat!

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Their store is in an old house crammed with shelves and tables full of books and incidental gifts for sale. I sat down at the old school desk in the corner and signed a stack of books they had waiting for me. The owner, Vicky Titcomb, has been sending customers down to see the exhibit at the museum. I hope that some of you will take a drive down the beautiful Old King’s Highway some time!

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Talking about my art

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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.

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Poster -Self Portrait: a personal history of fashion, 2007

Poster -Self Portrait: a personal history of fashion, 2007

POSIES comes home

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After 3 years of traveling around the country, I am pleased to announce that the original illustrations from my book, Pocketful of Posies, are coming home! They have returned to my home town of Falmouth, MA for an exhibit at the beautiful Highfield Hall, where the tour began in 2010. Don’t the banners look great hanging out front? The artwork has traveled thousands of miles, having been driven hither and yon and shipped across the country a couple of times. To see a list of all of the past and future venues, visit the Pocketful of Posies Traveling Exhibit Page.

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The show at Highfield Hall (Sept. 4 ~ Oct. 31, 2013) will be the last time that the complete set of illustrations from the book will be shown together. Well, almost all of them will be there. The Old woman who lived in a shoe had the opportunity to live in Azerbaijan, so she’s spending more than a year in the American ambassador’s residence. Read the post about it here. The old woman will rejoin the group when she returns from abroad!

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After the show in Falmouth, the collection will be divided in half and shown at two venues this fall and winter; the New England Quilt Museum in Lowell, MA and the Cape Cod Museum of Art in Dennis, MA. Visit the Traveling Exhibit Page to see the show dates.

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After holding off for most of the 3 year tour, I am glad to once again be offering several originals for sale. Some pieces were sold way back in 2010 and the buyers have been patiently waiting all this time. The framed fabric reliefs range in price from $2,500 to $6,000. The exhibiting collection needs to stay all together for a little while longer, until the beginning of 2014. Then the buyers will be able to take possession of their pieces. Please contact Jen (jnemec@highfieldhall.org) for a price list of available work and information about purchasing a piece. Highfield Hall will handle sales during the exhibit.

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Out of the 51 total illustrations, I’m reserving about 20, making some Pocketful of Posies originals available to show. In the past, I’ve sold just about everything and it’s only in recent years that I’ve decided to hold onto some pieces, with the intention of exhibiting them. I hear all the time that seeing the real thing is a different experience from looking at the pages of my books. With this in mind, it is important to me that my work be shown in public places and be accessible to as many people as possible.

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