Exhibits and book signings this fall

The next few months are shaping up to be a busy, so I thought I’d give an update of events happening this fall. Coming right up, on Friday, Sept. 16th, is the opening for Intertwined: Needle Art of Salley Mavor at the Bristol Art Museum. Then, there will be a couple of book-signings in New England, one at the Osterville Village Library and the other at RISD in Providence (details listed below). And then, I ‘ll be on the west coast! Oct. 30th at 2:00 PM, in Portland, Oregon at A Children’s Place. I hope to meet many of you in person at these events!
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Bristol Art Museum Presents
Three SOLO Exhibits
September 16 – October 30  |  2016

The Catacombs | Thomas Lyons Mills
Mythical Beings Ellen Blomgren
Intertwined: Needle Art of Salley Mavor ~ The exhibit will show several new pieces, including Displaced.

Opening Reception: Friday September 16th  |  6:30-8:30pm
Bristol Art Museum – 10 Wardwell Street / Corner of Hope Street  |  Bristol  |  RI
Regular Museum Hours – Thursday – Sunday   |   1-4pm

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Detail from “Displaced” 2016

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Until Jan 8, 2017 ~ Salley Mavor’s artwork is in the Geometry Gallery display case at Providence Children’s Museum, Providence, RI. Selected wee folk dolls, houses and props from Felt Wee Folk – New Adventures, plus 2 original fabric relief illustrations from Pocketful of Posies are on display. Weefolk-1

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Sat., Oct. 1, 2016 at 11:00 am ~ Salley Mavor will participate in the Author Panel and Book Signing, Children’s Fall Festival Osterville Village Library, Osterville, MA

Sat., Oct. 8, 2016 at 2:00 pm ~ RISD READS: Children’s Book Reading and Signing – Rhode Island School of Design, ISB Gallery, 1 Washington Place, Providence, RI. RISD alums Salley Mavor ’78, Stuart Murphy ’64 and Juana Medina ’10 will talk briefly and sign copies of their books.

Sunday, Oct. 30, 2016 at 2:00 pm ~ Salley Mavor will talk briefly about her artwork and sign books at A Children’s Place, Portland, Oregon.

The ups and downs of exhibiting your work

Let’s be honest. Finding places to exhibit your work can be challenging and frustrating. I’ve been entering juried group shows for decades and still wonder if it’s worth the hefty jury fees, the shipping costs, the steep odds of being accepted, and having to hold artwork in reserve until the results come in. And they usually only want new work, so your pieces time out after 3 years. I’m not talking about art and craft fairs where you set up a booth, but art exhibits hung in a gallery space.  I ask myself, “Is this a worthwhile way to promote my work and participate in the art world?” Despite my doubts, I keep trying, even though my pieces are not accepted into the majority of shows I enter. One happy exception this summer is Fiber Innovations II at the Parker Arts, Culture and Events Center, in Colorado, which includes Face Time.

I got the idea to write about this subject after talking with an art quilter at a recent SAQA opening, who was surprised when I told her that my work didn’t get into the show. I wasn’t complaining, just trying to explain the reality of the situation. I realized that only sharing positive news on this blog may give the impression that it’s always a smooth path forward. Continually painting a rosy picture can be deceiving, as well as annoying, and may not be helpful of those of you who also face rejection of your work.

Leading the life of an artist is full of struggles, both personally and professionally, and I’ve had my fair share. When you put your art out there to be judged, it isn’t always admired, no matter how established you are. Over the years, I’ve come to understand that what I do doesn’t easily mesh with what jurors and curators are looking for. It must not be easy to curate a cohesive grouping of pieces by different artists, especially with the variety of styles and methods in the fiber art world. Each juror has their own tastes and vision, which should be respected. If they’re attracted to more abstract, conceptual or edgy work, I’m out in the first round. I can also imagine there being a problem if dolls give them the creeps or they don’t like work that’s framed under glass. There’s no way of really knowing because there’s no feedback, just a simple “accepted” or “rejected”.

And you can’t always tell by the show’s prospectus, guidelines, and juror bios if your work has a decent chance of getting in. You just use your instincts to pick the shows, submit your highest quality photos, fill in all of the requested info and hope for the best. One good thing is that most juried shows are blind, so that everyone’s work is judged without bias toward or against an artist’s name. So, we’re all given an equal chance to have our work seen by a wider audience. Even though I’m very comfortable being an outsider, I plan to continue applying to juried group shows because I want to influence and contribute to today’s seemingly impenetrable and illusive art world as much as I can.

Despite all of this grumbling, there is some good news on the exhibit front. I’ve been invited to show my work at a few places (listed below), so I’m happy to say that there are opportunities to see my pieces in person this summer and fall. There may even be some more juried shows this coming fall and winter to add to the exhibits page!

Displaced, 24" H x 22" W, 2016

Displaced, 24″ H x 22″ W, 2016

In a productive year, I can make 2 large (24″ x 30″) pieces, so it takes several years to accumulate enough work to hang together in a solo show. That’s why I’ve held off selling my new pieces. I just finished Displaced (shown above), which will have its premiere showing at the Bristol Art Museum in Rhode Island this fall.

So, how do I continue supporting the work I do, without selling new pieces? I depend on sales of printed reproductions in books, posters and cards to subsidize the costs associated with making and showing the originals. Shipping the framed pieces can be expensive, so I request reimbursement from hosting venues whenever possible. Of course, I can deliver the work by car to places in southern New England. I hope to exhibit these new pieces in other locations in the future, so that more people can see the real thing. Lately, I’m more focused on making new work than the promotional side of things, like sending out show proposals, but inquiries from museums and art centers with funding for shipping costs are always welcome!

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June 2, 2016 – Jan 8, 2017 ~ Selected wee folk dolls, houses and props, plus 2 original fabric relief illustrations from Pocketful of Posies are being shown in the Geometry Gallery display case at the Providence Children’s Museum, Providence, RI.

FiberInnovII_postcardfrontJune 2 – July 10, 2016 ~ Fiber Innovations II at the Parker Arts, Culture and Events Center, Parker, CO. Face Time is included. Fiber Innovations II is a fiber arts show that focuses on surface design. Material options are varied and part of the adventure!  How these materials are used and the forms that are created are part of each artist’s inspired design process.

June 6 – August 5, 2016 ~ Shaping Lives: The Transformative Art of the Figure at the Reece Museum, East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, TN. The exhibit focuses on the doll’s unique form or figure. It features artists that use this art form to create a visual voice – to tell a story, initiate a debate, make a statement or simply carry a message that helps educate, empower and/or change the life of another. 3 of my pieces, Whiskers, Cover Up and Molly My Sister and I (from Pocketful of Posies) are included.

Sept. 16 – Oct. 30, 2016 ~ Intertwined – Needle Art of Salley Mavor
Bristol Art Museum, Bristol, Rhode Island. Several new pieces will be shown, including Whiskers, Cover Up, Face TimeBirds of Beebe Woods and the premiere showing of Displaced .

Feb. 28 ~ April 1, 2017 ~ Hanging by a Thread – Needle Art of Salley Mavor at Gallery 65 on William, New Bedford, Massachusetts. New and old pieces will be shown.

display at the Providence Children’s Museum

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I had the pleasure of going to the Providence Children’s Museum last week to set up some of my artwork in their Geometry Gallery display case. This section of the museum explores spatial thinking and has a number of hands-on play and learning experiences. The display case shows a changing exhibit of 3-dimensional creations loaned by different  artists. The museum staff couldn’t have been more welcoming! We’re all anticipating that the glass will have to be cleaned frequently because of finger and nose prints left by inquiring little (and big) ones!

I brought 2 original fabric relief illustrations from Pocketful of Posies and a whole bunch of wee folk characters from Felt Wee Folk, as well as houses and other props from my collection that I talk about in still playing with dolls. The items will be there for 6 months, until January 8, 2017. I hope that some of you will have a chance to visit. FYI – An exhibit of new fabric relief pieces will also be shown nearby in Bristol, RI, Sept. 16 – Oct. 30, 2016 ~ Intertwined – Needle Art of Salley Mavor  at the Bristol Art Museum.

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Posies originals for sale

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Pocketful of Posies 2010

Pocketful of Posies 2010

Just a reminder that the last day to catch the Pocketful of Posies exhibit at the  Upcountry History Museum – Furman University in Greenville, SC is Sunday, Feb. 14, 2016. As I’ve mentioned before, this is the last stop on the tour and it’s gratifying to hear from many of you who’ve gone out of your way to see the show. My goal was to offer the opportunity to see my original work and I’m happy that has happened in so many locations! No matter how excellent the printed reproductions, seeing the real 3d art is a different experience than looking at the pages of the book. Sometimes I wish the exhibit would continue, but my instincts say it’s time to wind down the project and move onto the next creative endeavor.

During the 5+ years since the book was published, I haven’t actively promoted sales of the original illustrations, since I wanted the collection to stay intact for the traveling exhibit. Over the last 2 years years, the size of the exhibit has reduced, as buyers have purchased about half of the pieces. Many people saw the book and contacted me, purchasing pieces without seeing the originals. Other buyers saw the exhibit and wanted to have one of their own. Now that the remaining artwork will soon be shipped home from South Carolina, it’s time to announce that 22 framed originals from Pocketful of Posies are available for sale.

Interested in purchasing an original piece? Please contact me for a list of available artwork. Each piece is displayed under Plexiglas in a custom-made cherry wood frame. Prices range from $2,500 to $6,500.

 

Posies exhibit in Greenville, SC

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Last week, Rob and I visited Greenville, South Carolina, where I gave a talk in conjunction with my Pocketful of Posies exhibit. It was a pleasure to meet the people who came to see the show and hear about my work at the Upcountry History Museum  last Thursday. Before heading inside the museum, I couldn’t resist standing next to the enormous banner outside.

The museum staff did a superb job hanging the show! I’m happy to say that it’s the most creative and professionally presented installation I’ve seen on the five-year tour. There’s plenty of time to visit the show, which is on display until Feb. 14th, 2016. This could very well be its last venue, as I’m no longer soliciting new locations. Of course, it could be a different story if an invitation from a great place with funds to ship the artwork comes forth.

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The bold choice of lilac purple walls really sets off the natural golden brown wooden frames. They covered one area with a 6′ blow-up of the “Wise Old Owl” and a screen, which shows my Rabbitat video and Felt Wee Folk book trailer on a loop. Signage with different versions and information about the rhymes hang below the framed illustrations. For this, the previous exhibitor, the Bel Air Library in Maryland generously shared their research about the rhymes with the Upcountry History Museum. To give an idea of how I make the figures, they laid out step-by-step parts in a display case. They’re the same ones I made and photographed for Felt Wee Folk. And last but not least, the black box theater lighting makes everything pop and sparkle!

Pocketful of Posies, Oct. 17, 2015 – Feb. 14, 2016 at the Upcountry Museum – Furman University, Greenville, South Carolina.

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We really enjoyed our visit and took a few extra days to see a friend and relative in the area. I spent a wonderful day near Columbia with my cousin, also named Salley with an “e”. Her 5-year-old grand-daughter is also named Salley, so our family surname continues to be passed down. Our grandmothers were 2 of the 5 independently minded, high spirited Salley sisters of Orangeburg, SC. In this circa 1900 photo, my cousin’s grandmother has their father’s arm around her and mine is standing, 2nd from the left.

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And we had a fantastic visit with my RISD classmate, Niki Bonnett, who lives in Asheville, NC. What an artsy, fun town! Years ago, Niki designed the poster and catalog for my pins, which you can see here. We could have soaked up the southern hospitality for a bit longer, but had to fly home.

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opportunities to see original artwork

I am excited to share the news that there will be opportunities to see my original fabric-relief artwork in different parts of the country this fall and winter. The Pocketful of Posies exhibit, will be at the Upcountry Museum – Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina, Oct. 17, 2015 – Feb. 14, 2016. Next month I will head down to Greenville to give a talk about my work on Thurs., Nov. 19th at 7:00 pm. This is the last scheduled exhibit on the 5 year tour and I hope that many of you can make the trip to see the show!

And, 2 of my larger pieces will be included in Insects to Elephants: Mother Nature’s Menagerie at the Wisconsin Museum of Quilts and Fiber Arts in Cedarburg, Wisconsin.  Birds of Beebe Woods and Rabbitat will be displayed from Oct 21. 2015 – January 10, 2016.

Poster 22x28 2SM

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Also, my piece, FaceTime is part of the group show, Entangled at Some Things Looming in Reading Pennsylvania until Oct. 24th.

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Posies goes south

Book - Pocketful of Posies 2010

Book – Pocketful of Posies 2010

I am pleased to announce that the Pocketful of Posies Exhibit is traveling to the southern United States! About half of the original embroidered illustrations from my book (28 pieces) will be displayed in Maryland and South Carolina for the next 6 months.

The show has traveled to over 20 locations since the book was published 5 years ago. I am happy that so many people around the country have had the chance to see the detail and sculptural quality of the originals. No matter how excellent the photos are, there’s nothing like seeing the real thing! I’m sorry that many of you who live far from past and future venues will miss this opportunity.

At this point, I’ve moved on to new projects and will no longer be personally searching for new exhibit locations. There will inevitably be suggestions to “please bring the show to my city”, but I am not in a position to make that happen with the wave of a wand. Unfortunately, I have found sending out proposals to seemingly appropriate venues ineffective for the most part. All that said, inquiries from museums, art centers and libraries who would like to host an exhibit are always welcome! That’s how many of the shows have come about, including the next 2. So, the exhibit may or may not continue to tour beyond this winter, depending on the interest from suitable venues. Also, the collection is slowly dwindling as pieces sell, so the touring exhibit will eventually come to an end.

For now, I’m excited to have my work shown in the mid-Atlantic area and as far south as western South Carolina. Perhaps we will meet when I give a talk in Greenville, SC on Nov.19th! See the schedule with links below:

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August 22 – Sept. 25, 2015 at the Harford County Public Library, Bel Air Branch, 100 E. Pennsylvania Ave, Bel Air, Maryland.

Oct. 17, 2015 – Feb. 28, 2016 at the Upcountry Museum – Furman University, Greenville, South Carolina. Artist talk with Salley Mavor ~ Thursday, Nov. 19th at 7:00 pm.

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Jerry hall 2010

Jerry hall 2010

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