Frequently we talk about professionalism in the art quilt world. Many of us are hampered by our backgrounds. What I mean is that we have come to this place through the quilt world and not through the art world, and there is a distinct lack of knowledge about what the art world is and how it functions. The learning process is difficult and painful and not always very nice. We want things to be nice and ladylike and that's not going to be the case. If we stick to exhibiting in quilt shows, we haven't any right to complain that the greater art world isn't accepting fiber with open arms.
I read an article in yesterday's New York Times about the difficulty that foreign athletes have in obtaining visas to the US in order to compete here. Yesterday was the New York Marathon and since there are big money prizes, it attracts athletes from all over the world. But since 9/11, those who need visas are subjected to much more scrutiny, and the process has gone from taking only a few days to six months or longer. Quite a few have missed the opportunity to run because of not getting their applications in in a timely fashion. A quote from the from Mary Wittenberg, the race director: "If you’re a serious athlete, you’ve got a lot to take seriously." That applies to us directly: if we're going to be serious artists, then we have a lot to take seriously.
On Thursday I am delivering six pieces to an exhibit that benefits the Baltimore Choral Arts Society. This is going to be quite an extravagant event. There will be 500 pieces of art for sale. On the postcard is a list of the exhibiting artists and among those names I found Sol LeWitt, Henri Matisse, Robert Rauschenberg, and Joyce Scott. And moi. So it really runs the gamut, and I'm thrilled to be included in this event. The patrons' preview party and silent auction on Fridayis only open to those who are willing to pay $500/couple for the opportunity to attend. As a participating artist, I get a complimentary ticket to this event, and in my efforts to be a serious artist, I think that I should be there. I am not the least bit comfortable in a crowd where I don't know anybody and have to make small talk, but this is an opportunity that I shouldn't let pass me by.
And they used an image of one of my pieces (albeit lopped off on one edge) on their web site.