The opening to Quilt National '09 was last night. It was quite the event. First the artists had a preview of the show with no one else there. We could see everything without the crowds and it was wonderful. We had our books and pens in hand so that we could compare the actual pieces to what was in the book and also get the artists to sign their pages. About three fourths of the artists were present and that included many from other countries including Australia and Japan. That's impressive that so many made the trip.
My piece is actually one of the smaller pieces in the show, at least that's my impression so far. So much for my theory that a piece needs to be big to be accepted! But the really cool thing is that I won a prize: "Persistence Pays" - a prize awarded to the artist who has entered QN the most times before getting accepted. I shared it with Glenys Mann from Australia. It surprised me that she also won it because I was sure she had been in QN before. I've seen her work over the years and it certainly looked to be of QN caliber. So anyhow, we share the award. If you look here you can see the list of winners and images of their quilts, which don't do them the least bit of justice.
The catalog is pretty good and certainly worth purchasing, but catalogs never give you the real picture, so to speak. Everything is so much more wonderful than the book image. Colors might be a little bit off, metallics don't sparkle, transparent pieces don't show their transparency, and most of all, the textures just don't show up. You need to really see the show in person to appreciate how wonderful it is. I heard quite a few people say that it was a really great show, which of course I think also!
And this is really cool -- I knew this from way last October but could not say anything. Marvin Fletcher purchased my quilt. Marvin is the widower of Hilary Fletcher, who was the director of Quilt National for many, many years. She died several years ago. The Persistence Pays award was established in her honor because she always encouraged people to keep trying. I met Marvin last night and he told me how when he saw my piece, he just had to have it. And then the fact that it won the award made it even more precious.
The only down side is that they didn't publish that award information in the catalog. Perhaps if they republish it they will fix that. But I still get the prize money.
And the QN people are being quite diligent in enforcing the prohibition on prior publication. One of the jurors told me that after they had made their final selections three pieces were eliminated because they had been published. QN hires researchers to search the web and print publications. Publishing on your own web site is allowed but no where else. If they found an image on another web site and it was there with the artist's permission, it was eliminated. I'm glad they're enforcing the rule because I know people have gotten by with it in the past.
Today is another event, the artists' and collectors' breakfast. Then more SAQA stuff, including a talk by the three QN jurors, Sue Benner, Ned Wert, and Katie Pasquini Masopust. I'm looking forward to that. It's always interesting to hear the back stories.
And as I walked around the room I was in awe that my work was hanging in this most famous location with all these wonderful pieces!