ThreadLines 2008 deadline approaches

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It’s fun to get snail mail these days when most everything comes by email. The best part is looking at all the beautiful stamps and interesting postmarks.

The entries are starting pile up for the ThreadLines 2008 exhibition. Tomorrow should be another heavy day for the mailman, since it’s the final deadline. I told him not to worry, next week should be much lighter. He said he still likes our building best, because it has a friendly dog.

Do you recognize your stamps?

What did I say at the Lux?

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Can’t remember really. Something about how I used to draw and do digital art, but missed the joy and funkiness of the handcrafted object, and so began to combine my drawing with making quilts. Also, how I was inspired by the mis-matched patterns of old-time patchwork quilts, and tried to preserve that kind of spontaneity and humor in my own work.

And since I was standing in front of this quilt, (thanks for this photo Robert Duncan:) I used it to explain how I enjoy putting memories of objects and people I love into my work. For instance, on long road trips I often eat those little white powdered donuts you buy at the gas station. So when I made this quilt, I was thinking about how the aliens had been on a really long road trip to get to Earth, and gave them some white donuts and Tang for the trip.

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Photo of the opening by Lisa Call who gave a good talk (read her funny version of her road trip with sharks) about her own work Fencing In or Keeping Out and since she was curator for the show, about the other artists — Deidre Adams, Joanie San Chirico, and Jeanne Williamson. The Lux is a great art center with 20 year history, and the show looked great. Here’s a photo gallery of the whole show on Flickr.

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Distinctive Directions postcards

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Postcards are going out for our Distinctive Directions show that opens at the Lux Center for the Arts on April 4. The cards look sharp — lucky we have Deidre Adams in our group to design them!

The DD show and Lisa Call‘s solo show at the Lux open one week after the grand opening of the International Quilt Study Center in Lincoln, Nebraska, so if you wait until April, you can see Nancy Crow’s show and Quilts in Common at the IQSC and our shows at the Lux. A double dip trip!

Working in a Series with Distinctive Directions

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I’m excited to be part of a small group of artists including Jeanne Williamson, Joanie San Chirico, and Deidre Adams who will be showing at the Lux Center for the Arts, in Lincoln, Nebraska, April 4-26, 2008. Lisa Call who is the curator for the show will also have a solo show at the Lux called “Fencing In or Keeping Out.”

Lisa has built a website for the group called Distinctive Directions, with an accompanying blog where each of us will be posting about our art. The first topic of conversation has been “working in series,” since that is the unifying thread between all our work.

I often learn things about myself when I’m asked by others to write about my work and inspiration, so I was glad for the poke. Here’s a quote, but for my full post about working in a series go here.

“For me, creating a series was never my intention. It was more that I was looking for a personal visual language to express my insecurity and anxiety about contemporary life, as seen through my oddly humor-tinted glasses.”

Solo Show at Driskill Gallery

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Contemporary Art Quilts by Pam RuBert
January 22 – February 13, 2008
Driskill Gallery
Jester Learning and Performance Center
Southwest Baptist University, Bolivar, MO
Gallery hours: 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., M-F
Gallery Director: Dianna Callahan 417-328-1651

Although it was short notice, I was happy to be asked to do this one since I hope to have more solo shows in the future. It’s a beautiful gallery adjacent to the fine arts department and inside a performing arts center.

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The gallery is sort of an L-shape configuration with glass walls on one side — allowing visitors to the performing arts center an almost full view of the artwork when the gallery is locked after hours.

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Looking at Deidre Adams website yesterday made me realize that websites are wonderful for show for showing art, but seeing a photo of a real-life installation can re-frame how we perceive what we’re seeing in an internet gallery. Scroll down to the very bottom photo of this series to see one.

Hanging a Solo Gallery Show

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Last night as I was packing up quilts for my upcoming solo show at the Driskill Gallery, I was thinking one is easy to roll up and ship to a show, but sixteen is a lot to handle. Then I got to the gallery this morning, and I remembered why I started making art quilts in the first place. Not many other art forms can fill a whole gallery with just a couple of funny-looking burritos.

They look small in the gallery space, but wait — they are amazing exploding burritos! And out pop all the quilts, much to gallery director Dianna Callahan’s amusement…

Continue reading Hanging a Solo Gallery Show

Announcing ThreadLines 2008 Call for Entries

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Finally after months of work on this project, I’m pleased to announce that my local group Uncommon Threads has teamed up with Missouri State University Art & Design Gallery to organize ThreadLines 2008, an exhibition of contemporary art quilts.

Our juror will be Jason Pollen — artist, teacher, and president of the Surface Design Association. Entries will be digital, due June 6, 2008, and the exhibition will be at the MSU gallery from September 5 through 26, 2008.

We are asking for work that is two or more layers, held together by stitching, but no rigid restrictions on materials, so this should be an interesting show. When I designed the logo for the show, I tried to graphically show two different ways that thread can be used, but also tried to stay away from stereotypes or preconceptions people may have of quilts.

We have put together a website that shows photos of the gallery space, background of the juror, and more, and plan to update this site throughout the year. You can download the prospectus and entry form from the ThreadLines website, and I’m hoping that many of you will enter!

Entering Shows: Breaking it down, Step by Step

in-basket.jpgThis is a drawing of my in-basket. I guess I’d rather draw it, than do it!

For weeks I had on my to-do list an item “Send images to Curator.” Actually it was one of several items that have to be done for an invitational show at the Lux Center for the Arts that I’ll be part of this April.

Sounds simple, why was I procrastinating? When I actually did get it done last weekend, here’s some of the nitty-gritty details:

Continue reading Entering Shows: Breaking it down, Step by Step

Quilt National (section A) heads to Houston

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Yesterday was the last day to see Quilt National 2007 in full at The Foundry Art Centre. Today the exhibition will be split into three parts and sent to different venues. The section with my quilt “It’s Only a Leaf” will be at the International Quilt Festival in Houston, October 29 – November 4.

This photo is at the opening of The Foundry opening last September. I look a little frazzled because I was running between events for my brother’s wedding and the show opening. The woman next to me wearing the “Art Saves Lives” pin is Jill Fisher who organizes this branch of the QN exhibition as a fund-raiser for the Women’s Support and Community Services of St. Louis.

And the two people in the frame behind my head are Adam and Eve, who have just realized they may be wearing poison ivy leaves.

The World of Robert E. Smith

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Robert E. Smith, a self-taught outsider artist who has been featured in the Museum of American Folk Art, will be 80 next month. To put together this show at the MSU Art & Design Gallery that spans over thirty years of work, collectors loaned 140 of his paintings for the exhibition. It’s a rare opportunity to become immersed in the wacky and entertaining world of Robert E.
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One of the paintings that we loaned is the basis for this downtown mural, and we won it at the auction to raise funds for the mural. But our painting is better because the artists who interpreted the mural for Robert smashed the painting a bit — ours is longer and skinnier.

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But they did pretty much capture the spirit of the original painting. In this detail you can see some of the trademarks of Robert’s story-paintings — famous people like Ray Charles or Santa Claus appear frequently, as does Baby Jane, current events, and personal landmarks from Robert’s memory. If you haven’t already figured it out, Robert has been a major influence on my art.

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I love the busy activity and texture of his paintings, the tiny details that you have to get in close to see, but most importantly, the humor of the mysterious stories. This painting that I had never seen before is called, “Mercy Hospital, County Jail.”

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Robert sometimes records his stories on tape, attaching the cassette tapes to the back of his paintings. He also writes cartoon books, giving himself titles that he fancies such as “moody artist” or “notable folk-artist.” To see more paintings, go to the Good Girl Art Gallery.