2nd International TECHstyle Art Biennial at San Jose’s ZERO1 Festival

Tomorrow I’ll be shipping my quilt “Tango with a Technopus” to the the San Jose Quilt Museum’s 2nd International TECHstyle Art Biennial (ITAB) as part of San Jose’s larger ZERO1 festival in Silicon Valley.

Continue reading 2nd International TECHstyle Art Biennial at San Jose’s ZERO1 Festival

Art behind the Art

Looks like art, huh?

What a lot of people don’t realize is there’s “art” behind the art. The art of making things work, the art of presenting, the art of bringing things to completion.

These are just a couple of photos from last week’s take-down of the Vital Threads show at Stephens College in the Davis Art Gallery. Annie Helmericks-Louder’s  husband John Louder is removing Annie’s butterfly from the wall. He’s especially motivated because he’s going to install his landscape paintings for the next upcoming show.

The wood piece is actually the hanging hardware for Annie’s huge art quilt, but you’d never have seen this elegant structure during the exhibition. It’s completely hidden behind Annie’s big butterfly that is composed of all sorts of fabrics, threads, and other embellishments. You can get a better sense of the texture of Annie’s work if you go to her website to see the nice close up photos she has on her welcome page.

One of the nice things about exhibiting with other artists, you get a chance to see how they pack, transport, and install their work. I’ve learned so much from watching other artists – both at shows I’ve been involved with and with my husband’s sculpture and gallery work. Plus, it’s just darn fun.

Annie’s system is pretty amazing. The wooden frame has small hooks screwed into it, and the hooks all match hand-crocheted rings sewn onto the back of the quilt. At first I thought she had crocheted thread around rings, but she said no, they are completely made of the yarn or thread so they are more flexible than metal would be.

For more photos of the exhibition, go to the Vital Threads photo gallery on my website. I’ve finally gotten my website converted to WordPress, something I’ve been trying to do for what seems like a year. I don’t have all my quilts there yet, but some of the more recent work.

Now after going to see Annie’s website, it makes me think mine needs a lot more work. Thanks for the inspiration Annie!

Vital Threads exhibition at Stephens College

Over the weekend, Russ and I made a quick jaunt up to Columbia, MO to help install a two-person show at the Davis Gallery at Stephens College. The show called Vital Threads features my work and the work of Annie Helmericks-Louder, another Missouri artist who does art quilts, silk paintings, and fabulous plein aire pastels. Check out her website and roadtrip blog.

It was fun to meet Annie for the first time, and her husband who is also a painter and artist. Dan Scott the gallery director also brought his family, so between all of us, it was pretty quick work to get everything looking good for the reception coming up this Friday.

The Davis Gallery is a sort of retro 60’s space with floating stairs, waffle ceiling, cool chairs and a charming sculpture patio just outside.

The reception will be this Friday, August 27 from 4-6 p.m., so if you’re in the area, please stop by!

Vital Threads
August 27-October 14, 2010
opening reception: Friday, August 27, 4-6 p.m.
Stephens College – Davis Art Gallery
Corner of Walnut & Ripley
Columbia, MO 65215

Vital Threads exhibition at Stephens College

International TECHstyle Art Biennial (ITAB)

I’m pleased that two of my quilts will be shown soon at the International TECHstyle Art Biennial (ITAB) at the San Jose Quilts & Textiles Museum. Skating on Thin Ice will be there, and also my newest work, Tokyo – Wish You Were Hair.

layered cotton fabrics stitched with thread, 65"x50" by Pam RuBert

ITAB is a juried exhibition of work by artists exploring the intersection of fiber art with new information and communication technologies, to be held in conjunction with San Jose’s biennial ZERO1 Festival, the 2010 01 SJ Biennial, which runs from September 16-19, 2010. The exhibition includes 41 works by 28 artists from six countries—including Canada, China, Germany, Taiwan, the United Kingdom, and the United States. For more information and some images from the upcoming show, check out the museum website article.

San Jose Quilts & Textiles Museum, San Jose, CA
August 17 – October 31, 2010
Opening reception is Sunday, August 22, 2-4pm

Fiberart International 2010

Last weekend Fiberart International 2010 opened in Pittsburgh at two venues – the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts and the Society for Contemporary Craft. The show will be on exhibit April 17 – August 22, 2010, then travel to the Memorial Art Gallery of the University of Rochester and the San Francisco Museum of Craft + Design.

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Modern Materials reviews and other news

mmslideshow.jpg“Conceptual craft” is explained by Jill Rumoshosky Werner, curator of the Modern Materials exhibition at the Artspace at Untitled gallery in the audio interview that accompanies this slideshow that appeared yesterday on the Oklahoma City newspaper and website. The site also features a video of the exhibition and gallery space and this article with comments from the Artspace executive director Jon Burris.

oknews_aliensmacartney.jpgThe show will be in the Artspace at Untitled gallery until August 29. The gallery is currently checking into the possibility of traveling the show, so hopefully you’ll have the opportunity to see it in another city.

Art Quilts Lowell 2009 opened at the Brush Art Gallery in Lowell, MA last week as part of the big Lowell Quilt Festival. Maxine sent me word that my quilt Traffic Jam that is part of the exhibit was mentioned in this article in The Sun, and also that the festival and shows had great attendance.That exhibit will be up until September 19, 2009.

Both of these show articles were sub-lined somewhere with “Not your Grandmother’s Patchwork.” I can’t tell you how many articles that I’ve seen across the country with that headline or something similar. It used to bother me, but I’ve come to realize that it’s original in each situation, because the writer or reviewer in that region is trying to dispel a common misconception that a quilt art show will look like a bunch of quilts. And if their headlines get more new attendance at these exhibits and venues, more power to them!

Modern Materials and friends

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Last weekend at the opening of Modern Materials: The Art of the Quilt was a real treat. The [Artspace] at Untitled gallery was my kind of space — mix of old and new and art galore. Flavored largely by the art collection of eye of [Artspace] Founder Laura Warriner, the gallery sits on the edge of hopping Bricktown and only three blocks from the Oklahoma City National Memorial.

The show has brilliant piece by top artists working in the quilt medium today, people who are really pushing the boundaries and taking changes. Curator Jill Rumoshosky Werner who did the humongous “Knitted” piece above did a great job of curating the show. Love looking at PaMdora throught the knitting weave….hmm, maybe I could talk Jill into doing some kind of installation collaboration someday!

knitting_pamdora2.jpgJill and the gallery staff all treated the visiting artists like royalty — they published a snazzy catalog of the show (and free! through a grant), let us have the run of the second floor for things like cooking up Elia Woods’ home-grown eggs into huge omelets, organized an artists’ panel discussion, and mud-painting on cloth demo.

mm-longtable.jpg My talk went pretty well. Instead of going up on the Oklahoma Memorial and local art studios tour (which I was really sorry to miss), I sat at this crazy long table, tweaking my talk and keynote presentation. Actually I had a blast sorting through 20+ years of photos, organizing some 400 into a talk I mentally titled “RuBert Studios: Creativity, Art, and Building Artists’ Communities through Volunteerism and the Internet.”

The images alternated between my husband Russ RuBert‘s work, my work and our studio, and showed how they all influence each other. I flip through images pretty quick, some like how my quilts come together are almost like animations. But still, I ran over the allotted hour by 15 minutes. No one seemed to mind too much though.

The best part was meeting and getting to know the other artists and the cool people in Oklahoma City who are doing some really exciting art collaborations. The gallery videotaped my talk, panel discussions and workshop, and did pod-cast recordings interviews with all the artists. So we’re looking forward to see that on their new website, I’ll let you know when that’s online.

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Here’s Elia Woods holding her home-grown eggs standing by her quilt “All Paths Lead to Home.” One of my favorites in the show, but challenged even my open defination of a quilt. Doesn’t matter though, it’s also sculpture which is a great achievement. Wish I could say more now about the show — I also spoke about some of my impressions and explorations of the Modern Materials show on Saturday night. But since we’re already knee-deep installing Russ’s show that opens this Friday, I’ll have to save that for some other time.

In the meantime, check out all the photos I posted on Flickr about the show, gallery, artists and weekend activities.

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Pictured above, left to right: Angela Moll, Elia Woods, [Artspace] at Untitled Founder Laura Warriner, Pam RuBert, Susan Else, Theresa M. Heaton, and curator Jill Rumoshosky Werner.

Installation of my show at William Woods University

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Here I am with my installation pants on — one side pocket holds my spy camera and the other my phone. Although I was dressed for it, I didn’t really do much of the work because I had so much help! And the good photos were taken by Russ. (Photo by Russ RuBert of course.)

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The last few days have seemed like, a fast-moving blur! I didn’t have a lot of notice for this show because of a schedule mix-up last November. But seeing as it was my alma mater, I was excited to hustle up what work I could (end count – 30 quilts, 7 drawings.) Actually, I was an English communications major at this school, but my art classes and art profs made a much more lasting impression on my life.

This art center and beautiful gallery didn’t exist when I was a student — our old art building burned down (I had nothing to do with that!) So I wasn’t really sure what that the new gallery looked like in real life. When we first walked in, the bottom dropped out of my stomach. The gallery looked huge, and I thought, there’s no way I was going to be able to fill the space. But soon it became apparent, that actually we needed more walls. Well…..like magic, walls appeared.

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Although the show still has to be lit properly before it opens tomorrow, I wanted to show you these cool sliding panels that come out of a closet and move on tracks built in the ceiling. Once you arrange the sections or walls that you like, you anchor them to the floor, and just hammer nails though the neutral-colored carpet covering the walls. Easy to hang stuff! The hard part is deciding where to hang it.

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But here’s the one who deserves the real credit — my own Superman! He’s the guy who is always working quietly behind the scenes – organizing space and structure, amazing with tools, and making everything I do work and look better! It sure is nice being married to a sculptor.

We also had a wonderful helpful crew from the gallery. Vikky, the director brought in her whole family and Amanda, the student assistant was a better worker than me. Okay, now it’s time to go home and crash.

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(for some more photos and explanation of how we setup the exhibition, go to my Facebook album here.)

You can see this show February 2-27, 2009
New Time: Artist talk and reception, Thursday, February 26, 2-4 p.m.

Mildred M. Cox Gallery
William Woods University
One University Avenue
Fulton, MO

9 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday – Friday
1-4 p.m. Saturday – Sunday.
Admission is free and open to the public.
For more information
call (573) 592-4245

“Quilts – Art with a Q” at the Fries Museum

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Quilting the ice is what I was most worried about. I finally decided that I that I wanted a swirly, skatey pattern, and was thinking about how ice skates leave those white scratches in the ice that get covered over and over.

What was that term that Jason Pollen used for layers and layers of drawing marks made on top of each other, like on an old chalkboard menu where yesterday’s image is ghosted behind? Can’t remember, oh well.

The skating marks slowly transform from swirly to crackly at the bottom, where PaMdora’s skate blade precariously balances. Not sure how successful that was, but it was an interesting experiment.

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Here’s the finished quilt, Skating On Thin Ice — it’s 42″ x 61″. Today I have to ship it off to The Netherlands along with another winter-themed quilt for a November-March exhibition at the Fries Museum. For a couple of weeks now, I’ve been stressing about how to do the shipping, but this morning got it worked out with the museum register. She was very nice, and told me that some of the hundreds of quilts — both traditional and contemporary — were already arriving at the museum.

Collages for the Creamery

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When our studio flooded, a lot of framed art got ruined. Since the Creamery Arts Center has lots of odd spaces, I cleaned the old frames and designed some collages to fit into them for the show.

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Here’s the finished quilts in the show, but for fun I included some framed pages from my sketchbooks to show where the ideas come from.

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“Paris – wish you were Hair.” The old vintage postage from my collection is from 1904 and someone wrote their postcard message on the front of the image.

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“Seattle, the Space Needle – wish you were Hair”. Haven’t done the quilt for this this idea yet.

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Actually, I drew this idea for “Twin Bridge”, then happened to find the postcard that matched. ooohwaa!

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We had this really huge frame, so I put my actual pattern for “Athens – wish you were Hair”, with alternations into it. There was a little extra room, so I added some sketches and graphic inspirations at the bottom.

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This one I called “Elements of an Art Quilt” because I included a stitch test for “St. Louis – wish you were Hair” to try out the effects of different thread colors on fabrics (and left the edges unfinished so that the astute observer could see the top layer, batting and backing), some graphic research and inspiration images, a pastel pencil practice for stitch patterns, and a wad of thread I picked up off the floor of my studio.

The little drawing in the corner gives a clue what “King Tut” (a variegated quilting thread) is because I used the reference in the labels on the stitch test on the left.