A couple of friends wrote after the Awards Ceremony on Wednesday night, but I can now blog about it because I received the official word this morning. My quilt, In the Act, was awarded a Judges Choice Award at Quilt Canada, the National Juried Show of the Canadian Quilters Association, in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
In the Act, 2010
It is always gratifying to win an award, but I do have to say that I often experience feelings of ambivalence about ribbons. I find joy in being part of the show, and know that even without ribbons someone somewhere will like my work and be moved by it. That is what is important to me. My other purpose in entering shows is to get my work out there so people know about me, so I can continue making my living doing what I do. I am very cognizant that on another year, with other jurors, this quilt might have been rejected by CQA, and the judges wouldn't have even seen it.
For me what is most important when I look at a work of art is whether it has impact and how it makes me feel. Workmanship is secondary. Don't get me wrong, I like good workmanship, but impact comes first for me, so as long as the workmanship doesn't detract from the piece, it doesn't have to be the kind of workmanship that quilt show judges often look for. Being a quilt show judge is HARD, and I could not do it. The judges have to examine over 120 quilts at this show and rate them in several categories and everything has to be carefully documented. By those criteria they may be awarding ribbons to quilts they hadn't even considered based on initial impact. I think I must have ADD because I am just not interested in these details.
So to win a Judges Choice is a good thing I think. This is the chance for a judge to say "this is my favorite work". She can be completely subjective. For me it is immensely gratifying that someone looked at my work and loved it, understood it, was moved by it or impressed by it, or whatever the judge felt in this case.
So thank you to art quilter and judge Margie Davidson from Calgary for choosing my work. It is especially gratifying because, to be quite honest, I think In the Act is my favorite quilt of all the quilts I've made. Why? Because as a quilt artist without a formal art degree, I have struggled a lot with composition and design, and feel that in this piece I succeeded in what I set out to do. More about composition and design in my next blog post.
I also just received notice today that Red Stool has been juried into the
New Legacies 30th Art Quilt Exhibition at the Lincoln Arts Centre in Fort Collins, Colorado where it will be on exhibit July 3 to September 5.
Red Stool, 2011