Sunday, August 12, 2012

Lowell Quilt Festival 2012

Lowell Quilt Festival 2012.  It was worth the four-hour round trip.  Especially because I got to have a good long visit with my friend Carol Vinick as we traversed I-495 in torrential August rains.  And later, lunch with quilter friends Carol Eaton and Mary Lachman eating some yummy Greek food at The Athenian.

I went to Lowell because three of my art quilts had been accepted into two different venues of this year's Lowell Quilt had several quilts by several other good friends.

Here's the Lowell Memorial Auditorium, an imposing edifice, which hosted Images 2012, a juried show featuring work by 82 artists from across the country...including me!

Two of my quilts were juried into Images 2012.

Buddhist Temple II is based on Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep, a Buddhist temple I visited in Chiang Mai, Thailand, during the year when my middle daughter, Leah, was teaching English there at Chiang Mai University.  There are 309 steps up to the temple, and that staircase is bordered by a pair of sinuous enameled dragons, called naga, which guard the temple.  In my piece, the steps iterate the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path of Buddhist practice. 

This is Buddhist Temple I.  The strip of writing across the bottom center reiterates the Eightfold Path of Buddhist practice.
This is the 309-step naga staircase leading to the temple at Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep.  I was so inspired by my visit that I used this temple, and the staircase leading to it, as the basis for two quilts.

This is the chedi at Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep, which inspired the central image of my Buddhist Temple I and Buddhist Temple II

Elsewhere at the Lowell Quilt Festival, I had one quilt accepted into Art Quilts Lowell, at the Brush Gallery, another festival venue.  I was in rarefied company here--one of only 26 quilters from North America whose work was chosen for this show.  The juror was Karey Bresenhan, President and CEO of Quilts Inc., who has co-founded numerous quilting-related groups, including the International Quilt Association and Quilts Inc., which stages the annual International Quilt Festival.

This year, the theme for Art Quilts Lowell was music.  My piece took as its inspiration Thus Spake Zarathustra, the tone poem by Richard Strauss, which was used to impressive effect in the film 2001:  A Space Odyssey, to show the grandeur and mystery of deep space.  My piece shows a whirling nebula, its center ablaze with white-hot fire, its atoms dispersing into the universe.

Here's a visitor to the exhibit, checking out my quilt.
But there's more! My buddy Diane Wright (the other Diane). who, like me, is a member of Studio Art Quilt Associates and the Connecticut Fiber Arts Collective, also had a piece accepted into this show.

Here's Diane with her piece, which was inspired by Vivaldi's The Four Seasons
But there's still more!  Another venue of the Lowell Quilt Festival was at the Whistler House and Museum, birthplace of the great American painter, James McNeill Whistler.  There, the competition theme invited participants to base their quilts on one of Whistler's paintings.  My friend Judy Ross, who like me is a member of Studio Art Quilt Associates and Women Against the Grain, knocked my socks off with a quilt based on Whistler's Nocturne.  She's in rarefied company--one of only 18 quilters accepted!

This one knocked my socks off.  Go, Judy!

Worth the four-hour round trip?  You bet!

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