So, I recently drove down to Old Forge to pick up the quilts that were on display there for the Quilts Unlimited exhibition. It was a lovely drive – three hours there and three coming back – the temperature was in the high 40s and it was rainy. Sounds like I’m being facetious, but the recent temperatures had been hovering below the zero mark with a good deal of snow and ice. The warmer temperatures lent a misty unreal sort of quality to the mountains and the lakes – there was very little traffic. Odd rock formations, slumbering trees draped in all the detritus of Fall seemed to contain elemental figures…pausing briefly to watch as I went by. As usual, the ice had built in layers on the sides of the mountains – catching run-off and snow-melt – until it looked like a multitude of frozen waterfalls or an ancient ziggurat.* Islands rose out of the lakes – pine trees and rocky promontories surrounded by uneven sheets of ice…all wet and glistening now. As always, there was music to keep me company…
When I got to Old Forge, the gallery was pretty much deserted. The Quilts Unlimited exhibit had come down and the next one, Winter Air, was just being hung. I was able to wander through the space for that, as the woman from the visitor’s desk guided me back to where I had to leave the one I was dropping off. (More about that one later – one thing at a time…) All of the artwork was leaning against the walls, drop cloths were draped and hanging about…lovely stuff….Those rooms – painted stark white – were filled with colour and absolutely silent. It was the combination that struck me – not then, but looking back on it, that’s what it was…the stillness – as if the moment before the exhibit was hung was frozen in time…a snapshot of possibilities and potential just waiting…Like Winter itself…when it seems like everything is just waiting…… Oh, erm…sorry…where was I?
Back to my point, when I returned to the front desk, I spied the paperwork on top. I had completely forgotten that the exhibition was a juried one. I remembered that fact the moment I saw those two sheets of paper, one for each quilt. Have I mentioned that I had never submitted anything to be judged before? Twenty-some years of making stuff like this, exhibiting it and selling it and…..I was almost afraid to look…
I stood there and read them, one at a time….and then, again….OYGALF, I can hardly describe the feeling…I know my stuff is good, I’m happy with what I do or I wouldn’t put it on display in the first place…but, that’s not the same thing at all as knowing that these pieces were examined inch by inch, front and back, and…judged. Particularly these two…. Oh, yes…the results? See for yourself:
I thanked the lady at the desk who had been so helpful and I managed to make it out of the building without causing any consternation with my behavior; and all the melting ice covering the parking lot made my steps across careful and slow…But, boy oh boy, by the time I reached the truck and got back on the road headed north, the music was cranked and I was all but dancing in my seat…(and yes, I shall make sure in future to be a little more meticulous in clipping those threads…)
Pretty good day, huh?
*(My daughter calls these the barfing mountains – at least according to my middle son – I snickered about that more than once as I caught sight of several that looked EXACTLY like that.) 🙂
Music: Tales From the Dark Side