Most of the other posts were about stupid comments from quilt police judges who criticized their art quilt entries for things like bobbin thread showing on top (a deliberate move by the quilt artist) and other nonsense. Either these artists should not be entering traditional quilt shows, or the judges need to get some training in knowing the difference between a QUILT and ART which just happens to be made of textiles and thread. Maybe both.
I posted my story to the list, but nobody replied so I will repeat it here (in an expanded version, of course - LOL) because it triggered a good memory and serves as some kind of lesson for anybody who serves as a judge and leaves comments for the entrant. I guess I also have to get it out of my system.
I owe my career and the fact that I became an artist to the two judges of the only non-juried show I ever entered: my former guild's show in 1998. Not that long ago, was it? Because anybody could put in a quilt or two, I submitted two quilts I had just finished.
|Prozna St., Warsaw|
One of the judges compared Prozna St. to work by an artist who did wonderful minimalist work. (IMO, not justified, but it was his opinion, which was very nice). Both encouraged me to keep going and develop as an artist. Not a word about technique.
This was the encouragement I needed to enter them into a national juried show - and was equally stunned when it was accepted to Quilt 21. I was off and running and haven't looked back. I am sure that if I had not had the encouragement from those two, that would have been the end and I would not be where I am today. Like teachers, judges have no idea of the impact of their vision (or lack thereof) and even more -- their words. My 7th grade art teacher told me I had no talent. These two judges of a guild show told me I did.
I can never thank them enough. Liza Lucy was one of the judges and of course, has forged a career of her own with Kaffe Fasset. The other judge was John Swiatek, then a member of Manhattan Quilters. You can see his work here if you scroll down to the bottom of the page. To me, it was the strongest piece in the exhibit and I am sorry I don't own it. Along the way, take note of the other members. John moved to L.A. and teaches at The Fashion Institute there.
Thank you, Liza and John. You are two judges whose words changed a life.