Do you shudder with fear or turn away with disdain when you see a show that has a theme?  It seems that many calls to artists request the artwork to meet an aspect of a theme, and some jurors are stricter than others about how closely a piece meets that criteria or not.

Moulin Rouge Deux (on right) at the Airport Appetizer show

As the Co-chair for Exhibitions for the Contemporary QuiltArt Association, I’ve seen both jurors who would drop a piece for not seeming to have anything to do with a theme, and others who were open to a very broad interpretation (such as the title had a word that related to the theme, but there was no other discernible connection.)

 Being more of a representational artist, working with a theme usually works well for me.  I like having a launching pad for my ideas.  For instance, at one show at the SeaTac international airport, my quilt “Moulin Rouge Deux” was displayed, along with other quilts with international elements.  You can clearly see the pyramids in the other quilt alongside mine.

Currently, SeaTac has another exhibit from CQA, this one with the name and theme of “Journeys.”  In this show, we had some fabulous entries which took many different interpretations of the theme.  I have two additional pieces in this show.  Here are some photos from this exhibit:

 Many interpretations of a broad theme.  After all, we can take literal journeys, by foot, car, horse, rail, air, boat, etc. or we can take spiritual journeys, journeys of the heart, or journeys of our imagination.

Rainier: Two Views by Colleen Wise

But what about when the theme is more difficult or restrictive?  I’ll go into that more tomorrow.  Pleasant dreams…yet another type of journey!

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