ST. PETERSBURG — Each work of art is in some way prompted by an unspoken question.
Internally, each artist silently reflects on the message he wishes to convey through his creation; what emotions they want to evoke in those who experience their art; and what sources of inspiration will they draw from to forge their creativity. They can ask very specific questions about shared experiences or universal questions about the meaning of life.
In “The Artist’s Question…Answered in Fiber,” an exhibition of art quilts created by 29 members of Studio Art Quilt Associates Inc., Florida CraftArt challenged artists to ask a question or tackle a problem , then answer the question through the creation of an original art quilt. The works in the exhibition were selected by renowned New York quilt designer Zak Foster.
The exhibit opened April 25 and will run through Saturday, May 14 at Florida CraftArt, 501 Central Ave. in St. Petersburg.
Sponsored by Jeannine Hascall, the show is a project of the Florida region of the SAQA, in cooperation with several regions of the Gulf, including Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. It will travel to five additional locations in Florida, Alabama, Louisiana and Texas through the summer of 2023.
“I think viewers will be amazed at how a group of artists could all start with the same premise and create such a variety of artwork,” said Bobbi Baugh, one of the artists and co-chair of the exhibition committee.
Peg Green, whose work is also featured in the exhibition, has lived all over the world – from Chicago and Philadelphia to Germany and Mongolia – but now lives in Sarasota.
“I’ve had about as many professional careers as I have hometowns, and now I’m an artist specializing in fabric tapestries, also known as ‘art-quilts,'” she explains on her website. “I started quilting around 25 years ago, developing a personal style using intricate combinations of curved shapes and colorful patterns in bold designs that express the exuberance of life.”
Green says her works lean towards spiritual and feminist themes, as does her personality and intellectual curiosity.
“I am inspired by nature, archetypes and symbols from myths and cultures around the world: shamanism, anthropology and feminism,” she says. “I use an intuitive approach to design, which has been heavily influenced by three years of studying intuitive painting through the teachings of Michele Cassou and Judith Forst.”
Fort Myers textile artist Sally Dutko seeks to create mostly raw abstract works, as well as figurative and whimsical pieces.
“Inspiration comes from everywhere: words I read or places I travel, walk, shop or explore,” says Dutko on her website. “My art evolves intuitively in my head and on the walls of my design studio, where constant change and experimentation occurs. Color, texture, lines, text are all things I struggle with; sometimes l evolution takes many months, even years, my pieces try to convey the excitement of uniting fabric, paper, sewing and objects in a joyful visual experience.
Susan Lumsden of Brooksville says she’s never been one to follow other people’s paths.
“I blazed my own trail creating art quilts and marketing them through juried art festivals across much of the country,” Lumsden says on her website. “During a period of approximately seven years, I won three national awards in the areas of fiber and multimedia and numerous regional and national awards. The commissions were sold both to the private sector as well as to companies and public entities. »
Lumsden’s surface design skills are wide ranging and she appreciates the breadth of those skills. They include decomposed or deconstructed screen printing, thermofax screens, Seminole piecing, free-motion quilting, pattern making, garment design, linocut/block printing, applique, and working with various media wet and dry to make a mark.
“As an instructor, I am considered an expert in each of these techniques and a qualified instructor,” she explains. “I love teaching them to others.”
On the sidelines of this exhibition, the SAQA artists will talk about their work during a Zoom session scheduled for Wednesday, May 6 at 6 p.m. For the Zoom link, visit FloridaCraftArt.org.
SAQA is a non-profit organization that works to promote art-quilting. According to SAQA, an art quilt is “a creative visual work that is layered and sewn or refers to this form of sewn layered structure”. Over the past 30 years, the organization has grown into a vibrant and active community of artists, curators, collectors and art professionals located around the world. Their vision is that art quilting is universally respected as an art medium.
The exhibit is made possible by the Division of Cultural Affairs of the State of Florida and the City of St. Petersburg. Guided tours are available on request.