IMAG1800Detail of Lesley Riley’s Ten of Cups


Yesterday I got a chance to see “my” show, Tarnish, an exhibition of contemporary textile works made by members of Studio Art Quilt Associates, Inc. (SAQA) who live in Washington, D.C., Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, and North Carolina. Well, it’s not really my show as such, but I do feel a sense of ownership because I was the juror for it.

After being on the other end of the jurying process many times, I’ve always wanted to have a chance to do it myself. It was somewhat more difficult than I’d imagined, mainly because no matter how good a photograph might be, it is just vastly different from seeing the work in person. This is especially true of textile work, because a flat image doesn’t convey the subtleties of texture and stitch. The problem intensifies as the size of the work increases, although details help, of course.

When I finally got to see the exhibition, I could not have been more pleased. The gallery space is beautiful, and the show has a well-defined flow and spacing. The best thing, though, is the work itself. Each piece is executed with a unique voice and a superb mastery of concept and craftsmanship. I never cease to be amazed at how many ways there are to use the medium of fabric and stitch.

Here are some selected images from the exhibition. After having talked about how hard it is to imagine the real piece from a photo, I have to apologize for the image quality here. These were taken with my phone, but I’m just too excited about the show and they’re are all I have.

Tarnish is on view at VisArts in Rockville, Maryland, through June 1, 2014.