World of Threads festival

The work travels. I pack it up, seal the box and do a little safety dance when I drop it off at the shipping center. It seems odd to part with them for any length of time. But I like the idea that more people will see them. They have a life of their own.

Signals, 37” x 29”, Paula Kovarik

I have six pieces in the World of Threads Festival, a contemporary fibre and textile art exhibit that opens this month in Canada. The festival features 303 artworks by 65 artists from Canada, Denmark, England, Hungary, Netherlands, Northern Ireland, Norway, Russia and the USA. I was chosen as one of the artists with a solo show in the corridor galleries. I won’t be able to attend the opening but I will see the show in November.

Everything I know about this show makes it a must see event. There are major installations, intimate threadwork pieces, cutting edge quilts and other eye-opening fiber works. If you are anywhere near Oakville (a short drive from Toronto) please plan on attending. Click here to learn more about it.

Or choose this link to download a complete brochure.

Opening day: Sat. Oct. 20, 2018 1:00 – 3:30 pm.

World of Threads Festival

Queen Elizabeth Park Community
& Cultural Centre
2302 Bridge Road Oakville, Ontario, Canada.  

Dates: Sat. Oct. 13 - Sun. Nov. 25, 2018
Hours: Mon. – Sat. 10:00 am – 6:00 pm.  Sun. 12:00 – 5:00 pm
Admission: FREE

For an up close and personal look at the pieces shown here go to Oakville. Maybe I’ll see you there in November.

Unglued, 40” x 18”, Paula Kovarik

Focus on Something Else, 32” x 32”, Paula Kovarik

Chaos Ensues, 32” x 32”, Paula Kovarik

Georgia on my mind

Fallout, detail, Paula Kovarik

I have a few pieces in an exhibit at the Hudgens Center for Art and Learning in Duluth, Georgia for the next couple of months. I think about those pieces out there on their own, holding their own among peers. How will the visitors take in the breadth of the show? How will my pieces fit in? 

If you are in Georgia, take a little time to check out the show. There are works by myself as well as Kevin Curry, Valerie S. Goodwin, Jess Jones, Joyce Watkins King and Macey Ley — All artists working in fiber. What could be better than that?

Into the Nature: Cycles, Habitats & Elements of Place

Curated by Angela Nichols

May 22 – July 28, 2018
Hudgens Center for Art and Learning
6400 Sugarloaf Pkwy, Building 300
Duluth, GA 30097
Exhibition Reception: Saturday, June 2

The selected works examine beauty, rhythm, conflict and topography; how the natural world is impacted by man and how human existence makes marks on the world. 

Here are some detail shots of the works I have at the show.  

A little publicity

About a month ago I had the pleasure of meeting Lilo Bowman, the Editor-in-chief and Production Manager for The Quilt Show. She met me at the Dixon Garden and Gallery exhibit featuring my work. It was a crazy day. I had actually added the meeting date and time to my calendar for Saturday. When I received her call on Friday asking me where I was I fell into an abyss of mortification (note to self, always double check dates and times). Needless to say I rushed to my car and drove a bit above the speed limit to get to the museum. Halfway there I realized I did not brush my hair or put on a clean blouse. I looked disheveled and disoriented. 

Lilo is a pro. She overlooked my tardiness, made me feel comfortable in an instant and asked informed questions about my work. I was delighted to meet her.

The result of that harried day actually ended up as a blog post on their website today.

And here is a link to the video she filmed after our meeting. Please ignore the badly tied scarf and red sweatshirt. I am not known for my fashion sense. I'm glad that the lighting focused on the quilt.

Thank you Lilo, for your interest in my work, your professionalism and your understanding.

Opening night jitters

I met some great folks this week. And I felt the love from friends and family at the opening night of my show at  Dixon Gallery and Gardens  here in Memphis.

 I think it was right after this shot that I started losing my grip on that wine glass.

I think it was right after this shot that I started losing my grip on that wine glass.

Though I felt a little like a ping pong ball bouncing from one interesting conversation to another I don't think I embarrassed myself in the process. I know I held the same wine glass for two hours. And I also know that I am glad I wore a black shirt because it smelled a little like Pinot Noir the next day. I don't remember drinking anything. And that's probably a good thing as I would probably would have dribbled and drooled in the excitement.

The most rewarding take away is that people were excited about the medium. Many had never seen stitched works like these.  Many were curious about how I make them. And I don't think I had one conversation about grandmother quilts all night. The audience looked at the art as art. Maybe it was the venue? Maybe it was the audience? Whatever it was I think I passed the test.

I spent the next 4 days preparing my noon luncheon presentation for the venue. I've done these presentations before but I am never really really ready. I edit and edit and edit the slides, practice in front of a mirror, print out a script and hold my breath. This time there was a wrinkle that made it even more challenging. The final draft (I think it was number 14) did not get downloaded properly and I had to use the first draft instead. Jokes on me. That draft was SIGNIFICANTLY different from the final. So, up on stage, without a script, I paced and played. I think I made sense. I'm not sure what I said. I know it wasn't on the script. But people seemed genuinely interested.

I learned something: Throw out the script.

And, now, that milestone for this exhibit is in my rear view mirror. whew.

Back to work.

A little day trip

I attended the 59th Annual Delta Exhibition in Little Rock, Arkansas yesterday. This exhibition showcases contemporary artists from Arkansas and bordering states.

And now for the drum roll....

 I was chosen for one of the Delta Awards by juror Betsy Bradley, director of the Mississippi Museum of Art.

I was chosen for one of the Delta Awards by juror Betsy Bradley, director of the Mississippi Museum of Art.

Bradley spoke of the sense of place in the Delta and the natural power of the Delta landscapes as well as the tension that artists portray in their work between what is familiar and what is new. Here's part of her juror's statement: "As much as I found some artists savoring the details of their worlds, I was truly struck by others whose works evidenced a great unease, eerie expressions of a world slipping into an abyss, emanating tones of fear, anger, and anxiety."

Prior to announcing the award winners she showed a curious collection of historical paintings depicting women creating art using fiber and clay. The fact that she chose (blindly) three women artists who are working in fiber, porcelain and metal was particularly exciting for those of us who work on the edges of paintings.

Delta Exhibition crowd

It was standing room only at the opening celebrations. Music blaring, the catfish, hushpuppies, wines and pies tempted us. What I could see of the artwork over and through the heads of the crowd was spectacular. I'll have to find a way to get back to the museum to see the works in a more concentrated way. In particular I loved the work of David Bailin. His piece, Halloween, took my breath away. I wish I had taken a picture of it but there were always crowds obstructing my view. Here's a link to his website: Halloween. He uses, charcoal, pastels and coffee to create haunting works about his father.

My piece was toward the back under a spotlight with a deep gray wall behind it. Very dramatic.

My favorite part of any show is watching people studying my piece. Some shared their thoughts about the work and even saw things in it that were unintentional on my part. I love that part of art. It has its own life. It walks its own path. I am a conduit for other's visions.