head spinning

OK, I gotta admit yesterday was pretty thrilling. As an ArtPrize Seven participant, I am one of many artists looking for the love. And, I am one of the extremely lucky ones because I was invited to show at the prestigious Grand Rapids Art Museum, smack dab in the middle of all the ruckus. (Thank you Ron Platt, American Craft Magazine, and the winds of chance that blow through our universe.)

Round one voting began last Wednesday and extends until Saturday of this week. The top 20 finalists (the top five in each of 4 categories) will be announced on Sunday, Oct. 4. Then Round 2 voting begins. The public will vote for their favorite and prizes will be awarded on Oct. 9. Top prize is $200,000.

Now back to yesterday. The ArtPrize website keeps a running tally of the votes and which pieces are leading the group in terms of the popular vote (so far 220,963 votes have been cast). The folks in Grand Rapids can vote for as many artists as they like in this round one vote session. And it looks like, as of yesterday, that I qualified for the top 25 list in the 2-D category. Though I know that the list will change each day running up to the announcement on Saturday, the fact that I made it into that group once is enough. Thank you, Grand Rapids.

Be still my beating heart.

Heartfelt, stands at the beginning of the display at the Grand Rapids Art Museum. The piece was inspired by my mother, who would be cheering on the sidelines if she was with us today.

Tenuous links

This piece got a lot of attention yesterday due to a post on Facebook by a group called the Anartist community. They (he? she?) post some compelling and diverse images of artwork but don't really do anything to identify themselves. It's an international community as evidenced by the quotes in various languages.  A web search yields no other clues. The About section on the facebook page says: "An artist is never poor" (or "Un artista non è mai povero" if you prefer) to which I tend to agree.

I'm always mystified by how among millions (or is it billions) of people on the web sending out messages and images, does my work find a spot? What tenuous links are there that make one piece send out its feelers so that someone else is interested enough to look? These links intrigue me. They are a continuing theme in my stitching, a thread that binds all my ideas together. A link is a happy chance at connection that is at once mysterious, powerful and throbbing. It feeds my curiosity. It starts a conversation, binds together continents, and bounces from one to another.

Heartfelt, repurposed linen dress with hand and machine quilting, Paula Kovarik