traveling on

The initial sketch for the Stream of Consequences piece started with the idea of inter-connectedness and how the city wove itself around a meandering river.

The Earth Stories exhibition curated by SAQA is soon to close at the San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles. In the nick of time a blogger and journalist, Patrick Lydon, took the time to see the show and review it. Reviews of art quilt shows are few and far between. Each one gives quilt artists a little jolt of excitement when it appears.

Patrick is Founder and Director of SocieCity.org, a network of artists, writers, and sustainability practitioners who focus on the relationships between people and the places in which they live. HIs blog and the SocieCity site are great places to find good news about the world through stories, images, and film. I was truly enthralled by the many stories told and recommend it to anyone looking for GOOD news. There really are some good news stories out there contrary to what our national media hands us on a daily basis. 

Patrick was generous in his praise of the show. He studied the pieces carefully and learned about their back stories. He was particularly generous with his praise of my work: Stream of Consequences. Patrick's reference to a quote by Muir, one of my heroes, gave me great joy:

Kovarik’s quilt reminds me of famed naturalist John Muir’s observation that “when we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.”

I finished Stream of Consequences in 2013. It has been traveling ever since.

When a piece travels with a show it takes on a new life. It becomes its own.  That transition from art I own to art that moves on is one of the primary reason I do this.

Art must move.

Releasing work into the wild

For many years I made quilts, shared them with friends, gave them as gifts or carefully rolled them up and put them under the bed. Then a friend of mine encouraged me to enter a show. It was a leap of faith both scary and intimidating. But the rewards were many. Releasing them into the wild reminds me of how my children grew into independent beings. They take on a life of their own.  I like to imagine a dialog between my art and the viewer. I've always thought it would be fun to install a webcam into a piece to record people's thoughts and reactions. I hope that instead of asking what was she thinking? that the viewer is inspired to ask what does this piece say to me?

Stream of Consequences  is currently at the University of Central Missouri Gallery of Art and Design in Warrensburg, Missouri.

Stream of Consequences is currently at the University of Central Missouri Gallery of Art and Design in Warrensburg, Missouri.

Round and Round It Goes  is currently traveling with Quilt National 2013.

Round and Round It Goes is currently traveling with Quilt National 2013.

Several of my pieces are traveling. The next best thing to being there is to receive a photo of people actually looking at the art. The picture above was taken at the University of Central Missouri Gallery of Art and Design. The man with the backpack seems to be intrigued by the detail, his feet planted solidly in front of the piece. The other two have their arms folded standing back a bit to give him space? Waiting their turn? or bored? I love that Stream of Consequences is hanging next to Kathy Nida's piece, Wise Choice. The quilts in this show must leave the viewers with lots to think about. Thanks to Annie Helmericks-Louder for sharing this photo.

And what could be better for an artist than to see a pic like the one here of a mother showing a piece to her daughter. Thanks to Lisa Kijak who also has a splendid piece in that show for this pic.

If you see an exhibit snap some pics for the artists. Let us know what a piece meant to you. It energizes our creativity and expands our understanding of the art.

The Earth Stories exhibit will travel into 2017.
Kennedy Gallery at Ohio University, Athens, Ohio  May 23 – September 7, 2015
San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles,  San Jose, CA,  November 6, 2015 – February 28, 2016
Huntington Museum of Art, Huntington, WV, June 25-October 2, 2016
Erie Museum of Art, Erie, NY,  January 20– June 11, 2017