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Sunday, August 14, 2011

Aullwood 2011: Pat Kroth and Anne Garretson

I often go to art quilt exhibitions with a friend who plays devil's advocate.  This is partly brought up by Quilt National's rules for submitting quilts....and the technical description of a quilt.  Quilt National says submitted pieces must be of at least two fabric or fabric like layers held together by stitches (machine or hand) or other elements which are distributed throughout the quilt.  The technical description of a quilt is three layers held together by stitches.  A comforter is three layers held with tacks or "ties" and a "summer spread "  is two layers held together in some way.  The last set of definitions come from the traditional background and how we described them when I was in the curatorial end of things.

Pat Kroth, "Cool Waters" 55" x 21" $800

So, when we came to Pat Kroth's "Cool Waters" it immediately allowed her to needle me.  "Is this a quilt?"  Well, it isn't in the traditional sense, but it does meet Quilt Nationals two fact in many areas it is more than two layers.  Pat's piece of fiber art is composed of bits of sheer fabrics, ribbons, specialty yarns and threads trapped between layers of netting. Pat also used vegetable bags, although I think you'd be hard pressed to find them...ooh....a good seek and find if you're able to get to Aullwood Nature Center before the show closes Aug. 21.

Pat is from Verona, Wisconsin and has a website..of sorts.  I can't seem to go places within it to see galleries, but here you are:
Pat was included in Quilt National and in Lark Books Quilt Masterpieces vol. 1. She's also a fellow SAQA member.   I started to laugh when I read her label as she said "I trained and competed in the 2004, 2006 and 2009 Wisconsin Ironman Triathlon.  I had to learn to swim going from 2 lengths to 2 1/2 miles.. .  I now relax, embrace and enjoy the water. "  As someone who ran, biked and swam, and volunteered at many triathlons, and "crewed" for my husband who competed in triathlons for many years,  I could relate.

Pat Kroth, "Cool Waters" detail

One of the most unfortunate things about the Aullwood show this year is how this quilt was hung.  While there are several areas where there are light colored walls, "Cool Waters" was hung on the "barn siding" side.  The darker color and texture of the wood does not show this piece to best advantage.  I understand that it worked size wise and color-wise with other quilts hung on this wall, but I'd rather have seen it on the opposite side of the hall against the lighter colored background.
Anne Garretson, "Northern Hardwood Forest", 33.5" x 32.5" NFS

Garretson, "Northern Hardwood Forest" detail.

Garretson, Northern Hardwood Forest detail of binding
Anne Garretson of Spencer, New York made this great piece entitled "Northern Hardwood Forest."  At first, you may wonder why this pieces was included in a show called "Water, Water Everywhere", until you read her label.

"The Northern Hardwood Forest at the head of the Susquehanna Riber, is home to jays, salamanders, beech trees, mushrooms and wood sorrel.  This is one of a series of ecosystem mandela quilts representing the Susquahanna Watershed.  Surface design for this piece consists of plant and animal motifs reproduced from woodcut engravings transferred to fabric one image at a time creating the mandala.  Hand-quilting to form a sunburst pattern symbolizes the unifying, cyclic nature of watersheds.  Quilting allows me to share my love of the watershed with others.   My studio is in my home in the  New York's Finger Lakes region.  Dry Run Creek flows by on its way to the Susquahanna River.  The river meanders into Chesapeake Bay.  The Bay opens onto the Ocean and on it goes. . . Wherever we live, we effect the environment around the globe.  All our efforts of care, big and small are worthwhile."

If you take a look at Anne's website you can see she practices what she preaches in her work on her own property. You can also see some of her other fiber art,

I enjoy the simplicity of this piece.  I think I would have outline quilted the salamanders and the beech leaves right up next to their bodies to make them pop from the background, but this is a minor thought. 

I do wonder, however, how a different colored binding would work.  Not all pieces need bindings or borders, but this piece does in order to stop the eye.  I think Anne chose the light peachy brown binding color so that it wouldn't assault the eye like a black binding would, but would be a mid-range color which wouldn't be so in yoru face.  However, since the quilt is done in black and quite....the binding sticks out for me.

Just to give you another thought....I am showing you the quilt without the brown binding, but with a (poorly) photoshopped in grey binding.  I think it does what I'm supposing Anne intended while being in the same color family and therefore being unobtrusive.  

Garretson, Northern Hardwood Forest" photoshopped with a grey border by Lisa Quintana

1 comment:

Sherrie Spangler said...

I love Pat Kroth's work. I knew her and had the pleasure of seeing her work regularly when I lived in Illinois and we both belonged to PAQA. She's a fun person!