I am pleased to announce the invited SAQA artists for A Sense of Direction: Sightlines. It was a difficult decision with 166 Requests For Consideration received, but it was also a complete joy to spend time with so much remarkable artwork.
The fourteen artists are:
Shelley Brenner Baird
Yael David- Cohen
Jayne Willoughby Scott
The most important task of a curator, I believe, is to have a vision for a particular exhibit. My vision for Sightlines is an exhibit that transcends any thoughts of the continuous sightline as a “gimmick” and instead focuses on the sightline as a unique invitation to a conversation between and among the artists. The conversation will also include viewers who will engage with each artwork in turn and then follow the thread of conversation through the exhibit.
I looked at every jpeg, blog and website three times before making any decisions. I took a quick glance upon submission, then studied all Requests twice with several days between each complete survey. I then made a shortlist of 40 artists I wanted to consider for invitation. I looked at their Requests and artwork two additional times, leaving several days between surveys so my eye would be fresh.
The Sightlines artwork will be created without me or, probably at this point, the artist knowing what it will look like. I wanted art that would undoubtedly be powerful at its premier in the distant date of November 2011 and continue to be so as it toured. This requires art that is About Something. Not necessarily something momentous or earthshaking, but it has to be about something that motivates the artist to create artwork that is of the highest standards both in its materiality and its meaning.
The best conversationalists bring to the table knowledge, wit, passion, maturity, and a point of view. So, too, do the invited artists to the Sightlines exhibition. It should be quite a conversation.
It was an extremely strong pool of artists and I thank each artist who submitted a Request. I also thank Peg Keeney for her mentorship and the exhibition committee for the opportunity to serve SAQA as curator for this unique exhibit.
Note about Sightlines: This innovative exhibit will feature 14 invited artists who will create five to eight artworks on the theme of their choice. There are specific specs for some of the artworks, but each artist will have a ten foot wide by 7 foot high panel for his/her artwork. It is an innovative concept inspired by this exhibition by tACTile, an Australian group of textile artists.
The exhibition premiers at International Quilt Festival in Houston in 2011 and travels to the International Quilt Festivals in Chicago and Long Beach. A Sense of Direction: Sightlines will also be available for travel; visit the SAQA website for more information if you would like this innovative exhibit to be shown at your venue.