Coast-to-coast “Don’t Miss” Exhibits, Part 2: Quilt National 2011 in San Jose (CA)

In my last post, I told you about next week’s exhibit of spectacular vintage Amish quilts at the Lancaster (PA) Quilt and Textile Museum. In Part 2 of our virtual tour, we travel to the other side of the country for a completely different visual–and inspirational–treat.

Our destination is the San Jose (CA) Museum of Quilts & Textiles, where the quilts currently on display represent the cutting edge of the medium today. From now through April 29, the SJMQ&T is featuring 46 outstanding works from the most recent (2011) version of the prestigious biennial show, Quilt National.

Con Brio (With Spirit), Katie Pasquini Masopust, Santa Fe, NM, 64" x 64", 2010. One of the quilts currently on display at the San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles.
The Dairy Barn Art Center, Athens, OH, the traditional debut venue for Quilt National

Since its inception in 1979, Quilt National has been recognized for fostering and celebrating “artistic innovation and diversity in the contemporary quilt world.” The exhibit debuts in odd-numbered years at The Dairy Barn Arts Center, in Athens, OH, where it remains throughout the summer. Following this initial run, the show is divided into three touring exhibits and begins a two-year tour of galleries and museums around the country. This is the first time since 2006 that any part of Quilt National has been on view at the San Jose venue. The current exhibit encompasses two parts (A and B) of the 2011 traveling show.

Color x 3, Bonnie J. Smith, San Jose, CA, 48 1/2" x 50", 2010

Competition for inclusion in this acclaimed juried show is fierce. Three jurors are charged with winnowing down 1000+ international submissions to the 85 works that comprise the final selections. Quilt National 2011 includes work produced by quilters from 24 states and six foreign countries: the United Kingdom, Australia, Japan, Canada, Germany, and France. Almost half of the artists are first-time exhibitors.

Sunsplash, Fenella Davies, Bath, UK, 47" x 65", 2010. One of the works by international artists included in the San Jose exhibit.

On Sunday, March 18, from 1:00 – 2:30 p.m., the museum will present a special program, “Insights into Quilt National ’11,” with quilt artist Nelda Warkentin. Ms. Warkentin, one of the jurors for the 2011 show, will share observations about the jury process, the exhibit, and her own work. The presentation will include a gallery walk.

Lingering Image, Japan, Patty Hawkins, Estes Park, CO, 44" x 46", 2010

Recently, my blogging sister, Christie, and I took a road trip to see the touring quilts in San Jose. We were blown away by the variety, the quality, and the sheer inventiveness of the work. The artists altered and manipulated the surface of fabric in almost every way imaginable: it was dyed, discharged, painted, stenciled, silkscreened, inkjet printed, digitally processed, and more. In addition to cotton, materials included silk, tulle and other sheers, felt, canvas, plastic grocery bags, velvet, recycled bedsheets, blanket binding, corregated cardboard, and other non-traditional “ingredients.” We were surprised by the amount of hand stitching, which included lots of embroidery and straight-line, big-stitch quilting.

Cross My Heart, Judy Martin, Ontario, Canada, 33" x 35", 2010

If a springtime journey to San Jose is not in your stars, the beautiful, hardcover catalog of the complete 2011 Quilt National show is a delightful alternative. Quilt National 2011: The Best of Contemporary Quilts, published by Lark Crafts, features large photos of each of the 85 quilts; descriptions and artist statements; an intro by Kathleen Dawson, Quilt National Director; informative essays by the three jurors; and more.

You guessed it! Lark has generously offered a giveaway copy to one of our readers! Just  leave a comment below by midnight (PDT), March 21, and you’ll be entered into the drawing for this terrific giveaway. Have you ever attended Quilt National? Have you entered? Thought about entering? What are your thoughts about the impact of this exhibit on quilting in general? As always, we love to hear from you! I’ll announce the winner in my March 23 post.

I hope you’ve enjoyed the tour. Special thanks to Deborah Corsini, Museum Curator at the San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles for providing the quilt photos and for her assistance with this post.

Viewers enjoy the quilts at a previous EBHQ show. Photo by Jane Herlihy.

One final “heads up.” If you’re in the SF Bay area next weekend (March 17 – 18), be sure to put the East Bay Heritage Quilt Show, Voices in Cloth 2012, on your schedule. It’s at a lovely new venue, The Craneway Pavillion on the Richmond waterfront. There’ll be over 200 quilts on display, vendors, special exhibits, demonstrations, and more.

That’s it for now. ‘Til next time, happy stitching!


32 thoughts on “Coast-to-coast “Don’t Miss” Exhibits, Part 2: Quilt National 2011 in San Jose (CA)

  1. I would love to see Quilt National one day – it’s certainly on my bucket list! I have been venturing more into art quilting as the possibilities are endless – and so much fun. Thanks for the chance of winning
    Jane in New Zealand


  2. Quilters’ imaginations always keep more fabric on my shelf and new ideas in my to-do list. Thanks for giving us the heads-up on this event.


  3. I am a fairly-new quilter, (a few years of experience) and I am certainly gravitating towards more mixed media type work. I would relish the catalog of the exhibit to have the chance to see such art forms!


  4. Attending Quilt National is on my bucket list, and I hope it happens in 2013. Maybe I’ll enter a quilt…getting accepted would motivate me to make the travel plans! I have admired the quilts from this show for many years! I’d love to have a copy of this year’s book to add to my collection of earlier Quilt National books and to inspire me to be more creative!


  5. I am looking forward to visiting this exhibit in San Jose. Thanks for the great review. And thanks also for the information on the Oakland show. I might have to try to fit both of them in this Sunday.


  6. I was so lucky to see the exhibit when I was in San Jose visiting my daughter. It had just opened and certainly gives a quilter a lot to look at and comtemplate.


  7. Thank you for the information on the quilt museum in San Jose. It’s great to hear about great places to visit in my own state even if I am from the southern end :-).


  8. Thanks for the information and images.
    I have never been to a National Quilt Show but I love to see art quilt designs
    on line and in books. I am glad Judy Martin gave the link to this site.


  9. I would love to see this show in person, unfortunately travel to any of the venues is just not in the cards right now. But would love to win the book, thanks to you & Lark for the opportunity.


  10. As a native New Yorker, I have traveled to California only twice for a conference. Unfortunately, no quilt show visits were a part of the visits. I certainly envy those of you who have the opportunity to see this exhibit. I belong to an art quilt group that would clearly be inspired by this show. Who knows, one of us may enter something one day. Thank you for the great photos and information about the book.


  11. Wow those are Fabulous! I always think I want to take the plunge and make something alittle more artistic. However I have not full jumped yet. Those pictures inspire me to try. Its awesome that people are doing quilting that is beyond the norm- I think this opens the doors for future quilters. I know I have not had a person to follow as no one in my family quilts so by learning and teaching my daughter I look forward for the next generation to pick up when I leave off. Thanks for sharing as I have not heard of either of the venues and I am hoping to finish my firt quilt soon.


  12. I have seen parts of shows that were exhibited at the Houston quilt festival, but never the whole thing in person. Would love to win this book and pore over the pages.


  13. Got to your blog because you mentioned a pattern and so glad I did. I intend to go to San Jose (about half hour drive) and wish I could attend the tour but going to the quilt show that day. So glad I found you and have signed up to follow. Good stuff…


  14. I have been to the show in Lancaster PA. I have never entered a quilt in any competition. I love looking at all the work put into the quilts.


  15. Thank you to Judy Martin for directing me over to your wonderful blog as well as the opportunity to see the Quilt International ’11 videos from San Jose exhibit . I am a novice quilter gathering knowledge and taking Art Appreciation at the local community college with the intent to further my understanding of color etc. and am so excited to recognize art forms of the “Greats” being done in fiber-arts. Just what I was looking for. Inspiring!


  16. I’ve seen only one QN, many years ago and it was so wonderful. I have entered, but never been accepted. A dream that will probably never come to pass! I’d love to win the book.


  17. Many years ago I saw part of Quilt National when it was at the Crocker in Sacramento, but now I live much farther away and don’t have the opportunity to see it. I’d love a copy of the book, not quite like seeing the pieces in person, but better than not seeing them at all.


  18. I’ve seen several Quilt National shows at the Dairy Barn! It’s always exciting to see the quilts displayed there because of the wonderful space and lighting. I’ve also bought every Quilt National book that has been published, including the 2011 catalog, so if I win I’ll pass the book on to a friend!


  19. I have seen two Quilt National displays, one in St.Louis, MO and one in St. Charles, MO. Both were great! I’d love to win a copy of the latest book!


  20. I’m so happy!! I live about an hour’s drive from the San Jose Museum (I’ve been there several times) and I will definitely be there for the March 18th special program….yay! Also, I would love an opportunity to win this book. Thank you so much. Connie in California


  21. I would love to win the book. I haven’t been to Quilt National, but I have a friend that is determined to get in, she is a real competitor.


  22. We are lucky here in St. Louis because Quilt National’s first stop is always at The Foundry Art Centre in nearby St. Charles. It’s great to see art quilts of the very best. Thanks for the chance to win the catalog of the exibit.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s