First, let me thank Clara Nartey and the Connecticut Regional SAQA organization for inviting me to jury the Local Color 4: Rails, Roads and Rivers show. It is an honor and a challenge to select works for this exhibition from the body of diverse, beautiful, poignant and thought-provoking submissions. Works exemplify broad creative interpretations of the theme, masterful design and artistry and articulate statements that all merit selection.
CT SAQA artists are to be commended on the work submitted. It is difficult to eliminate works from a collection, but the clear, clean photography presented helps in an initial evaluation, where one looks for visual impact and intrigue. Unfortunately, creating a tight, cohesive exhibit requires removing outliers, despite their individual quality, and means some strong pieces are not included in the final collection.
Rails, Roads and Rivers pays tribute to all modes of transportation and movement and is thus widely interpreted by the participating artists. Some selections are literal; addressing one’s personal, bleary-eyed commute, the quiet solitude of a morning’s walk or the stunning portrait of a locomotive. Others are metaphorical; depicting our, sometimes painful, personal journeys, our efforts to make sense of the world around us and our transformations in life. Depictions ranged from photo-realism, to abstract, to whimsical, using materials and color to enhance their story. The breadth of techniques employed, from printing and painting to whole cloth and hand-stitch, will draw the viewer in to further explore each piece in this captivating collection.
Overall, Rails, Roads and Rivers was an inspiring theme that frequently evoked memories of the beautiful landscape and rich history of Connecticut, a very special place in my own life.
Martha Wolfe is an award-winning fiber artist and printmaker living in Northern California. In addition to creating art quilts, she exhibits and teaches workshops, offers lectures and leads a textile tour to Japan in conjunction with the Tokyo Quilt Festival.
Her work has been published in numerous magazines and books and is held in public and private collections. She is the founding member and curator of the international collaborative group, Viewpoints 9, consisting of 9 artists sharing a guided creative journey and exhibiting together throughout the world.
Martha currently serves on the Studio Art Quilt Associates (SAQA) Board of Directors. See her art work at Martha Wolfe.