Studio Art Quilt Associates

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

American Craft Council St Paul MN

by Jean Judd

I had a wonderful experience at the American Craft Council show in St. Paul, Minnesota while many of you were at the International Quilt Festival in Chicago. I met the new executive director, Chris Amundsen, at the symposium at the University of Minnesota. He actually doesn’t start until mid May but was there checking out the show and meeting collectors and artists. I’m excited about the move of the Council from NYC to the Twin Cities.

There was some spectacular artwork there. I didn’t bring my camera with me as quite often photography isn’t allowed. There will be photos of the show in one of the upcoming American Craft Magazine issues. Tim Harding (a SAQA member) was very gracious and I enjoyed a good conversation with him. I congratulated him on his upcoming exhibition in Poland at the Textile Triennial. Tim and Regina Benson (another SAQA member) are the only non-weavers invited to exhibit.

I handed out many business cards to artists as well as collectors. I also put out some cards on the information table they had setup for studio tours so they will be there for Saturday and Sunday when I am not there. Many that I talked to I am now connected to on LinkedIn as well so it was very good from a networking standpoint.

Money was flowing very freely. I personally witnessed 5 sales each over $2,000 in different booths and many smaller sales. There was a lot of wearable fiber art and I thought there was too much similarity between colors and designs in the various booths. The American Craft Council shows don’t have quotas for the various mediums, but it seemed like there was almost too much wearable fiber art so the sales for them may not be as high. Besides Tim Harding’s booth, there was one other art quilt booth and they were small felt pieces framed in some wonderful handmade frames under glass. I did some promoting of SAQA to her as she is not a member.

Here is just a small sample of web sites of some of the artists’ work I saw and that really caught my attention.

Bratach Stitch Studio – Julie Crabtree-Pfannes – hand and machine stitched paintings.

Out of Paradise – Verne Yan – hand silk embroidery was absolute astounding.

Transparent Dreams – Josephine Geiger – does stained glass that also has copper fiber in it that looks like flowing material.

IMAJ – Rosella Pat Peck – from Pennsylvania makes wonderful mini kimonos out of paper that really look like textiles. She doesn’t have a web site.

Danielle Desplan – does mixed media on paper.

Sharra Frank – does fine art mosaics.

Jon Michael Route – does copper work and teapots. Has been at the show for all 24 years.

Tim Byrns – does wonderful wood carvings from the left over stumps from timber harvests.

Claymoon Cooper – does wonderful copper wall pieces that really look like hand dyed fabrics to me. This husband/wife team does fantastic work and they have multiple gallery representation that they can’t keep stocked as their work is selling so quickly.

Gallery 180 – does great work with steel and uses images from the Hubble telescope as inspiration for his work.

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