Sunday, August 14, 2011

Quilt Festival...The Brush...The Whistler

In my neck of the woods "Quilt Festival", "Brush" and "Whistler" used in the same sentence can reference only one thing: the New England Quilt Museum's Quilt Festival in Lowell MA. It concluded yesterday.

Note: In this photo my work "Diaspora" is on left and "Dusk" on right at The Whistler.

My Sister in Cloth buddy Yvette Howard and I drove up on Thursday so we would be there when it opened and not miss a thing in the chock-o-block events that traditionally pack this weekend.

I can truthfully say we were both disappointed. The Museum downsized the number of vendors to the outskirts of one floor of the auditorium where the exhibit has been featured since it moved from the much larger, more modern Tsongas Coliseum.

We usually "win" some treasure at their annual auction on Thurs evening, but they discontinued that. They also discontinued having classes during the event, which is a shame as I think it brings in more people and introduces more people to teachers' work (a win-win from my point of view).

The museum also had different hours from the quilt festival (10-6) itself. The museum closed at 4pm (except for Gallery Night on Fri) you could take the shuttle there and cool your heels until the next one came along. We saw scores (okay...10-25) waiting disappointedly. We walked everywhere, not caring what the shuttle was up to.

Enough of the downside! To quote Lucy (of Peanuts fame): I want ups, ups and more ups!

So here I am reflected in the window of The Brush gallery taking a photo of my work (boats on r). The exhibit is terrific! Geri Condon's piece is great...just to the left as you the right is Betty Busby's two wonderful undersea pieces. OH...I was nearby when Betty's Garibaldi
sold...I was so excited for her I impulsively gave the buyer a big hug and took her pic to send to Betty. How lame is that?

Everyone...okay, an exaggeration..lots of quilt artists were there. SAQA/MA regional meeting was in the morning on Saturday and both the Brush and the Whistler hosted opening that afternoon.
Pictured here (l-r) are Karen Bettencourt, Rayna Gillman (aka the best blogger who posted all three days...go read her comments) and Norma Schlager at The Whistler House Art Museum's opening, standing in front of Bev Fine's work (one of my favorites there). Rayna and I shared quarters...she connected with and introduced us to several local artists (lots of fun!! as you can imagine)

I missed taking photos of so many friends that I really enjoyed catching up with. Had dinner with Sandy Gregg...her work at The Brush is gorgeous.

So. Net Net. While disappointing, Lowell is still an art quilter's destination. One just doesn't need to get there during the Festival. Fortunately the exhibits that are so wonderful are up all month. So, next year, my buddy (s) and I will stop in Lowell, see both venues, make sure we have lunch at LaBoniche (our favorite restaurant), stop into Western Avenue galleries to see what Friends of Fiber/Linda Dunn/Tatja Cottrell/et al are up to and travel on to the Mancuso show which is always in August.


  1. All in all, it sounds like fun!

  2. It may be a sign of the times that the show has downsized its activities -- so many galleries are struggling these days. So envious that you live close enough to this venue to attend all the wonderful events -- thanks so much for sharing, and congratulations on your entries in the exhibit.


  3. Diane (Evans) Thanks for the comment...and you are right. I probably should have taken a day of reflection before posting about my disappointment. I hope it's "only" the economy and that the NEQM can return to its more prominent profile in our region sometime in the future. It is a wonderful, supportive town. I'd hate to see them squander the place they had made for themselves. I'll still look forward to each August. I'm still hoping that at some point they will be able to return to their previous place of excellence in the quilt/art quilt exhibition world.

    I always appreciate your thoughtful, reasoned comments. Keep'm coming!