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Sunday, June 26, 2011

News from the Artist Reception for Sacred Threads June 25, 2011

Walking in Love is but one part of the entire show of Sacred Threads, an exhibition hall full of the amazing vitality that makes up our shared human experience all depicted through fiber. Celebrating our frailties, our strengths and joy, the quilts here radiate astonishing stories. Vikki Pignatelli founded this show and trusted it to the care of Lisa Ellis and Christine Adams and their faithful and talented committee who have successfully opened the first showing in Herdon, Virginia. How wonderful to Meet Vikki and hear first hand why she created this venue. A quilter who was accustomed to her work being judged, nevertheless Vikki was stung when a judge commented unfavorably on a quilt which was more spiritual in its nature. Vikki took something that did not work and turned it into a show that offers viewers a breadth and depth of the human condition that I have never seen anywhere else. Vikki and her husband Denny came out to  Herdon to pass the baton of Sacred Threads into the good hands of others who also care about showing the world art infused with the deepest feelings of life in this body.

The women I met, the stories they have to tell, encourage me to keep expressing all that I might otherwise bottle up inside. The Walking In Love Installation sits in the center of this jewel of a show. It was quite satisfying to hear complete strangers respond to the power of the art that was made holding the feeling of love. Two women who met in the center of the spiral spoke of how they were so surprisingly affected that they committed to speak with each other in a few months to talk about how Walking in Love has impacted their own fiber art pieces and how they create.

One lesson I came away with: if you have any desire to express yourself, do it. Peg, one of the artists, told me that she takes more risks now in her life. The risk to expose who you are and what you have experienced enriches everyone. What you have to share is important to us all. No quilt is too small, no emotion too trivial. However, I will tell you that when you dare to touch on, even dive deeply into, those topics which "polite and dignified" society (whatever that is) keep as taboo then you help all of us open up our hearts to a fuller and richer life. I met women who have been dealt so many difficult things in life. Betrayal, cancer, the death of multiple children, a childhood filled with the aftermath of a parent who suffered atrocities, addictions and more. These difficulties were transformed into stunningly surprising fiber art. The artists found healing for themselves while gifting the rest of us with brilliant fiber art to contemplate.
Themes  of joy celebrating natural beauty, the way light illuminates stained glass in a cathedral, ephemeral beauty of a time when beloved children walked wooded paths, women's retreats to replenish the wells. These quilts remind me to look around and take stock of all that is good and true and beautiful. Life is for living and nothing is to be pushed aside or hidden away. Great invigoration exists when we open up to acceptance that it is all good and worth sharing. Sharing it, whatever it is,  makes life better.

I learned all of this over the course of a three hour reception in which artists walked around visiting with each other and a delicious Italian dinner party afterwards. Friendships were forged, hearts shared, encouragement found. 

1 comment:

  1. Lisa! It was so wonderful to meet you last night and such a privilege to experience Walking in Love at the Sacred Threads show. Thank you for your dedication and passion. It's an inspiration.