Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Rod Kiracofe Presentation and August 2016 AHIQ Linkup


It's hard to get back to my old routine after taking off most of the summer. Quilts were left in progress  and I've had trouble remembering the plans.

While still a difficult time, this month has been more fun. We drove across the western US. As schoolchildren we learned a line called the Continental Divide separates rivers flowing east to the Gulf of Mexico or Atlantic from those flowing west to the Pacific. This is not quite true.

The Great Basin encompasses about a fifth of the country from the western Rockies to the eastern Sierra Nevadas. Water in this area flows nowhere. It can only evaporate leaving alkali beds, salt flats, and several salt lakes. The Great Salt Lake is the largest, but there are several more.

Mono Lake from a distance
 Mono Lake is one of them. It's so salty birds have trouble paddling in this lake; they're too buoyant. Tufas formed by fresh water springs famously tower above the lake's surface, in part because the lake has been drawn down to transport water to other parts of California.

Closeup of tufas at Mono Lake
Fortunately, this is no longer allowed. Unfortunately, the west has been in such a severe drought that the lake level is still falling.

Rod Kiracofe was the guest speaker at our quilt meeting yesterday. Although not a quilter, he has done more to advance quilting as important American art than anyone I know. Starting in 1983, The Quilt Digest juxtaposed antique works with contemporary art quilts highlighting the commonalities. He went on to write The American Quilt, a seminal work that displayed the development of quilting designs and styles through time when other books organized material by block design. As a maker, I learned skills from the latter layout, but as a student my understanding was enriched by Rod's history.


One-patch quilt of randomly sized rectangles.
One-Patch quilt from the collection of Rod Kiracofe shown at SCVQA meeting, 2016
I believe his greatest genius is, as he wrote in Unconventional and Unexpected, his "practice of creating new ideas in the larger cultural conversation." This is most evident in the exhibits he curates where he opens my eyes to relationships between different groups of people or art. For example, his exhibits last year at the San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles and at the Sonoma Art Museum.
Long rectangles, possibly men's hatbands, create this white, navy, black, tan, and red quilt.
Improvisational quilt, possibly from men's hatbands. Rod Kiracofe collection.
Hearing him again has reignited the need to quilt.

Edit: Monica suggested that since we both host this linkup Kaja and I each add our posts below to help others visit both. Such a good idea. Thanks!

Enjoy each day,
Ann

16 comments:

  1. Some of those early editions of The Quilt Digest really inspired me, too. Love that one patch! It has certainly made me think...

    Glad you are back. I hope you will get that chance to start sewing again soon!

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    1. Isn't it amazing how relevant The Digest still is, Monica? He really has an eye to combine different art and to see commonalities between artists.
      It always helps seeing quilts hung on a wall, a plain wall with good lighting. They look so different on a bed.
      Yes, it's good to be back and back to quilting.

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  2. I saw Rod Kiracofe's exhibit at the San Jose Quilt Museum last year too. I like that he is promoting the art of making quilts also. Quilting is a big part of our culture. So much of the time we are force fed so much negativity that is out of our control by the mass media.
    It's great when someone is promoting something healing and comforting.
    I'll be visiting the Boston area in a week or two to help with the arrival of my daughter's third child. East coast here I come! glad you're back, Ann.

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    1. One of the great things about the Bay Area is the number of textile exhibits. What a treat!
      Enjoy Boston. One of my offspring lives near there, too. Best wishes for a healthy, happy new grandchild.

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  3. Nothing to link this month but oh, how I would LOVE to sit in and listen to one of Rod Kiracofe's presentations or visit one of his curated shows. At least I have my copy of Unconventional and Unexpected.

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    1. He is a joy. He shares so freely and listens to others, too. Quite an uncommon mix. As I wrote Janie, I enjoy the way he juxtaposes items in his shows. They always make me think and yet seem such an obvious relationship I wonder why I didn't realize it before.
      Rod is an author I love to read, not just look at the photos.

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  4. Extraordinary landscape! You are so lucky to be in the same part of the world as Rod Kiracofe. Like Julie, what I wouldn't give...

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    1. I enjoy my time in California and know how fortunate I am. There are so many beautiful sights and interesting people.

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  5. I'd be thrilled to take in one of Rod Kiracofe's presentations. Your description makes them sound very appealing. I'll have to look for his books.

    That landscape is beautiful! I cannot wait to visit that part of the country. We're slowly making our way to each state. Now I know what I want to check out when we make it to Utah!

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    1. I've been so fortunate to hear his walk-through lectures of two of his recent exhibits. It's very enlightening to learn why he organized them. He has a great talent for creatively assembling and displaying diverse collections.
      How fun to see each state. Utah is amazing for its geology. (August was a bit hot. I'd like to go back in the spring or fall.)

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  6. Looks like a fun and educational trip! Lucky you, getting to see Roderick's quilts up close.

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    1. It was educational to see these quilts up close. They did not have heritage quilting; in fact, some were quilted with string. I remember my grandparents saving postal string and suppose that's what some of these women used to quilt.

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  7. It's wonderful to see you back and posting again Ann! Your travels have been so extensive this summer. I hope most things have gotten better for your family.
    Very glad that Mr. Kiracofe has reignited the flame for you. I particularly like that hat band quilt!

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    1. The hat bandaging was a favorite of mine, too. What a treat to see it up close and hear Rod's talk.
      My time this summer was very restricted; it's good to get back to s normal routine although o wish things had turned out differently. Hopefully you're ending your time with daughter and granddaughter.

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  8. Beautiful landscapes - I enjoy seeing different parts of the world I haven't been to. I enjoyed looking through his book too - so interesting to view differences and similarities in different styles of quilts.

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    1. That's why I like Rod. He opens my eyes to new combinations/juxtapositions of art. I admire the way he thinks about his collection.

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I enjoy reading your comments and usually reply here where everyone can read and join in. We have some great conversations.