Recent Commission for Palo Alto Medical Foundation Art Collection
Mixed Media - 2009 - 42" x 84"
Just recently my husband and I drove up to Appalachian State University in Boone NC to see two exhibits at The Turchin Center for the Visual Arts. One of those exhibits was a traveling exhibition of work entitled 12 VOICES and was organized by the Studio Art Quilt Association of which I am a member. The work was interesting overall but there were standouts which I wrote about.
Sometimes you know why you are attracted to a particular artist's work and this was the case with the work of Joan Schulze. I had seen reproductions of her art and I had visited her website, but seeing the work in person sealed my interest in the work and the artist.
Collage - 2010 - 8" x 10"
The San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles in San Jose, Ca is presenting a retrospective of her 40 year career and the show will run from Feb. 16-May 9 2010. The exhibit showcases Schulze's immense body of work from her early quilts to her most recent fiber collages that fuse photographic images with painted textures and mark-making .
I find this very exciting as it represents the broadening that has been and is taking place in textiles and the "cross-over" work that so many artists are making. Congratulations Joan! Can't wait to see the catalog.
Collage - 2010 - 8" x 10"
Interview with Joan Schulze
Terry: At what point in your life did you know at your core that you were an artist?
Joan: The idea that I could be an artist grew when we moved to California in 1967. There were artists in the neighborhood and it seemed that even with 3 children, I could explore stitchery. I sewed. I learned to embroider. By 1970 it was clear to me that this vocation was insistent. I used the word artist in describing myself right away.
Terry: Do you ever get into an artistic slump and if so, how do you rejuvenate yourself?
Joan: I never have had time to have an artistic slump. I can always find something to do. This often leads to another project. When I run into a design or technical problem and can't think of an immediate solution, I leave it alone and work on something else. I often find I can return to the sticking point and a solution presents itself. Working on something, almost anything, refreshes an rejuvenates me.
Terry: Please describe your studio activity...your work habit.
Joan: I tend to work in fragments of time. I can be planning a trip, organizing a workshop or writing and article or poem and thinking about what I left unfinished in the studio. The physical making of the art is squeezed out of a day or week. It's wonderful to find 2 full days with no interruptions. I get a lot done because I am making lists of what I need to do, organize things so that I can hit the ground running when I arrive at the studio. My studio is 40 minutes away in San Francisco. My office is at home. I do a lot of work on the computer which helps me organize my studio life.
Terry: You seem to be a very productive artist. Do you work on many pieces simultaneously? Do you work in more than one medium at a time?
I usually have 3 or more pieces in the works. If they are large, they take a different kind of energy than smaller work. When I find myself being really tired, I take a break and switch to working small, mostly collages or works on paper. It changes the pace and I often get a second or third wind. I can easily extend a working day this way.
Terry: What do you find most interesting in the world of textiles today?
Joan: I find this question difficult because I haven't had time to see nor read what is going on. Now that my book is finished and my retrospective is opening middle of February, I may have some time to go to a few galleries and museums, perhaps make dent in the stack of magazines and books.
I asked Joan for an artist statement that was very current and she sent me two poems which she says are statements of a sort.
collage if you must
race ahead with experiments
let imagination run riot
failure is its own reward
pay tribute to your muses,
your heroes, your limits
be sentimental, yet tough
the editor is home,
you are always home.
and Poem 2:
a complex balance
of danceable intricacies
act with grace
test the wind
keep the spirit
Joan In Studio
Teresa Huang Photographer
Seventh International Fiber Biennial - Feb 5 - March 20, 2010
303 Cherry Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106
Collage - 2009 - 8.5" x 11"
Dear Readers, Some people have alerted me to issues posting comments. Please let me know if you are unable to comment as I want Joan to know you dropped by. Thank you.