Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Color Improvisations Opens in Germany

Main entrance to Color Improvisations
Haus der Wirtschaft, Stuttgart, Germany

After many months of work, planning, anticipation and anxiety, the fabulous exhibiton Color Improvisations has opened in Stuttgart, Germany to a wonderful response from artists and guests. I can not say another word until I acknowledge Nancy Crow for her vision in organizing this event and Ginie Curtze whose tireless work on behalf of this exhibition and quilt making in general has made the exhibition such a professional exhibition.

My husband Tom and I arrived in Stuttgart on Friday before the opening of the show on Sunday so we were able to visit a couple of museums on Saturday before joining some of the other participants on Saturday evening for a casual dinner.

Grand Stairway to Galleries on Left and Right

On Sunday the planned events started with a beautiful luncheon at the hotel where we were staying. After the luncheon we walked to the museum to preview the show. The schedule was tight with a mere 30 minute time slot for the artists to preview the exhibition before guests were allowed into the museum. I managed to snap a few photos and see all the pieces but was not able to photograph them all. Thomas Curtze, who designed the beautiful catalog for the show, has established a Flicker site where he will be adding photos shot of the show:

Nancy Crow addressing Artists and guests at Luncheon prior to opening reception. The man to her right is Andy Curtze who acted as interpreter and translated into German.

Kathy Loomis and Cathy Shanahan visit during the luncheon.

Everyone gathered in the lecture hall where one of the city mayors welcomed us and then we were each introduced with a small slide presentation and statement relating to our work. We were treated to a musical performance by an Opera singer whose name I do not know. If there was a printed program I failed to get one but her performance was wonderful and added to the festive mood of the event.

Musical Performance

At the conclusion of the formal introductions we all sat at tables outside the galleries and signed catalogs. This was an amazing event as I think everyone purchased a catalog. As the guests came around they were generous with their comments and very enthusiastic about the show as a whole.

As I said earlier, I was only able to take a few pictures before our 30 minutes was over and I was more interested in just looking and absorbing than documenting but I'll share the ones I did take. There are 50 pieces in the exhibition made by 26 artists. All but 4 artists were present for the opening reception. I believe the show demonstrates clearly the possibilities of the medium and the quality of work that is being made with fabric and certainly shows the richness of work that is being made using the piecing process. Represented are works made by artists who have been working with the medium since the 1970s as well as those who have only been doing so for a few years. I felt part of impact of the show is due to the specific nature of the work all being pieced rather than most juried shows where the range of techniques is much wider. The size of the work also contributed to the impact as there were no pieces smaller than approximately 72" square.

Forest Floor - Terry Jarrard-Dimond
Hand dyed cottons, Free Cut, Machine Pieced, Machine Quilted
78.25" x 78.25"

Sculpture Garden - Terry Jarrard-Dimond
Hand dyed cottons, Free Cut, Machine Pieced, Machine Quilted
81.5" x 83"

Figure In Brown - Terry Jarrard-Dimond
Hand dyed cottons, Free Cut, Machine Pieced, Machine Quilted
81.5" x 83"


Forest Floor - Terry Jarrard-Dimond
Hand dyed cottons, Free Cut, Machine Pieced, Machine Quilted
78.25" x 78.25"

I have three pieces in the exhibition. During the year after being invited to submit work for this exhibition I made 9 pieces aimed toward this show. Of the 9 I actually completed 5 and submitted 4. I generally don't make work for specific exhibitions but rather I work and then find places to show what I create but I would never have passed up the opportunity to be included in this show and I learned a great deal making this work. The photos of my work are not very focused and I will be adding better images of each work to my website. My statement was simple:

I often think of the compositions as "interior landscapes" which are the result of my life experiences.

Organized Chaos - Violet Cavazos
Cotton, Machine Pieced and Machine Quilted
74" x 74"

Detail - Organized Chaos - Violet Cavazos

This work by Violet Cavazos was one of my favorites. You might notice immediately that it is in black and white rather than color. I'd like to share what Violet has to say:

Organized Chaos was started while my husband was dying. During the course of his long illness, the colors of my working palette drained away until only grays and black remained.

I loved this piece and it was very interesting to me later in my trip went we traveled to France and saw a fabulous exhibition of work by women in the permanent collection at the Pompidou Center entitled elles @ centrepompidou. As I walked the galleries of that show I was struck by how comfortable much of the work in Color Improvisations would be hanging alongside these pieces by our more famous sisters. Congratulations Violet. It is a beautiful piece.

Construction #49 Grey and Brown Weave - Leslie Joan Riley
Hand dyed and commercial Cottons, Machine Pieced,
Machine Quilted by Sue Divarco with Pattern Designed by Leslie Joan Riley
82" x 89"

Construction #50 - Leslie Joan Riley
Hand dyed and Commercial Cottons, Machine Pieced,
Machine Quilted by Sue Divarco with pattern Designed by Leslie Jaon Riley
89" x 81"

Leslie says: My work is the exploration of the creative process. I layer the complex relationships of form and color to create a dense image that reflects the aspects of life that I am drawn to, details and their relationship to the whole. These relationships engage me such that it absorbs my attention and I am excited to proceed.

I adore the results of this intense piecing and I am amazed at the dedication it takes to work in this manner. Others represented in the show who work this way included Violet Cavasa, Kathy Loomis, Nancy Cordry, and Suzanne Buchmann.

Limnos/Benthos - Mary Lou Alexander
Cotton, Shibori Dyed, Machine Pieced and Machine Quilted
74" x 74"

Mary Lou had two beautiful pieces in the show, both shibori dyed. I loved the introduction of the areas of color which created subtle shapes and depth in the work. Mary Lou says:

As a biologist, I am fascinated by natural phenomena. For me, art , like science, brings order to these phenomena. I want my quilts to reflect the wonder and awe that I feel for the natural world. Both art and science have added immeasurably to the richness of my life, and in turn I hope that I will have contributed in some small way to each.

Velvet Falls - Cathy Shanahan
Hand Dyed Cottons, Machine Pieced and Machine Quilted
72" x 75"


Jewels of the Earth - Cathy Shanahan
Hand Dyed Cottons, Machine Pieced and Machine Quilted
76" x 73"

There are a number of artists in the exhibition I do not know but I do know Cathy and had the fun of being a neighbor of Cathy's in a workshop a year or so ago. Cathy's growth and understanding of her work has been a joy to watch and her work in the show really glowed. Here is what she had to say:

I live in the cycle of creativity. There are the ups of inspirations, the joys of problem solving, the tedium of pushing through, and in the end the piece will sing to me. Then the cycle begins anew, bubbling and percolating in my mind.

Giganten 14 - Heike Dressler
Hand dyed Cotton Sateen, Machine Pieced and Machine quilted
73" x 73"

I confess that I did not know the work of most of the European artists so it was fun to see their work and meet many of them. Heike and I sat next to one another to sign the books and she is great fun with a beautiful smile and personality. I felt a great connection to her work. Here is her statement:

In my recent work I set the merging of color and form up against that of contrast and transparency. That is why the eye is constantly attracted to new details.

Linienspiel VIII - Uta Lenk
Inspired by a drawing of 3 year old Jan Lenk
Hand dyed Fabric, Machine pieced and machine uilted.
73" x 74"

Uta Lenk lives in Vilsbiburg, Germany and is another of the European artists in the show. Her current work is based on drawings done by her young son and features beautiful linework which can be a difficult element to work with in cut and pieced work. Here is her statement:

As an artist I produce art for others to indulge in, and it is a great gift that I can enjoy the period of production. The viewer's reactions to the finished product then transform it into real art, and the viewer is the one who finds his or her own meaing in it.

I wish I had photos of all the work to share with you but I will keep my eyes open for more images. At this time there isn't a US distributor for the catalog but I will post that information when it becomes available.

The show will be traveling to a number of places in Europe and possibly to Japan and I hope the US. If it comes to your area it is definitely worth a visit.

Thank you for visiting and spending time with my blog. I love hearing from you and hope you will visit again.

*** I almost forgot. Of the 26 artists participating in the exhibition, 2 were born in South and Sylvia Sutherland. Kind of interesting.


  1. Terry, this is marvelous!! I loved your synopsis of the events and getting a chance to see the work of the exhibiting artists. What a beautiful exhibition space and presentation of activities. Congratulations to all of you!!

  2. Terry,
    I have been waiting in anticipation of your return and post about the show. What an exceptional reception and venue! I get chills. The work looks stellar and spot-on. Bravo. Love all the pics and must get my hands on a catalog ASAP!
    welcome home!

  3. What a wonderful show this was, and so great you were able to see it in person. I hope it gets a U.S. venue.

  4. Jane sent this to facebook. I enjoyed seeing your work and the exhibition. Congratulations. What a good experience for you and for us from you.

  5. Thank to each of you. It was wonderful and I am so appreciative of actually being able to attend the show.

  6. Bonnie has some photos of her work on her blog at

    She shared the catalog with us - what fantastic work you all did. I hope the show makes it to the US.

  7. I love the expansiveness of these pieces. Congratulations Terry!

  8. Wow! Thanks for sharing your photos and perspective. And special thanks to all artists for inspiring us with their fantastic works! You have been blessed with a wonderful experience. Congratulations.

    By the way, love the changes on your blog.

  9. Thank you Leslie and mad elena! It was a very special event! Glad you like the changes on my blog. I did this right before I left for my trip and was happy to see on return that things seemed to be "in place"; )

  10. Gerrie, Thanks for the heads up on Bonnie. Her work was fantastic as usual!

  11. Hey Terry -- Thanks so much for sharing your pictures and telling us all about the exhibit. It sounds absolutely marvelous, and I'm hoping we get to see it in this part of the US!

  12. Hey Marcia! I hope you have an opportunity to see the show as well. I hope the show will be presented in several locations in the US because I know there is great interest and the work is worthy of wide exposure. I wish I had taken more pix at the show but there just wasn't time.

  13. Welcome home Terry! Thanks so much for sharing your pictures and your impressions of the show with us. Great to see these hanging in all their glory. And speaking to one another in the ways you suggest. I sure hope this show tours in the US!


    P.S. I am loving your new blog template. More spacious, and much easier to read.

  14. Thank you Leslie! Great to hear from you. I hope the show tours here as well. It will truly be a shame if it doesn't.

    Thank you for your comments on the new blog format. There are still more new things to come so keep that feedback coming!

  15. The work in this show is stupendous, masterpieces all of them (and you have three of them!) Thanks for showing us a bit of your trip... congratulations, again, Terry, your success is well-deserved!

  16. Thank you so much Judi. I was so impressed with the work and so happy I was able to attend. The work was extremely consistent and beautifully executed. I appreciate your support and your comments.

  17. Thank you for posting. The show looks beautiful and I am feeling very inspired! I hope the show can make a stop in Canada as well as the States. Congratulations on being a part of the show.

  18. Yes! I too hope it makes it to Canada. It was an amazing adventure to work toward the show and attend. Thank you for commenting and please come again.