One of the issues I hear discussed frequently is the lack of articles and reviews relating to art quilts and other contemporary textile art. One of the sources for articles, Fiber Arts magazine, just published their last issue and a wonderful book publisher, Telos, has stopped publishing.
These publications were likely "victims" of the world wide web and the easy access to images. There will never be a lack of interest for thoughtful and well written articles on art of all kinds but it appears that where you find this information is changing.
I see an opportunity here for anyone out there who loves to write, is knowledgable about textile arts or who would love to learn about the subject. Many artists, like myself, have blogs and we write and post but I am suggesting something a little different. I am suggesting a blog that really focuses on reviewing textiles, textile artists and textile exhibitions.
It can be very difficult for an artist to review shows and work of other artists, especially others who are working within the same sphere. The world tends to become very "small" in that you meet many people and become involved with them professionally therefore making it more difficult to view their work objectively.
There are some sites that do present great articles but I don't think the field is at all crowded.
Ragged Cloth Cafe is the first site that comes to mind. Right now there is an excellent article by Olga Norris on the topic of the vanishing publishers. This site has multiple contributors and the articles are fresh and relevant. Bravo to you all! Readers can subscribe to their feed and comments are allowed.
The Textile Blog is the site of John Hopper. Currently he is writing about historical textiles but in the past he featured wonderful articles on contemporary quilt artists. In those articles he shared his observations about the work and shared many pictures of work by a single artist.
Textile Designss is a site I mentioned earlier this week. The articles here are also well written and very broad. It does appear to have very general topics but if you read several you may begin to spot names and references to museums and galleries of interest.
Joanne Matrera Art Blog is the type of blog I would love to see focused on textile art. Joanne does present work on her blog that is textile related and inspired but that is not her focus. Her site and her articles are very impressive in the quality and quantity of work she presents and the number of shows she visits. Thank you Joanne.
I know that part of the issue is that there isn't a place where there are clusters of galleries or museums featuring textiles. Researching and writing reviews and surveys of shows is very time consuming and most people who do this type of work aren't being paid for their effort.
What to do? First I applaud all the artists who do review shows they attend. If you have a blog and don't write about shows you see, I encourage you to do so. Encourage any writers you may know to use their skill and talent to write about our art and please, let me know about good writing relating to compentary textiles. I'll promote that for sure.
Please check out the comments as I have already heard from readers who review contemporary textiles.
UPDATE: Another excellent blog: http://sevenpinesdesigns.blogspot.com/
Vivian Zepf writes about all types of art exhibitions and currently has an article from one of the Quilt National Jurors, Pauline Verbeek.
I also forgot to mention the Surface Design Association's excellent magazine The Surface Design Journal. This magazine is published quarterly and is one of the benefits of membership in this very professional organization.
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