Monday, February 2, 2009

What's In A Name?

There's an interesting discussion going on in the world of "art quilts" -- or is it "studio quilts"? -- or is there yet another, more descriptive name for this medium??  In the February 2009 issue of AmericanStyle magazine, writer Pat Worrell asks, "Just what exactly should we call these quilts? . . . The jury is still out."  She goes on to say that, for the purposes of the article, it was decided to use the phrase "'studio quilts,' a term adopted by the International Quilt Study Center in Lincoln, Nebraska, upon the recommendation of well-known quilt artist Michael James."  Nancy Crow states, "You wouldn't say 'art painting,' so I don't use the term 'art quilt.'  I am a contemporary quiltmaker."

I sometimes find myself searching for the right phrase when someone asks me what I "do."  Mention the word "quilt," and people may tune out or, more often, respond with a story of the wonderful bed quilts their grandmothers used to make; it takes a bit of explaining to describe to them how my work is different.  So . . . what do you think we should call ourselves and the art we create?

[Fellow quilt artist Pat Spillane contributed to this post  (thanks, Pat!) -- visit her at]


simply me said...

Yes... I've never been able to resolve this one for myself. I'll have to pick up a copy of that magazine. Thanks!

Marilyn Rock said...

I so relate to this post Diane. I always have trouble defining what I do in terms of my art. Mixed media kind of covers it, in my mind, but to the person who is asking - well; they just don't seem to get it.

You are a fabric artist and create beautiful works of art with fabric. That entails, design, color, balance, shapes, just like a painter.

That sounds like a very interesting article. Your post really got me thinking about this.

pms said...

I rather like "fabric art(ist)" or "textile art(ist)". However, since I still make bed quilts for myself/family - I can get tangled in terms.
I'm still getting used to calling my daughter's former bedroom my studio.
Thanks for the contemplation topic!


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