12 Voices  Juror

Studio Art Quilt Associates’ 12 Voices exhibition gives us a rare, in-depth look at twelve of the finest quilt artists working today. Some are known worldwide. Others are fresh faces displaying a strong and promising talent. Most live in the United States, but happily SAQA’s global membership is reflected by the inclusion of two international artists.

Artist selection was done from 128 portfolios in July 2007. It was difficult to choose roughly only 1 out of every 10 submissions. I was extremely impressed and intrigued by the exceptional quality of the entries. I felt that each artist had a deep sense of her own style, voice, and message, offering a strong and unified body of work. The final selection of individual pieces was not made until February 2008, as I invited the twelve selected artists to produce new work for consideration over the intervening seven months. As a result, some pieces shown here have been created especially for this exhibition.

The vision for the show was to reveal more, by showing fewer — to give each artist enough space and time to gather their best work and create new art which would speak strongly to their subject. This show has been mounted almost 20 years after SAQA’s founding and nearly 40 years after the studio art quilt movement began. I hope that the beauty, excitement, and message of these art pieces will resonate in your memory long after you have seen the show. It was a pleasure to see this all come together thanks to the hard-working members of the SAQA exhibition committee. I hope it is as much a joy for you to view this new exciting art as it was for me. My bigger hope is that we all can hear what these amazing twelve voices have to say.

— Penny McMorris, Juror