Series of creative events boosts artistic expression
I once created a series of small art quilts based on the same theme — a dragonfly — but each was made with a different element of design, perspective, border treatment or specialty fabrics such as Angelina fiber.
Through its commonality, I was able to explore many avenues of activity.
Many accomplished quilt artists today work in this series format, perfecting their expertise by exhausting the potential in their chosen area of interest.
At this year’s Alegre Retreat at Gateway Canyons Resort, organizer and instructor Katie Pasquini Masopust of Santa Fe, N.M., will be teaching her students the value of working in a series.
Masopust and three other outstanding fabric artists once again will convene April 13-19 at the luxurious resort, a scenic 45-minute drive through Unaweep Canyon right here in Mesa County.
The spectacular red-rock setting, the resort’s amenities and the world-class talent combine to make this a premier conference for devotees of fabric arts.
Some homework is required for Masopust’s five-day “Working in a Series” class. Participants are to come prepared by creating a small art quilt to start their series, something they are passionate about either in subject matter or in color scheme.
“Bring along whatever inspired you, if possible,” Masopust says. “Photos of your idea or paintings or drawings that brought you to this idea. A book or poem may be what started it all, a song, a dance, whatever inspired you.”
During the daily sessions, each artist will build a series of four additional works.
The other instructors and their five-day classes are:
■ Elizabeth Barton of Athens, Ga., will teach “Designing Abstract Art.” Students will use value and color to make quilts exciting and dynamic; each will complete a small monochromatic piece and a large full-color piece. All levels are welcome. Designs can be simple or complex. Some sewing experience will be helpful. http://www.elizabethbarton.com
■ Valerie S. Goodwin, an instructor of architectural design at Florida A&M University in Tallahassee, will teach “The Complex Composition.” She will focus on the basic principles of graphic composition used by many architects. Each student will create a cartographic art quilt that tells the story of a particular place from a distinctive perspective. quiltsbyvalerie.com.
■ Wendy Huhn of Dexter, Ore., will teach “Screen Printing: Simple to Sublime.” Techniques include direct wax, screen filler, drawing fluid and photo emulsion. Mediums to be used are textile paints, thickened dyes, discharge paste and foils. Techniques are taught step by step with time to print and explore layering. wendyhuhn.com
A new feature of the 2014 retreat, the sixth at Gateway, is an independent study, during which participants will work unsupervised on their own projects in a classroom. They will have a set time for self-critiques within their group.
This option came about “because some people feel that they have too many unfinished projects and could benefit from time to work on those,” Masopust says. “So they can come and work on their own things but enjoy the lectures and events and comradery of everyone.”
For all Alegre workshop details, lodging and pricing, go to alegreretreat.com or call the resort at 866-671-4733.
ONE-DAY LECTURE SERIES
If you can’t commit to five-day sessions, a one-day Alegre lecture series is available Monday, April 14.
For $75, it includes lunch and dinner with lectures at each, entry to the Gateway Colorado Auto Museum and spa discounts, as well as exhibits of the instructors’ quilts.
Goodwin will speak at the luncheon lecture on “The Complex Composition,” and Barton’s dinner topic is “From Inspiration to Quilt.”
I’ve taken this day trip in past years, and it’s more than worth your time and money. After all, this retreat offers a gateway to a whole new series of artistic possibilities.
Email Sherida.Warner @GJSentinel.com.