Bones of Contention

Yesterday I attended an event at the New England Quilt Museum:

Speaking Up: The Creative Power of Artists”
Panel Discussion and Reception to Celebrate SAQA’s 30th Anniversary, with Speakers Jeanne Marklin, Vivika Hansen DeNegre and ​Gwyned Trefethen.

I have to say it was an exceptionally good presentation by speakers who were appreciably authentic and the responses from those who attended were also  both from the heart and from clear and honest heads about topics that often give way to unease and disrespect. None of that here, though! It was held in conjunction with the current exhibit:

Guns: Loaded Conversations
Studio Art Quilt Associates
January 15 through April 27, 2019

Obvious introspection was pervasive in this room about the popular issues of women’s experiences as women artists as well as the perennial grappling with the difficult notions of realism and abstraction. As one who has occasionally voiced my irritation with the SAQA listgroup for squelching discussions that are difficult, I was heartened and impressed with the free expression and the respect that was held dear to all in the room! Credit is due to these speakers and the NEQM moderator, Nora Burchfield.

Serendipity surfaced again after I came home and tried to get to some email that I’ve fallen behind on. I have to share it with you one of the emails I opened because it’s among the best blog posts I’ve ever read in terms of striking a number of chords with me and some striking insights into the topics raised today. So check out a worthwhile read:  Judy’s Journal!



Before the presentation, I did a quick pass through the Guns Loaded exhibit and returned to really see it when The Creative Powers of Artists concluded.  During the discussion there were different points of view shared regarding the various opinions of the subtle expressions of points of view in art vs the “in your face” art.

As a person who is inclined to speak my mind freely and who is steeped in conflict community organizing, my own inner conflict was confirmed. I found that I really didn’t personally appreciate the “in your face” art nearly as much as the subtler ones. I’ve been at least subliminally aware of this difference between my thinking and my feelings on this subject for some time now. Although I firmly believe in freedom of expression and in the power of protest, I can hardly bear to look at Picasso’s Guernica. But it was brought clear to me today in a way that I can finally articulate.

Here’s a few of my favorites!

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Thanks for reading my blog! Feel free to contribute with your own opinions!


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