Today I went to the quilt shows still open in Lowell, or at least some of them, with a friend whose eye I trust. But that proved to be odd since we disagreed on practically every piece of art so we finally entered each space and split up only to reconvene on the sidewalk or back in the car. I would highly recommend traveling this way to shows because what one of us missed, the other would pick up. When one of us had an issue with some aspect of a show, the other would provide mitigating excuses or explanations.
That said, we noticed that there were two distinct paths apparent in all the shows we attended- there were both mature pieces of art with elegant workmanship as opposed to the more scattered and frivolous experimental work that needs more time to evolve. Through all the shows visited we also noted some serious problems with presentation and finishing techniques, simple steps available to all that really elevate one’s work. The thing about presentation is that when it’s good, no one notices, but when it’s bad, everyone does. In the quilt world it has been long required to add a sleeve and provide a hanging device, directions for both can be found in many books and on the internet so it was hard to understand seeing sticks poking out the sleeve ends, tucks in the quilt tops, floppy top edges, or large bumps because of improper choice of hanging stick. We tried to figure out a way to not discuss this in a review but at one point it was overwhelming, with problems apparent in so much of the work hung.