Shows and Exhibits, WCQN

Black Pioneers: Legacy in the American West show opening weekend, Part III

Here is the final installment in my series of posts about opening weekend of the Women of Color Quilting Network (WCQN) show Black Pioneers: Legacy in the American West at the James Museum in St. Petersburg, Florida where my quilt Langston Hughes, Pioneer Poet was showing.

If you are just joining us, here are the two previous related posts:

Black Pioneers: Legacy in the American West show opening weekend, Part I 

Black Pioneers: Legacy in the American West show opening weekend, Part II 

Before I share more about the show’s opening weekend, here is a little about my time in St. Petersburg, Florida.

WANDERING AROUND ST. PETERSBURG

I’ve been to several cities in Florida in the past, but I do not remember ever visiting St. Petersburg, so let’s call it my first visit to St. Petersburg, FL. The James Museum is located in downtown St. Petersburg and although my partner John and I had a rental car, we primarily explored the downtown area where our hotel was also located.

One day between opening weekend events, we walked down to the pier area and ran into some very friendly pelicans hoping for us to feed them (which we didn’t – we listened to the posted sign!)

One of the pelicans was following me around and after a while appeared annoyed that I hadn’t fed her/him yet!

There was all sorts of interesting birds wandering around downtown St. Petersburg, here are some curious birds we ran into at a public park:

They were sort of flamingo like but I am not sure if they are in the same family. If you know what they are, let me know!

And of course I had to take some Black & White photos while wandering downtown St. Petersburg, here is my favorite of the photos I took (the rest were “nothing to write home about” so I will spare you a B&W photo essay of downtown St. Petersburg):

John and I had lunch one day and a fun restaurant, Oak and Stone, that featured a self-sampling craft beer area where you got a wrist band that you scanned and selected whatever sampler craft beers you wanted (though they did have a limit of how many samples you could buy during one visit!). Each tap had information about the craft brew selection.

We had a lot of fun sampling beers!

John and I discovered that St. Petersburg has an unusually large number of museums for its size of city – 31! We joked that since there is a lot of wealth in St. Petersburg, “everyone and their brother” wanted to have their own museum!

And now we’ll return to the show’s opening weekend.

BLACK PIONEERS SHOW OPENING WEEKEND CONTINUED

On Sunday September 11, 2022 the museum held a brunch for the artists and the show’s sponsors. After the brunch there was a panel presentation with the show’s curator Dr. Carolyn Mazloomi and 6 of the artists discussing the topic “In Search of Freedom: The Black Presence in the West”.

Each artist discussed their piece in depth and responded to Dr. Mazloomi’s discussion questions about the topic. It was an amazing panel presentation by amazing women. The women in the panel are educators, college professors, a civil rights attorney, historians, and professional artists. Dr. Mazloomi is a retired aerospace engineer and she was not the only PhD level educated artist in the room.

Some of the members of the WCQN have art quilts permanently installed at the Smithsonian Museum and the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, DC.

I cannot begin to put in to words how it felt to interact with this entire group of talented and brilliant women that are part of WCQN during the Black Pioneers show’s opening weekend. Here is the group photo I shared in the previous post about the show opening:

image credit: James Museum facebook page

How lucky I felt to stand among this group of women! I had so many engaging conversations with the other artists during the show’s opening weekend and there are rumors that in the future we might have WCQN artist retreats and I cannot wait to be in their presence again!

If you’d like to read about how I first got involved with the WCQN, this post tells the story – Creative Inspiration: Stories My Father Told Me (re-post). Thank you Universe for letting me run across that magazine that led me to reaching out to Dr. Mazloomi while browsing at Barnes & Nobles in 2016!

I will close this series of posts with this recent interview of Dr. Mazloomi, a National Heritage Fellow of the National Endowment for the Arts (highest award given in the U.S. to an artist), that played on a loop on one of the museum’s walls during the exhibit. I think it is worth a listen.

We as African Americans have participated in the making of this country since we stepped off the boat. African Americans have been explorers, they’ve been business people, they were cowboys, they’ve been part of the fabric of every facet of this country and people will see that the quilts…Quilts have jumped off the bed onto the wall and they are now seen as works of art…these are not the quilts that your grandmother made, they are truly seen as works of art…with the use of cloth we tell the stories not only of our cultures but the making of America…

Carolyn Mazloomi
Shows and Exhibits, WCQN

Black Pioneers: Legacy in the American West show opening weekend, Part II

When I finally sit down in front of my laptop and open my blog (after a hiatus) the decision is: do I catch up on my blogging buddies posts first or do I write a new post. I am just going to go ahead and write a new post otherwise I will get distracted again (smile).

Here goes Part II, continuing the story I started in the post Black Pioneers: Legacy in the American West show opening weekend, Part I, about the opening weekend of the Women of Color Quilting Network show Black Pioneers: Legacy in the American West at the James Museum in St. Petersburg, Florida where my quilt Langston Hughes, Pioneer Poet was showing.

At opening on Friday Sept 9, 2022

Friday September 9th was the opening reception, and on Saturday September 10 there was a “Meet the Artists” event allowing show attendees to chat with and ask the artists questions.

For the “Meet the Artist” event, the museum lined up chairs by each piece so the artist could take a break and sit down during the 2+ hours talking to the public and signing books.

I talked to a lot of people about my quilt. I was especially touched by a mother and daughter duo who told me that my piece was the reason why they came to the show. As I shared in the post Black Pioneers: Legacy in the American West (upcoming exhibit)., my piece was used in the advertisement for the show. See more about the advertisement for the show at the end of this post.

I also had a wonderful conversation with young lady who asked me about how I became an artist. I think she was a preteen. I could tell she was a budding artist and in addition to answering her questions, I had her share her own artist journey to date. She had me sign her book and then brought her sisters by to have me sign their books also.

In addition to chatting with show attendees, I had fun chatting with my fellow artists in our little “pod” in the corner of the exhibit. Here they are hanging out or signing books for show attendees (we signed a lot of books!):

Wow there was some tremendous talent at the show. Here are some of my favorite pieces that I viewed at the show.

Artist: Carolyn Crump

I always “fan girl out” when I see Carolyn’s work. It is otherworldly!

Artist: Dorothy Burge

Dorothy Burge spoke at the Artist Panel during the Artist Brunch on Sunday and shared in detail the story of the amazing woman featured in her piece. I love how the quilt is only the figure of Mary Fields with no additional background.

Artist: Viola Burley Leak

The above 5 quilts were breathtaking in person, the photos do not them justice. The Watts Riot piece was huge and the colors were so vivid and powerful in person, a real masterpiece! I got to chat with the artist and she shared some of the daunting challenges of creating this piece.

Here is a little gallery below of more amazing art quilts at the show depicting the lives of Black Pioneers in the American West:

If you’d like to see all the quilts and read their full Artist Statement, the exhibit catalogue is available for Black Pioneers: Legacy in the American West by contacting the gift shop at the James Museum at (727) 892-4200.

It was such an amazing show. Here is a photo taken by the James Museum’s photographer and posted on the museum’s facebook page of the entire group of artists that attended:

image credit: James Museum facebook page

Postscript

I mentioned earlier in this post that my quilt Langston Hughes, Pioneer Poet was used as advertisement for the show originally (eventually they added other quilts to the advertisement or replaced my quilt).

image credit – The James Museum
image credit – James Museum facebook page

As a result my quilt was featured in press/media about the show. Below are a couple examples:

The Studio Art Quilt Associates (SAQA) Exhibitions webpage:

image credit: SAQA website

The Visit St. Pete (St. Petersburg)/Clearwater visitor website:

image credit – visit st pete clearwater website

WUSF Public Media (St. Petersburg area NPR station):

image credit – WUSF website

Local Today/Oklahoma News:

I accidentally found most of these when I was googling the show; and my friend Wendy sent me the SAQA one.

Here is a local television news story about the exhibit before the show officially opened:

You get a brief glimpse of my quilt for a moment. I saw this clip before I attended the show opening and got to see my quilt had a freestanding wall all to itself!

A Crafter's Life, Life in B&W, Outside Adventures!

Truly Alive

My next post was going to be Part II of this post Black Pioneers: Legacy in the American West show opening weekend, Part I.

But then I went to the Garden of the Gods, the national natural landmark in Colorado Springs, CO (my 4th visit) this weekend while my brother and his family were visiting.

And I stood here for a while gazing at the 300+ million year old rock formations across the grassland and got very reflective

Then I stood here for a while and got even more reflective:

I starting thinking about an Instagram post I did a couple months ago and how I feel “truly alive” in Colorado.

Here is what I wrote on Instagram:

My third anniversary of living in Colorado came and went without any fanfare but I’ve been thinking about it today.

I arrived in Colorado from Bend, Oregon (a truly magical place to live that I would’ve lived the rest of my life if life changing disaster had not struck) around April 20, 2019 to start a new life after being surprisingly widowed in 2018. Little did I know what glorious adventure awaited me in Colorado, the next chapter of my life.

I have this framed advertisement in the wall of my sewing studio. Two months after my husband suddenly died and I was sitting in my Oregon home strongly doubting my decision to move to Colorado, and I randomly opened a magazine and this ad was the page that opened! OK universe I hear you…

I am the adventure that will replay in your mind. The story you’ll tell for years and years. The invincibility you feel, if only for a moment. One beautiful, breathtaking moment. I am Colorado. And I’ll show you what it’s like to be truly alive.

Colorado.com

Whoever wrote the copy for that Colorado visitor guide advertisement I’d like to give a huge hug to.

“Truly Alive”, that is what I felt when I was wandering around the Garden of the Gods on Saturday.

I spent time with the group wandering around; and at the picnic we had on one of the over 300 million year old elevated rock formations. Here are photos of my brother and I hanging out as well as a haphazardly snapped photo of our picnic among the ancient rocks (while I was trying to balance food on my knee and take a photo):

I also spent a bit of time alone, allowing the group to wander off on their own. Here is a video I took as I looked upon a scene (which I’ve seen 3 times before) that took my breath away:

Here are a couple more select photos from the day but nothing compares to being there in person. It was a gloriously beautiful day in a spiritual sort of place.

And of course, here are some photos in Black & White:

I am Colorado. And I’ll show you what it’s like to be truly alive.

Thank you Colorado. (And thank you to me for being brave enough to move here for the next chapter of my life adventure).


Postscript

If you’d like to see much higher quality video footage of the Garden of the Gods, here is a video I found on YouTube that I think captures some of the beauty I saw on Saturday:

Shows and Exhibits, WCQN

Black Pioneers: Legacy in the American West show opening weekend, Part I

Last Friday, John and I headed to St. Petersburg Florida for the opening weekend of the show Black Pioneers: Legacy in the American West at the James Museum of Western & Wildlife Art.

The museum is really gorgeous inside (the Executive Director told us it cost 65 million to build and 5 million a year to maintain…) and filled with some amazing Western themed art, especially a lot of Native American themed art:

When we first arrived to the opening night reception on Friday, our first stop was the museum gift shop to pick up extra copies of the exhibit catalogue (they gave each artist a complimentary copy):

And we plopped ourselves down at the museum’s cafe/bar area with our complimentary adult beverage and thumbed through the catalogue to find my piece!

Yes, I won’t lie, it was pretty exciting!

After getting snacks at the cocktail reception, before we headed upstairs to the exhibit I stopped to pose with the exhibit poster sign:

Dr. Carolyn Mazloomi, the show’s curator and the founder of the Women of Color Quilting Network (WCQN) spoke at in the main hall stage at the museum during the reception and had all the artists come up on stage with her after her presentation:

Then it was time to go upstairs and see the exhibit! You’ll never guess what I did first – yes, find my piece on the wall and start taking photos:

Note: The museum placard for my piece is an abbreviated version of my full artist statement. If you’d like to read the entire artist statement, see the post Update on the Langston Hughes, Pioneer Poet Quilt.

I also had Dr. Mazloomi sign my exhibit catalogue and took a photo with her:

I am so honored that she responded to my inquiry years ago about WCQN. I am so proud to be a member! So far I’ve been in two other shows: Visioning Human Rights in the New Millennium (see post Visioning Human Rights in the New Millennium, Part IV), and Yours for Race and Country: Reflections on the Life of Colonel Charles Young (see post Secret Quilt Revealed, Part II: Yours for Race and Country).

This is the second show opening I attended, I did not attend the one for Yours for Race and Country: Reflections on the Life of Colonel Charles Young as my husband had recently died and although I was so honored to be in the show I was not emotionally ready to attend events like that. I am so happy I got to attend the opening for Black Pioneers: Legacy in the American West, and it was awesome to have my partner John there with me (and he acted as my photographer when I was in group shots or busy talking to show visitors.

I am going to close Part I of this series of posts about the show with a less than a minute walk through video of the show on Instagram and a longer version (over 3 minutes) on YouTube that John took. More to come in future posts in this series to include some close up images of several of the amazing quilts in the show!

I accidentally deleted the minute long video I took landscape perspective after I loaded it to Instagram (and I even figured out how to set it to music), so darn it I could not load it on to YouTube!

Bags Bags Bags

Back to Some Drawstring Bag Making

It’s time to restock my Etsy shop Textiles & Smiles that I reopened last November and I’ve decided to first make a stash of drawstrings bags which sold well with my first reopened shop offerings.

(Previously my Etsy shop was called “tierneycreates” but there was a whole reopening fiasco that I shared in the post My Etsy Shop is Now Reopened – tierneycreates is now TextilesandSmiles. I’ve grown to embrace the new name “Textiles & Smiles”, which is part of my original tagline – “tierneycreates: a fusion of textiles & smiles”.)

I kept some of the drawstring bags for use in my studio, they are great for storing scraps:

Over the past week I’ve enjoyed picking out fabric combinations for the top, bottom, and lining for the bags. Here are some combinations I got excited about:

I’ve also selected some fun novelty fabrics that I think will make fun bags.

So far I’ve cut out 30 bags and then it is time to get them all interfaced and then get to sewing!


Postscript

A little follow up to Mike the Miniature Schnauzer’s recent post Guest Post: John, Project Man (Part II).

Mike continues to provide oversight of John’s projects and here he is on a recent trip to a tool store to help John pick out a new tool.

And here he is advising John on the correct tool to select:

I am sure Mike did his research before coming to the store (I am always finding him on my laptop…) 😉

A Crafter Needs to Eat, Guest Blogger, Miniature Schnauzer Musings

Guest Post: John, Project Man (Part II)

This is Mike the Miniature Schnauzer guest posting as Tierney has been taking too long to write Part II of this two part series of posts that began with John, Project Man (Part I). Okay it’s only been a couple of days but Miniature Schnauzers are an impatient breed in general so it’s my nature.

So I opened up the laptop and got to work:

Ready to fill in for lazy Tierney

Yes, John has been busy on projects, and I would prefer he follow my lead and do something like this:

The perfect “hobby”

He won’t listen to me about napping instead of remodeling, so I’ve had to spend a lot of time at home improvement stores supervising him:

I need to charge an hourly dog biscuit wage for all this work

So Tierney and John got it in their heads that they needed to remodel the basement bathroom, which is also the main guest bathroom for pesky humans that visit us.

And then they decided that they should also replace all the toilets in the house as they are the original toilets from when the house was built.

I am unclear why they would want to waste their money on new toilets as we have a perfect good backyard to take a pee in like I do.

And if they need to poop they could just follow my lead and do it on my twice a day walks.

But I am not going to carry around their poop bags like they do for me – ew! (What is wrong with humans, why are they always collecting my poop and carrying it around in little baggies on our walks – what are their plans with it?!??!)

I know the answer…

We have a lot of pesky humans scheduled to visit us in the near future, so last weekend they worked on remodeling the bathroom (I used the term “they” loosely as it appeared Tierney was only in charge of snacks).

Here is John removing the old tile floor:

Take that floor!

I stayed away from this as he was making a lot of noise and creating a lot of dust.

Instead I did this on his behalf:

These naps aren’t for me, they are for John so he can live vicariously…

Tierney did not bother taking step by step remodeling photos (there goes her career as a home remodeling Instagram influencer) but here are some photos of what it looked like with a new floor, new toilet (waste of money), new lighting, new fixtures (whatever that means, dogs don’t care about “fixtures”), and new shower curtain:

John has his bar near the bathroom and collects nice whiskeys as a hobby, and so they went with a whiskey themed bathroom. The shower curtain according to Tierney is a reproduction of the original “whiskey still” patent (whatever the heck that means, humans are so weird).

They also took photos that John took in 2019 when he went on a Kentucky Bourbon tour with his friends, converted them to black & white photos, enlarged them, and then framed them as art for the bathroom:

They were pretty pleased with themselves when the project was done.

Tierney did mention that her fantasy would have been to just gut (that sounds painful) the whole bathroom and do a nice tiled walk in shower but that was too expensive an option. But they are happy with the small amount of money they spent (they wasted) on the remodel.

When John is not doing remodeling projects, he is doing his other favorite hobby: cooking.

Here he is in the kitchen making my favorite of their human meals – pizza! I like when they (using the word “they” loosely again as Tierney is in charge of getting pizza making supplies out of the refrigerator only) make it because sometimes a little cheese will fall on the floor, and they always give me a piece of their pizza crusts!

John always makes a pizza for my Grandpa (John’s Dad who I visit all the time) who lives nearby; and my human brother (John’s son) and his family, whenever he makes pizza. It’s like he supplies pizza to 1/2 the neighborhood!

So this closes out the series of posts on “John, Project Man”.

Now I have to get back to my very important project:

If you’d like to read more of my musings, they are all under this blog post category: Miniature Schnauzer Musings.