"Faith is the bird that feels the light and sings when the dawn is still dark. In effect, the people who change our lives the most begin to sing to us while we are still in darkness. If we listen to their song, we will see the dawning of a new part of ourselves."
Existential Intelligence is the sensitivity and capacity to engage questions about human existence – how we got here, whether we have a purpose, and whether there is meaning in Life. Existential intelligence embraces the exploration of aesthetics, philosophy, religion and values like beauty, truth, and goodness. A strong existential intelligence allows human beings to see their place in the big picture, be it in the classroom, community, world, or universe.
First proposed by Howard Gardner, existential intelligence is one of nine theorized intelligences and is considered to be amoral – that is, it and the other eight categories of human intelligence can be used either constructively or destructively.
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
This week art quilters are holding their collective breath, waiting to find out whether their quits got into the San Diego Visions exhibition or not. It’s a big deal, because the show is right up there with Quilt National as validation that you’re doing good work in the art quilt world.
Here are my quilts. Both from the Sacred Planet series. Digital prints transformed into yardage by spoonflower.com. Over-dyed, assembled and screen printed before I layered them onto Ecofelt, and added the stitching. I love them.
Neither got into the exhibition. And yes, I was disappointed.
But not surprised.
I know it’s time to admit I’m not really an art quilt maker. I’ve been rejected from lots of quilt exhibitions over the past three years, and every time the thought runs through my head that I ought to wake up and smell the coffee. I’m not getting into quilt shows because my heart isn’t into making quilts. Entering quilt shows is a fall back, because it’s familiar, it’s popular, it’s easy, and it used to work. I know how to do it. But that doesn’t make it right.
Of course, you may be thinking that maybe my work just wasn’t good enough. You could be right. The pieces I entered in Visions in 2008 were definitely not resolved – my work was transitioning and I didn’t know where it was going. The pieces I entered had potential, but they weren’t any good. I wasn’t at all surprised when the rejection notice arrived in the mail. I cut up the quilts, made small wall pieces and kept struggling to find my center.
But that isn’t always true. What is true? Sometimes jurors don’t like the color, or they don’t like figurative imagery, or they want more stitching. Sometimes jurors cut deals. I know this. I’ve been a juror. Knowing this, it’s relatively easy not to take rejection personally anymore. It might not be about me.
But that doesn’t change the fact that I don’t have any business entering art quilt shows. Here’s the truth: I never quilt a piece anymore, unless I want to get it into a quilt show. And that’s just bad form.
For one thing, it doesn’t honor the artists who adore art quilts and relish every stitch required to complete a piece. Those are the artists who deserve to be in Visions. So congratulations to them. And if your work is good, and you didn’t get in, don’t take it too personally. Someday your juror will come. In the meantime, keep working. Get better.
As for me, I guess it’s time to read the writing on the wall. No more art quilt shows. I’ll do the part I love – all that seductive, slurpy surface design - and I’ll let go of the impulse to turn it into something it’s not.
Anyone interested in a 950 Bernina?