A trip to teach in Marin and a Threads of Resistance update

I just taught a workshop over the weekend at the Marin Needle Arts guild in San Rafael, CA which happens to be the town my friend Cara Gulati lives. Cara kindly offered to let me stay over to avoid a 2 hour early commute from Sacramento and the opportunity to hang out.

Cara and I met years ago when we were both teaching at IQF in Houston. Coincidently we both went to the same art school in LA, although Cara started the year after I graduated, so we just missed each other. We see each other on occasion when we’re teaching or working in booths at shows, but our time together has always been some what limited. So it was really fun to spend the evening getting to know Cara better, learning we both enjoy cooking, and a gin and tonic, as well as having lots of laughs.

The next morning I had a 10 minute drive over to my class location and spent the day with a lovely group up on hilltop overlooking the gold and green hills surrounding San Raphael. It is amazing to see there still is so much green, by now they are usually all golden.

Our day was spent mastering the art of painting with Tsukineko all purpose inks, first with the Fantasix applicators and then with paintbrushes and aloe vera gel. Here’s a few highlights from the work produced in class.

Really beautiful work!

Threads of Resistance, update

Over the weekend while I was teaching, the finalists were announced for the Threads of Resistance Traveling Exhibit. What a process this has been!

I have never been on the organizing end of an exhibit, holy cow it’s a tremendous amount of work, especially when there are 557 entries and there is only room for 55-60 quilts based on the linear feet of available space at the venues.

The exhibit was blind juried, meaning we had no idea who the work was made by or where it was from until the jurying was done. We could view a full image, a detail, the title, and artist statement for each submission on a website. Then we had to give each piece a score from 1-5. After everyone had voted we had a tally list of the quilts with the highest scores to work with. It took a day or 2 to get through them all. What we hadn’t expected to run into were a number of copyright issues. There were about 5 quilts from the final list that had questionable content that we needed to follow up on.

As visual artists when we think about copyright we most often focus on imagery. For example, incorporating or adapting an image from a photo that we have permission to use. When we put out the call for entries we mentioned copyright in regards to images, but hadn’t thought about specifying it also pertains to written language. Unfortunately there were a number of quilts that had portions of song lyrics, poems, printed documents or lines from Trump’s Twitter feed incorporated i them. Tweets it turns out can be considered copyrightable. Who knew about that one?

We are dealing with a pretty litigious guy, and in order for the artists, as well as us organizers, to be safe from liability, we had a one hour consultation with a copyright attorney. After it was through we had to drop the idea of doing a book of ALL the submitted, work which we had really wanted to do, and unfortunately some of pieces that had been chosen to travel had to be replaced. It was so disheartening. We were also advised to get an LLC to protect us (the organizers) as individuals from liability over any of the work that is in the exhibit.

The lawyer told us that we could still have an online exhibit of all the work, but if anything possibly were a copyright infringement was printed in a catalog or on promo material we could be held liable and sued. So we have learned a lot and are taking all the precautions necessary, and my hope is that by sharing this with you, you will also know more about copyright and what to avoid in your art.

I urge you to look at all the amazing pieces that were submitted, and you’ll see how hard it was for us to choose only 10% of the submissions for the traveling exhibit that opens July 15 at the New England Quilt Museum in Lowell MA. I’m excited to be flying out for the opening, I hope to see some of you there.  🙂


I’d love to spark your creativity at one of these upcoming events:

August 18,19  10+ Techniques with Acrylic Inks, 2-day  Meissner’s Sewing, Sacramento, CA

October 5-10  New Zealand National Quilt Symposium, Christchurch, NZ
Painting Imagery with Textile Paints 2-days
Tea & Ephemera
Paint & Print-A-Palooza
Blessings in the Wind: Mixed-media prayer flags

January 10-14, 2018 Craft Napa
Workshops TBA

August 14-18, 2018 Woodland Ridge Retreat, WI
5 – day Paint and Print-a-palooza retreat

Keep creating, Judy

IMG_5538Judy is an artist, explorer, image wrangler, knowledge seeker, instructor, speaker, creative alchemist, and purveyor of inspiration, helping others channel creativity on a daily basis.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.