I can hardly believe that I was at Festival of Quilts a week ago ... give or take some hours that I gained flying back to California. I'm still dazed from the whole wonderful experience.
One of the things that was quite different from American quilt shows was the existence of gallery stalls for artists and fiber art students. They were about the size of vendor stalls, but they were constructed of clean white walls which defined the art gallery space beautifully, and in each stall an artist displayed work, showed sketchbooks or sold books, and was available to chat with visitors.
One of the galleries I couldn't stop staring at belonged to a fiber artist named Alice Fox. Mark that name, because she is amazingly talented and her pieces were unusual and stunning. I think the work that she was showing in her gallery space was the work shown on her website as "Fabric of the Building." The pieces there were mostly in neutral colors -- soft creams and whites and greys with touches of black, and they incorporated stitch in a lovely, restrained but always necessary way. The work was understated but compelling. I just loved it.
I didn't realize until I was reading Alice's blog after Festival that Alice had a miniature quilt which was awarded a "Highly Commended" rating in the show, and that she also won (as co-winner with another student) the Graduate Showcase bursary. She won a hunk of money to further her work and a space at next year's Festival. I am not surprised.
I wish I could be there to see what she shows then. I still can't stop thinking of the elegance of her fiber work.