I’ve had many cool experiences in my life. Awesome, exciting, fantastic opportunities…..but some go beyond. Some rock me to the core. Some fulfill dreams I never dared to dream, and challenge the limits I can’t help but impose on myself, and where God may choose take me. This is one of those experiences, and I can honestly say it’s one of the proudest of my life. And when I say proud, I don’t mean boastful or self-indulgent, but I mean a moment where I can feel my grandmother looking down on me from heaven, sitting in God’s lap, and smiling.
Last night was the opening reception for Spun: Adventures in Textiles, the huge new exhibition at the Denver Art Museum, and I am blessed beyond words to have 5 pieces on display, including 2 mini quilts and an embroidery piece on permanent display, a starter block in the community quilt, and an improv pillow cover in the artist’s studio space.
So- the reception. This was the first time I’d been to the museum since I dropped off my pieces a couple of months ago, and was my first chance to get a sneak peak at the exhibition before it opens to the public next week. Live band, delicious comfort food (mac n’ cheese in a shot glass? I’ll take 9 please.), open bar, hundreds of artists and contributors gathered to celebrate this ground-breaking event. It’s the largest exhibition in the 120 year history of the museum, which is one of the largest art museums west of Chicago. Needless to say, it’s exciting. The exhibit is massive, spanning 3 floors, and covers everything from ancient garments to modern fabric prints, and everything in between, including yarn, weaving, embroidery, crochet and knitting, and yes, quilting.
There are 14 curators, and one of them spoke, offering a brief overview of what the enormous exhibit entails. She was thanking curators and contributors, sharing about the massive grants they’d received from various foundations…I washed down another bite of chicken chow mein with some red wine, and all of the sudden…”You will see everything from 19th century Navajo weaving, to a quilt made from a World War II parachute.” Russell;s eyes darted to me through the crowd, my hand flew over my mouth, and the tears began to flow. All this time I had felt like an imposter, who somehow managed to sneak passed the legitimacy scanner in with all these “real” artists. C’mon, me? I’m a stay at home mom who happens to loves to quilt. I sew at my dining room table in my pajamas while my children liter the house with popcorn and crayons. I don’t get mentioned by the curator of one of the most renowned art museums in America. Well last night I did, and it was a moment I’ll never forget.