Thursday, November 13, 2014

Houston, Dinner @ Eight, and the After Party

Houston, Dinner @ Eight, and the After Party

Every year I eagerly anticipate seeing what the entire collection of quilts for the Dinner @ Eight Artists exhibit.  This year's theme was Reflections. This year, instead of taking photos, I tried making a video of the exhibit.  I wanted to give the viewer an idea of what the quilts look like as you are walking through.  I am a novice at best.  There is no theme music, just a hand held iPhone.  I have new respect for the other movie makers who make their finished products look so seamless and beautiful!
Jamie Fingal and Leslie Jenison have curated this exhibit for 6 years.  It is a labor of love for them both.  I am truly appreciative to be a part of this.  It is great fun participating and also getting to know the other artists.  And, our dinners together will always be a part of my fondest memories in Houston!
They also work tirelessly to promote their collection of artists through artist interviews on the blog and by publishing a book about the exhibit each year.  This year, as a special commorative, they published a book which shows the entire collection of quilts for each artist included since they started the exhibits.  It is a really nice book and includes a lot of pictures from our times together in Houston.

Now, regarding the "after party".  This is what I call the collection of people waiting patiently in line to get their quilts back after the show.  Knowing that I have a long drive ahead, I like to go early, grab a chair, and wait.  Usually, there is someone who needs to go before me because they have an early flight to catch. I have no problem with this.  Yes, please go ahead...This year a very nice woman needed to ship her quilts via FedEx and they were staying open for her, very gracious!   Meanwhile, we wait and wait.  There is nothing to do but to get to know your line neighbors and talk to old friends.  It is a blast!  This year I met several really wonderful people and had the opportunity to have longer and more intimate conversations.  I THRIVE on this!

We also had a bit of a delay getting started.  I kept popping up and looking to see what the problem was.  The staff can't start taking the quilts down until all the people leave the show floor.  That's when I noticed a small crowd of people gathering in front of Gail Thomas's quilt.  It was a portrait of the founders of the quilt show of Karey Bresenhan, Nancy O'Bryant, Jewel Patterson and Helen O'Bryant.  It is a wonderful, wonderful quilt, as Gail is a very accomplished and prize winning portrait artist.  You can see a picture of the quilt and the story of the creation of Quilt Festival on the Quilting Arts Daily blog, here.  It turns out that Gail was gifting her quilt to Karey and Nancy and it was a complete SURPRISE to them both!  A magnanimous gesture! Gail was completely humbled by this opportunity to give back to the founders who made it possible for her to have such an incredible venue to show her work, and a culture to have adventures with other artists and quiltmakers.  For her, it was just one of those things that needed to happen next in her path.  It was not about making herself look larger, it was about sharing and giving to others. It was one of those moments that brought tears to your eyes, because of the surprise, and the act, and the emotions that followed for Karey and Nancy and Gail and every one who witnessed it. Talk about growing your heart larger!


Leslie Tucker Jenison said...

Oh, what a great story! I hadn't heard about this and missed the post about her quilt on the QA Daily. Thanks for sharing it, Kathy. Indeed, many of us are indebted to these women for fostering such an amazing venue for us to come together to celebrate the art of the quilt.

Kathy York said...

Thanks Leslie! I went to the Texas Quilt Museum in La Grange last week with Sherri and Barb. We had a great time seeing the John Welsh collection. I was VERY pleased to see Gail's quilt already hanging there! Karey Bresenhan had great vision to make that museum a reality!