The artist’s question… answered in fiber

Bobbi Baugh

“Every artist has a question,” says art quilter Bobbi Baugh.

“The process of creating art answers the question you asked. For example, maybe you are concerned about a problem in society: why does such and such exist, or why does this evil exist? in the society ?

“Some people are purely aesthetic: how can I use color in a certain way that expresses how I feel? Or sometimes it’s a technical challenge: how can I achieve that? embody a certain technique that interests me and would interest someone else watching the piece?

The DeLand, Florida artist serves as Chair of the Florida Region Exhibition Committee of the Studio Art Quilt Association (SAQA).

His most recent exhibition, “The Artist’s Question…Answered in Fiber,” can be seen at the Alliance for the Arts in Fort Myers from June 3-26.

The juried exhibition contains 28 works of art selected from 74 entries by 52 artists. The works were chosen by New York quilt artist Zak Foster, who said in a written statement: “The pieces selected for this exhibition are honest and heartfelt questions that artists explore in order to make sense of this life. : How do we cope with the world changing so fast around us? From California wildfires to the loss of a loved one, our lives can change in an instant, often leaving more questions than answers.

Linda Geiger

Linda Geiger

He wrote that he based his decisions on a few criteria: “To what extent they reflected the brief, the nature of the issue under consideration, and the way the artists explored fabric, color, line, shape and pattern at looking for an answer. .”

The submissions all came from the Southeast: Florida, Arkansas, Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas.

Some of the artists selected for the exhibition hail from Southwest Florida: Shannon Marie Pernoud from Cape Coral, Sally Dutko from Fort Myers, Pamela R. Morris from Venice, Peg Green from Sarasota and Leslie A. Hall from Longboat Key.

Mel Dugoch

Mel Dugoch

flock of seagulls

A piece by Ms. Baugh (pronounced Baw) was also selected. His work, “No Could Our Hands Catch Them”, shows seagulls flying in the sky above fish in the ocean.

“My question is mostly a technical one,” she says. “How to use fabric to capture that feeling of being immersed in a flight of seagulls when you’re right in the middle of them. How to use a flat material like fabric to capture the energy of a flock of birds and the variety of fish in the sea?

“I am one of the artists who print my own fabric. The section that represents the fish is a piece of cloth. I had to figure out technically, how can I achieve this, how can I use acrylic paints and fabric to make it look like we’re underwater? It was a technical challenge (for myself). I found that interesting.

Other pieces, such as “Who Does Your Stripes?” by Mel Dugosh and “Brother, Should I Save a Dime?” by Edith Gross, are also representative. “Weathered Cedar – Beauty on the Marsh” by Becky Stack is like a painting of a landscape, if the artist used fabric instead of paint.

Sally Dutko

Sally Dutko

Others, like Linda Geiger’s “Too Many Choices” and Sherri Lipman McCauley’s exuberant “Yellow is Joy” are more abstract, playing with colors, textures and patterns.

This is the first exhibition that Emily Radomski, gallery owner of the Alliance for the Arts, planned when she took office.

“The Alliance didn’t have a lot of fiber art, so I was interested in bringing it here,” she says. “I think it’s really exciting to bring some diversity in the type of art (that we show.)…I’m happy to be able to highlight (the art of quilting).”

“The Artist’s Question” is a good representation of the wide variety of art quilting, Ms. Baugh says.

“There is figurative work, abstract work, light work, more serious or contemplative work – all sorts of things! It’s a way to give voice to the inner things artists think about and express, and to answer those questions.

The work must be seen in person to be truly appreciated.

“It’s one of the hallmarks of textile art,” says Baugh. “It’s really different in person than seeing a picture of it, because of the texture and the seams and the character of the surface of each piece. Some artists use commercial fabric — they go to the store and buy it. Some artists create their own fabric and use paint or dye and cut it out and make art out of it. This is one of the many things textile artists can do that are different from each other.

Artists will use different types of stitching, sometimes following the shape of a piece of fabric or using stitching as a contrast, using hand stitching and machine stitching. Some add embellishments, such as buttons, beads, ribbons or found objects.

Although SAQA was founded in 1989, there are still people who don’t know quilting as an art, Baugh says. While some quilt artists were formerly traditional quilters, not all were; they come from a variety of backgrounds.

“But we all use this medium that we love, which is very different from traditional quilts,” she says. “Fifty years later, we’re still explaining it to people.” ¦

In the TO KNOW

“The question of the artist… answered in fibre”

When: June 3 to 26

Where: The Alliance for the Arts, 10091 McGregor Blvd., Fort Myers

Cost: suggested donation of $5

Information: 239-939-2787 or

Opening: 5-7 p.m. June 3

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