Quilts have continued to hold my interest over the past 25 years because I have been able to work with them in a multitude of ways. In other areas of this website, you can learn about my lectures, articles, and publications. However, this area of the website is designed for me to tell you about some of the more creative projects and services I have provided and could offer to you.
My background as a fifteen-year board member of the Louisville Visual Art Association (our Contemporary Art Center) gave me extensive knowledge of exhibition and collection issues, ranging from design to travel. My experience in the art world as a collector has been invaluable while working with quilts in all venues -museums, corporate settings, etc. I can help you to bridge the gaps between the quilt world, the museum world, the art world and the business world. My contacts in all areas, from those in the "how-to make quilts" community to academics make me the "one stop shop" for your project.
I have been hired by various groups who want to ensure that the material written about quilts, for scripts and other applications is accurate. Much of what has traditionally been written about quilts is mostly myth, not fact. By hiring me to ensure the accuracy of the quilt information and images, you can avoid public relations fiascoes like the one suffered by a company that showed ladies at a quilting bee using knitting needles to quilt.
I have been a resource for Simply Quilts, HGTV, and Wisconsin Public Television among others. I provide information such as: who would make a good interview, who is credible in this enormous world of self proclaimed authorities, on what level are some of the "authorities" operating, is their expertise university level or grass roots and which do you want for this effort? I also provide assistance in navigating through the minefield of quilt politics (yes, it is political).
Recently, I was contacted by an international public relations firm wanting to have a quilt designed and made within a very short time frame for a special product launch. I was hired to "make it happen", "make it good" and "meet their deadline". I located the designer and the maker. I coordinated the production, arranged the contracts, secured professional photography for the finished quilt, and assisted with the writing of public relations materials for the launch.
I was hired as the sole consultant to work with both the publisher and author of Living with Quilts, the Phyllis George Book. My responsibilities included providing the most accurate publications list from which the author could do her research and writing within a given deadline. I also located most of the collectors (many had been clients of mine) willing to lend quilts for photography. I located the majority of the extraordinary sites to be used for the page settings. I worked with the writer to choose a broad variety of quilts, so that the 700 word essays she had to write about each one would not send her "over the edge" with nothing original left to say by quilt number 10.
I work with a number of banks, hospitals, airports, universities and private collectors to develop collections of quilts. From choosing a theme, to locating the quilts, advising on hanging, writing necessary wall and catalogue text, I am actively involved in each project.
My own personal collection has recently been acquired by The Art Institute of Chicago. An exhibition including all of those quilts and some other recent acquisitions will open in the Textile Galleries on Mar. 16, 2004 and continue until the end of September 2004.I will be giving a lecture at the museum at the opening titled American Quilts: A Patchwork of Meanings, Purposes and Origins.
Having been closely involved over the years with the travel of several exhibitions, I am in a position to develop traveling exhibitions and to avoid the pitfalls that can occur. I also have inside knowledge of most of the major public and private collections through the research on my book American Quilt Collections: Antique Quilt Masterpieces.
If your organization is looking to develop a particular theme for travel in the U.S. or abroad, I can locate the quilts, negotiate with the museums and organize the paperwork. I currently have several foreign venues under consideration. I am currently working with NHK, the public TV station in Japan to gather together a group of quilts on a theme for their Festival in 2005.
As the driving force behind the first state documentation project, originating here in Kentucky in 1981, I can develop similar projects for you from inception, proposal writing and funding development, to completion. Kentucky's project became the model for at least 45 others in the United States and abroad and spawned nearly as many books and catalogues.
In 1991-92 The Kentucky Quilt Project, Inc produced Louisville Celebrates the American Quilt. During that effort we produced 6 exhibitions at 4 venues in Louisville (the J.B. Speed Art Museum, the Louisville Science Center, The Kentucky Art and Craft gallery, and the Louisville Visual Art Association), 4 academic conferences and published 2 books-all simultaneously. After that experience, no project is too large for me. I am energized and excited by the prospects of new adventures!
References are available for any of these projects on request.