I signed up for a QuiltArt Challenge* called "Why is the sky blue?" Seems like a good fit, eh? I'm all about looking at the sky and I certainly can come up with a couple three ideas about the sky.
I had to pull off onto a side road in East Schodack last night though and take a few shots of the sky, which was anything but blue! Well, the sky directly above me was a beautiful deep blue... Click above for larger view.
* A challenge is where you make something based on a theme or some other parameter chosen by a person or a group.
I took a break, both from work and from blackberry picking and jam making, to travel with Dona to see an exhibit of quilts currently at the Williams College Museum of Art. This turned out to be a relatively small but excellent display of carefully chosen quilts. I enjoy travelling with Dona and speculating what caused this quilt to turn out the way that it did.
The bonus of the trip was perhaps even more exciting - an exhibit called Motion Pictures which combined paintings and prints and commercial materials with digitized versions of the earliest moving pictures. These were all from the Edison archives. It was fascinating to see a painting from 1899 of a particular market or place in NYC and right along side of it, moving pictures of people of the same day in the same place. By and large the moving pictures were of people doing ordinary day-to-day things but some of them were staged or were of performances. Totally amazing and worth the trip by itself. OK, and it was an amazement just to think that motion pictures were presented to audiences beginning around 1898!
After that there was lunch at Pappa Charlies Deli and then a quick trip to Tala's Quilt Shop in North Adams where a good time was had by all.
OK, I just need to give a big shout out to Virginia Spiegel, the mastermind behind the whole fundraising event you've been hearing about here. Today was the end of the event and here's a direct quote from her web site:
Fiberart For A Cause will be back in 2006. See you then! Thank you for making this ACS fundraiser such an unbelievable success! We raised over $10,800
Now, think about this. Each postcard was sold for $30. That's a lot of postcards made and bought over the course of a few weeks. I know that Virginia was not thinking about raising that much money. Someone posted to the QuiltArt mailing list, saying - wouldn't it be great if the postcards raised 10,000? At the time it seemed a long way off. Virginia wrote later:
When Kay posted a goal of $10,000, my heart sank as I didn't have enough postcards on hand to reach that goal. But the Quiltart floodgates of kindness opened and patron and donors alike were generous beyond words - sincere thanks to you all.
So what made this so successful? It was the magical combination of the right place and time, the right mix of makers and collectors, the willingness of bigger collectors to invest in little known makers and the excitement of people normally unable to invest in art being given the opportunity to do just that. All in all a whirlwind and an upward-rising one at that.
My main reason to post about it here is to give the world an example of positive action that can happen, starting with one believing person who says "what if..." and having gotten a small group to participate, casting out some info, drawing in some more participants, creating a little chat, a little buzz - well, look what can happen!
You can do this too. It all starts with a "what if...?", a "how about if we did it this way?", "who could I ask to help?" and you're already going down the road.
Even if you only get a small result, it's a result, and it's worth doing. But what if you start out, and the result takes care of itself?
On a personal note: I made 12 postcards (two at the last moment) and 11 sold. That's a total of $330 which I helped raise through my postcard contribution. That is a lot more money than I would be able to contribute in cash. And yet, by doing something that I enjoyed, for a cause I believed in, I was able to contribute to something pretty big and very worthwhile. I am glad to have had this opportunity. It was fun, it was at times very exciting, it was for a good cause, it used skills I already had, and was work I could do as time permitted. I felt appreciated and rewarded on many levels. . For a "volunteer" this is like the ideal situation! And for all of this, I thank Virginia for her efforts.