1. How did you select the theme, and did you get what you expected from those invited to submit, or are the results completely unexpected?
J) We each have lists of theme ideas, brainstorm via e-mail and then decide. Sometimes we ask a few of our artist friends for their input. My only expectation is quality artwork that interprets the theme in the art quit and that the statement reflects it.
L) We started out with quite a different idea for this year's theme, but decided there might be some unresolved copyright issues, and moved on to a subject that would invite a broad array of interpretations.
2. How did you come up with the idea of an invitational juried exhibition to be shown at Long Beach/Houston?
J) We wanted to have a great exhibit, but wanted some control on who we asked to participate, like asking people we know personally. And it was our desire to ask some artists who have never entered a piece in a large show. I enjoy the learning curve, to help an inexperienced artist achieve their goal to be accepted into our exhibit.
L) As fate would have it we were able to secure sponsors for both exhibitions this year. Last year we asked participating artists to pitch in financially if they were able in order to take the exhibition on to Houston. As a result we received a lot of additional exposure for the artists' work, and the Edges exhibit was featured in a substantial article in Quilting Arts magazine. Yay!
3. What’s on tap for next year’s invitational?
J) We are working on that now, and haven't decided what the theme will be for 2011.
L) We do have some ideas up our sleeves, but we welcome any thoughts from the BTS artists!
4. This whole undertaking is a ton of work, (thank you very much!) what do you two personally get from it, that makes you take it on?
J) I love bringing people together - all kinds with a variety of experience in the quilting world. I enjoy working with Leslie and we compliment each other in our skills. To see the big picture - from start to finish is quite rewarding in itself. To be able to share a knock out exhibit with the public at the best venues.
L) Several things: Jamie and I enjoy working together. We come at the work from different perspectives which is both wonderful and challenging. We love to see where the themes take the artists, and for many, just the size of the quilt presents a unique challenge! It is Interesting to see how people decide to interpret the theme(s). It is all very exciting to us. Yes, it is work, but it is truly a labor of love for both of us.
5. What sorts of things do you have to do as curators that the artists might not know is part of your job?
J) Working with a variety of people on a professional level, meeting deadlines, being highly organized, and having fun at the same time. Leslie is a wonderful and considerate writer, which I so appreciate when it comes to writing letters, sponsor letters, theme paragraphs, etc.
L) There is a LOT of paperwork involved. Being on the other side of the "fence" as curator/jurors we have an opportunity to intersect with a wider variety of people running the quilt shows. Jamie is extremely organized which is so wonderful!
6. What enticed you two to begin curating shows?
J) I’ve curated a handful of shows before I organized an exhibit of quilts made about Long Beach in 2008 made by groups "Everything Under the Sun." The second exhibit "Edges" began on my own and then brought Leslie in to help with the jurying process, and the rest is history. Throughout our friendship, we have found that we work well together. Henceforth, curating seemed a natural progression for both of us.
L) While I was co-owner of FiberArtspace I had opportunities to curate a number of shows as well as jury a call for entry. Jamie and I worked together on curating an online exhibition and found that we really enjoyed the collaborative effort.
7. Where did the "Dinner at Eight" name come from?
(J and L) When we go to Festival in Houston, our reservation is for 8:00pm and our artist friends are with us! We thought it was the perfect name for our curating efforts.
8. What is our greatest asset?
J and L) Perhaps a good reputation in the quilting world and we're easy to work with.
L) I think we have done a good job of presenting an interesting array of work in both exhibitions we have co-curated. We work well together.
9. What other projects do you work on as a collaboration?
J) We team teach one hour workshops in MIU at Festival in Long Beach and Houston. We are also teaching at CREATE with Cloth, Paper, Scissors in late August in Rosemont, IL. Leslie and I both enjoy cooking, so we started a blog “Artists Cooking with Gas.”
L) As Jamie stated, we have a number of common interests in addition to making art. Some of these have become collaborative endeavors and it has been quite enjoyable.
10. What are a few things you haven't done but would love to do?
J) Oh my gosh, where do I start? I would love for one of our exhibits to travel after Houston onto the Quilt Visions Gallery in San Diego and Karey Bresenhan's gallery in LaGrange, TX. I want to do an exhibit about Women Authors. I would love to do an exhibit about something emotional, that tugs at your sleeve, that changes you inside, that is gripping...a girl can dream.
L) I want to write a book. I hope to get my work into Visions and Quilt National someday. I've got a lot of dreams and goals, artwise and otherwise!