Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Return of Quiet

Several people wrote to ask me about my SOFA experience; I’m finally settled back in from the trip and have time to write.


Nope I didn’t get a ride on the express train to fame and fortune! I had a wonderful time, met terrific people and enjoyed six days in one of my favorite cultural cities. I presented a talk about my work on Saturday morning and was interviewed by a Chicago reporter for the Art Enquirer.

Here’s a link to the article in the Chicago Fine Arts Examiner. At the bottom of the page there’s a link you can click to a slide show that includes this one of me standing by my work.


On Thursday I toured the fiber department at the School of the Art Institute with Friends of Fiber Art , enjoyed seeing the facilities and students in classes learning felting in one studio and improvisational screen printing with cut paper resists in another one. We followed that up with lunch in the new contemporary wing of the Art Institute.

Thursday evening was the VIP opening of SOFA, with plenty of free wine and hors d’ouvres and mingling. Artists stood by their work in the various booths to meet and greet and answer questions.


On Friday I attended the lectures sponsored by Friends of Fiber Art, where a panel of artists represented by Snyderman or Jane Sauer galleries spoke about their work, including Barbara Lee Smith, Carol Shinn, Jon Riis, Geoffrey Gorman, Marilyn Pappas and Marcia Docter. On Saturday morning the Surface Design Association presented Jan Hopkins and Lesley Richmond, who spoke about their techniques.

I finished up my live SOFA presence on Saturday afternoon and spent Sunday in the Contemporary Museum of Art and the Art Institute. There was an amazing retrospective of outsider artist James Castle’s work at the Art Institute – it was a real highlight of my weekend to move from the totally commercial, sales-driven atmosphere of SOFA to Castle’s completely private world of play and exploration. Read more about James Castle here.

Now that I’m back home, it’s time to get ready for a building-wide studio open house with the Hungerford Urban Artisans on December 4th and 5th.

I’m tired, happy and ready to go back to my quiet studio and return to work. Whatever new opportunities and adventures may lie ahead will present themselves and unfold in their own right and perfect ways. I can’t control or predict how my life as artist will continue to develop, just know and trust that it will.

In the interim, I get to return to the quiet, contemplative world of my studio, where I feel most centered and at home.


  1. Hi Jeanne,
    I wish I could have spoken more with you on your trip here. It was great to see you for that three minutes we had :-) It sounds like you got the whirlwind tour of Chicago; no wonder you're tired! Your work looked incredible. It was great to see it live. I have been immersed in my guild's show myself and can appreciate how good it is to get back to a routine and to quiet. Cheers, Tracy

  2. The contrast of public presentation and the studio - it's the studio where the fun happens! I enjoyed the article, and you look fabulous as does your work! I couldn't find the link to the slide show. I hope I get to see your work in person some day. Congratulations on the whole SOFA experience.

  3. Thanks for the summary. It sounds like a successful trip for you. Wonderful for you to present your work to the marketing world of SOFA. No doubt you had good opportunities to meet other artists, gallery owners, and patrons. SOFA seems to me to be a world unto itself. While it had to have been an enriching experience, I completely understand you being happy to be home again, and working in your own studio. Welcome back!

  4. Congratulations on a successful experience. I know you were 100 percent prepared and I would love to have heard your lecture. As you said, "you never know what will develop from an experience", but it all goes into 'the pot' and will carry you along.

  5. Tracy, I too was sad that we had so little time to visit. I hope we can get some creative time together one of these days -- what fun THAT would be!

    Leslie, your word "contrast" sums up a lot of my experience at SOFA. Amazing contrast between that glittering, high-level world and the private, quiet world of creating.

    Rosemary, SOFA provided wonderful lessons for me in being Who I Am in the world. I feel stronger in myself as a result.

    Terry, I really do feel good about the experience and preparation that I put into getting ready for this opportunity -- and now feel even more motivated to make lots of new work. Developing opportunities for solo exhibitions is going to be my total focus for the next few years.