Last Saturday my husband and I were driving in Northern Michigan. Even though we had a long drive and hadn't gotten an early start I did not want to go straight home. I was determined to make a side trip to see the award winning quilt of Ann Loveless, Sleeping Bear Dune Lakeshore. My husband is always a good sport about side trips, so we did!
The quilt is very famous as when it won the 200,000 dollar prize, it was the largest award ever for a quilt. I had wanted to see the quilt last year but ArtPrize was befuddled about how and where to exhibit it after the initial show. As a result, it was in storage.
I had even emailed Ann Loveless last year and she answered me right away. If you click on the link to her website, you will see that she won in 2013 and again, with her husband, in 2015. Now, a person can only win once!
The ArtPrize people decided to return the works of art to the artists with the caveat that it be donated to a non profit organization to be displayed. What would be better than the lakeshore which had inspired it? Yes, the quilt is back at the Sleeping Bear Dune Lakeshore.
A friend of mine who lives in Michigan had sent me the article linked above. I am so glad she did! Empire might not be the easiest spot on this earth to find, but it is worth the trip.
My husband even managed to find a place to eat with really great food. I had the best burger ever at Joe's!
When you walk into the visitor center, it looks like any other National Park center. However, across from the entry you can see some open doors. Walk through those doors and you will see the quilt to the right.
It was cool to see the Lakeshore and then see it depicted as art. The only odd thing is the the space is also used as a conference room. So there are tables and many chairs in there.
The lighting and ambiance are different than where you would see most valuable works of art. Also, all four panels are under glass. I get why, but it didn't add to the enjoyment.
The problem with the space is the lighting as it reacts with the glass. It was very difficult to see, let alone photograph, the quilt.
Here is one detail which I did capture. The dune grass is an important element which she discusses in this article. It surprised me to read that she became a quilter because of arthritis. She's an amazing woman.
Many other shots did not turn out as well. But by trying to get the shot, I sure was able to look at this work from many different angles.
I was impressed! I talked with her briefly last year at the Sewing Seminar and she was so friendly and gracious. Her career and life have really changed. You can read about it here.
I wish I had seen it in the original installation, before the glass, but I am sure glad to have seen it at all. Here I am, in awe of her talent, standing in front of her masterpiece.
Or maybe I am hoping some of her talent will reach me by osmosis?
Want to see more of the quilt and hear Ann speak? Then you're in luck. Here's a video of just those two things!
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Last year on Mackinac Island I also got to meet another talented quilter, read about Gyleen X. Fitzgerald here.