Grant Application with Judge's Comments

·       Museum Collaboration to Interpret History Through Surface Design

  1. Proposal (maximum 2 pages)
    1. Description of proposed project
      1. Describe what you want to do.
I want to design unique surface designed fabrics with visual depth and rich historic content.   I have been invited by the Sandy Spring Museum to create an artistic interpretation of their collections of artifacts, photographs and documents.   The result would be an exhibit displaying my fabrics paired with the objects that inspired them.   I have met with the museum director to brainstorm exhibit ideas and learn how to best accomplish my goals.   Additionally, I have met with the collections specialist to learn how to conduct research and access the resources.   The museum database contains a wealth of creative potential.   For example, imagine a related set of shapes and images:  the silhouette of a glass milk bottle, a rubbing of the dairy information from the raised lettering on the bottle, a picture of a local dairy farm, a map of the dairy location, a hand written inventory of the dairy property, the shape from the rim of a cow bell, a picture of an old fashioned ice cream churn and the wire mesh design from a calf weaning snaffle (muzzle).   Determining how to best capture and compose this visual information given the techniques  (such as soy wax resist, stenciling, making molds) and equipment (such as a Thermofax machine, SLR camera, lightbox) at my disposal will be a challenge.   I look forward to continuing to collaborate with the museum staff as we organize my first exhibit.   After the exhibit is completed, I will design bags from the fabric.   These bags will be donated to the museum store to give my work additional exposure and purpose.   I will save two bags for my portfolio.   The culmination of this experience will be a lecture for the Potomac Fiber Art Guild on museum collaborations and an accompanying 3 hour workshop.
      1. Why is the project important?
Sandy Spring, Maryland is an historic community established by Quakers in 1798 to farm tobacco and corn.   The Sandy Spring Museum celebrates its local history, serves as a community center and has multiple artists in residence.   Hosting rotating exhibits by artists allows the museum to teach about the past and also promote their mission in support of the arts.   Publicizing exhibits promotes foot traffic in the museum.   My surface design exhibit will engage the viewer and help to tell the story of Sandy Spring.      
For the last five years, I have supported the museum's educational outreach in the fiber arts by volunteering as the resident spinner and weaver.   I have enjoyed the museum's hosting of a monthly open studio event to promote local artists.   I value this little gem of a museum and want to contribute my work to help keep it strong and vibrant.
I believe that this project is an excellent exchange of my time and talents with the museum’s resources and need for programming.   Any work, imagery or tools that I will develop belongs to me.   I will have an exhibit on my resume’.   The museum gets a custom designed exhibit.   Revenue/exposure from sales of the one-of-a-kind surface designed bags will also benefit the museum.  
                                                      3.            State how the project will contribute to your technical and aesthetic growth as a fiber artist or craftsperson.

This project is the perfect next step in becoming a working artist.   I will be able to integrate years of studying design and composition, color and surface design techniques.   I can’t wait to work on a larger scale.   Designing this installation will give me focus, a timeline and provide the vehicle for new growth.   I will create business cards, write an artist statement, and develop an art blog that will give me validation and exposure as an artist along the way.   Besides promotional tools, I will build physical tools to assist in this project and in future work.   I will build a light box to photograph the museum’s resources and the art I create.   I will learn the skill of molding and casting.   I will add shapes and imagery to my personal art lexicon.   I will continue developing my art portfolio.   I will utilize the museum’s collections to develop a theme gaining valuable experience from designing, publicizing and installing the exhibit.   I have read that the only way to improve your art and discover your style is simply to make lots of art.   I will be making lots of art.
In summation, I have two complementary goals.   The first is to increase the complexity and interest in my work thru layering and having a story to tell in each piece.   The second is to become a working artist.   I have given the project a lot of consideration and feel that this project will lead me to accomplish both.
    1. Budget
                                                      1.            My budget is based on creating 38 one yard one-of-a-kind pieces with extra fabric for experimenting which will become bag pockets or linings.
cloth (50 yards white cotton)
Procion dye (6 colors, 8 oz each)
pro dye activator (10 lbs)
thiox (1lb)
soy wax (5 lbs)
urea (5lbs)
salt (25lbs)
print paste sh (2lb)
canvas frames (30"x30" size)

    to display 38 pieces
Easy Mold (4lb)
casting resin (2 quart)
Celluclay (5lb)
Shipping Costs for Art Supplies

      1. If the budget exceeds $1000.00, state the source of the additional funds.
I will assume any costs beyond the budget stated.
    1. Time frame for the project (be as specific as possible.)   
·         Project Work/Blog:  June 2014 – May 2015
·         · Exhibit/Blog:  June 2016 (4 weeks)
·         · PFAG Presentation/Mini Workshop:  January 2016 or February 2016 requested

    II.             Resumé as it relates to the proposal (maximum 2 pages)

A.    Travel and other experiences: include any relevant information that is not included above

I worked 114 fiber-related volunteer hours in 2013.   Seventy six of those hours were devoted to the Sandy Spring Museum demonstrating fiber arts, teaching adult fiber classes and running events.   I bartered teaching time with the museum in exchange for weekend facility rental for a machine knitting seminar in June 2013.   I am confident in my ability to create the surface design exhibit because of my excellent established relationship with the museum staff.  

I ran the Northern Virginia Machine Knitting Club as president, program director, demonstrator (twice a year) and web mistress for 2.5 years from January 2011 to June 2013.   I organized and ran 4 machine knitting seminars in that time frame.   I am able to follow thru on long term commitments and handle budgets.

I ran a successful gelatin monoprinting workshop for the PM Patchwork Fiber Guild in June 2013.   I am comfortable presenting and enjoy teaching workshops.  

B.     Training and education: list higher education, workshops, instruction, conferences, etc. that are relevant to the proposed work


·         Colorful Soy Wax             Jane Dunnewold          May 2011
·         Quilt Surface Design Symposium/Art Cloth        Jane Dunnewold         May 2012
·         Subtractions and Additions: Building a Personal Language  Elin Noble             April 2013
·         Not Your Typical Tee       Carol Soderlund          April 2013
·         True Colors           Carol Soderlund          Sept. 2013

Workshops that I will attend within the grant period:
·         Screen, Dye and Discharge – Enlarging Your Mark Making Vocabulary  Kerr Grabowski 
Sept. 2014
·         The New Color Mixing for Dyers Part 1  Carol Soderlund          Oct. 2014

Study Groups:
·         I studied the following workbook with three other artists over 2 years:  “Finding Your Own Visual Language:  A Practical Guide to Design and Composition” by Claire Benn, Jane Dunnewold & Leslie Morgan.   We supplemented our discussions with Jane Dunnewold’s tutorial “Criteria for Visual Critique” as a guide to measure our work.   The group was less formal than a class, but was highly instructive… 
·         I belong to the Potomac Fiber Art Guild’s Elements and Principles of Design study group #6.   We are currently working thru exercises in Gwen Hedley’s book “Drawn to Stitch”.  Once again, this group of 6 artists provides the opportunity to present work for review and to critique the work of others.   These monthly meetings are an excellent source of learning by doing.

C.     Exhibitions and awards: list any that are pertinent to this application
Not yet.

  1. Describe how this project will enrich the Potomac Fiber Arts Guild, Inc. (maximum 1 page)
The initial benefit will be publicity.   A sign at the museum will credit the guild’s Margaret M. Conant grant for funding the exhibit and describe the Potomac Fiber Art Guild.   The Margaret M. Conant grant and guild will also receive ongoing mention in the project blog.   A press release publicizing the exhibit will also include the Potomac Fiber Arts Guild as the source of funding and a link to the guild’s website.
The culmination of the grant will be an hour long program for the Potomac Fiber Art Guild’s membership followed by a 3 hour workshop.  
The program will be of general interest because the inspiration drawn from historic materials can be applied to any medium.   The past informs the future.   Every artist travels a different path, so I will be sharing my unique experiences at the museum and in my studio.   My conclusions in selecting the best techniques for capturing visual information depending on the source (such as a map versus a textured glass bottle) will be covered.   Collaborating with a museum to build an installation is a fresh topic, so I look forward to relating my adventures.   Snippets from the blog will demonstrate the project progress.   I will share photos from the exhibit, discuss promotional tools that I developed and display samples of the surface design bags created.   I will comment on my success in realizing working artist status and speak to the development of my work.
I will teach a 3 hour workshop that addresses tool making for surface design work to include creating Thermofax screens, mold making/casting for fabric paint stamping, making soy wax crayons for rubbings and other tools used for soy wax resist techniques.
 IV.            Images
A.    Provide ten (10) images of your previous work.

1.    Civil War Stirrup,  June 2013,  11”x14”

2.     Winter Potential of Crepe Myrtle (detail image),  February 2013,  30”x30”

3.     Wild Olives,  July 2013,  17”x22”

  4.      My Complements to You (detail image),  August 2012,  24”x32”

5.      Lavender’s Blue Dilly Dilly,  May 2013, 21”x17” 

6.      Red Clay Layers,  June 2012,  22”x18”

7.     Clammed Up,  September 2012,  11”x18”

8.     Gene Pairs Dancing,  April 2013,  18”x20"

9.     Reach for the Sky,  April 2013,  13”x27”

 10.   Happy Feet: Photograph to Serigraph – 3 Screens,  September 2012, 5”x7”

Juror’s Critique:
My comments, of course, refer only to the proposal as I do not know any of the participants so please don’t take anything I say personally.

The  guild's missions are:
  • To widen knowledge of the fiber arts and increase the number of techniques known.
  • To investigate and study the fiber art made in our own and other lands.
  • To improve our membership's creativity, methods and techniques.
  • To gain inspiration from one another by sharing our experiences.
  • To promote the use of quality hand-made fiber art in our vicinity.

                                                      1.            This proposal is very clear, the budget well itemized, the time line well organized.
                                                      2.            It particularly addresses the use of quality hand made fiber art locally.
                                                      3.            It promotes a local museum which is very supportive of fiber art.
                                                      4.            In her working from museum artifacts, she shows how one can take inspiration from an historical source and use it for creative endeavors today;
         this will address the goal of improving the members’ creativity.
                                                      5.            She plans not only a clearly defined illustrated lecture, but also a specific workshop of specific length.
                                                      6.            She has taken a number of relevant workshops recently.
                                                      7.            She has worked hard to promote an interaction between the Guild and the museum – I think it’s very important that guilds have strong community links so that everyone is working together to promote art within a community.
                                                      8.            In her proposal, she specifically addresses the needs of the guild.
                                                                  1.            The proposal does not address studying existing fiber art in either the USA or other countries.

Overall: a clear presentation as to exactly what she wants to do and why and what it will cost and what the guild will gain as a result.

1 comment: