Quilt show will be staged on Internet instead of a display hall

SILVER SPRINGS - The Nevada Art Quilt Competition 2000 opens May 15 - not in some display hall, but on the Internet.

Chris Hansen of Silver Springs linked up with Sandra Sider of New York City and Judy Smith of Washington, D.C., to put on a juried - but virtual - show for art quilts.

Via e-mail, Hansen presented her on-line quilt show idea to Smith and Sider and the trio electronically coordinated the show that will appear on Smith's website: www.quiltart.com.

Hansen is putting out the call for entries now, even though the quilts chosen won't appear on the Internet for another six months. She wants to give quilters enough time to make a quilt specifically for the show.

The competition will be a worldwide showcase for Nevada quilt artists.

"This is just for Nevada residents or people who have a main residence in Nevada," Hansen said. "There are quilt artists in Nevada but there's not a lot going on for them."

Hansen does put on the real-life Fiber Arts Show each August on behalf of Silver Springs Entertainment and Arts Inc., but she acknowledges the opportunities to take part in quilt shows are far and few between for most Nevadans.

"The Internet broadens your horizons," Hansen said. "You meet people with the same interests in other countries. You can see more. You can't just go to quilt shows in Japan or Australia."

Smith's website is the self-proclaimed largest for art quilters. She has about 1,200 registered members. Smith got involved in on-line quilting in 1991 and launched her website in 1995.

Right now, quiltart.com is hosting five member-sponsored shows and Smith has a gallery featuring quilts of 52 members.

Smith smilingly acknowledges the contradiction of mixing an age-old art form with modern technology.

"It's like an oxymoron but it's really been an incredible tool for quilters around the country to meet each other," said Smith a part-time obituary writer at the Washington Post. "I think it's given people more opportunities to find out what's available. It's opened the eyes of a lot of people."

Hansen found two of the quilt world's better known individuals to launch her Nevada Art Quilt Competition.

Sider is a New York City-based quilt maker and teacher who will curate Hansen's show. Sider will evaluate the entries and determine which ones meet the criteria for inclusion in the show.

"She's very well known," Smith said. "Sandra is wonderful in organizing quilt shows. We have a wonderful relationship."

Hansen met Sider via the Internet earlier this year. Hansen was looking regionally for workshop instructors for the Fiber Arts Show.

Hansen never expected to bring a curator from Sotheby's auction house in New York to Silver Springs but Sider combined a visit with family in San Francisco with a quilt show in central Lyon County. Sider then agreed to curate Hansen's Internet show.

Hansen said art quilts differ in purpose, design and structure from traditional quilts.

Traditional quilts are usually made as bed covers and the designs are generally based on a repeated pattern or a combination of patterns. In competitions, traditional quilts are judged on design as well as technical features such as even sized stitches.

"Art quilts can be as big as bed quilts but are usually smaller," said Hansen, who owns Salsa Fabrics, an Internet fabric business. "Their purpose is not keeping you warm but self-expression. They often have messages. You can find free-form, abstract or hand dyed fabric in art quilts."

Quilters interested in submitting work in the Nevada Art Quilt Competition may contact Chris Hansen by phone at (775) 577-2207, by e-mail at fabric@salsafabrics.com or by mail at 3100 Holly Ave., Silver Springs, Nev. 89429.

"In the 21st century, art quilts will achieve international recognition as one of the few genuine art forms originating in our time," Sider will say in an upcoming interview appearing on www.salsafabrics.com.


what: Nevada Art Quilt Competition 2000

where: www.quiltart.com

when: show opens May 15. Entries accepted now.

how to enter a quilt: Send up to six slides to Chris Hansen, Salsa Fabrics, 3100 Holly Ave., Silver Springs, Nev., 89429 or e-mail to art@salsafabrics.com.

Deadline for entries: Jan. 30


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