Field Trip, Reunion, Color Therapy
Posted by Janis on February 28, 2009
I took a field trip yesterday. Even the words “field trip” give me a little buzz — the memories of school day getaways to places unusual, new sights to see, time to hang out with friends on the bus to and from, trying to get truckers to honk their horns and singing “100 Bottles of Beer on the Wall” at the top of our lungs until the driver or our teacher begged for mercy (usually around Bottle #83, as I recall). I wonder if sixth graders are allowed to sing about taking down bottles of beer and passing them around these days? Probably not.
So — I drove to Fulton yesterday to meet up with a dear old friend from high school whom I hadn’t seen for twenty years. Pam had a show of her art quilts at her alma mater, William Woods University, and it was my first chance to see her work in person. You can see it, too — a couple of images anyway. And you simply must go to Pam’s wonderful website/blog to see all her work: http://pamdora.com/blog/ .
I had been following Pam’s adventures in quilting online for a year or so now, but seeing the work in person is absolutely overwhelming. It is the most exciting art I’ve seen in … well, maybe ever! Yesterday was gray and cold, and walking into the gallery was like getting a super-shot of pure color therapy, relief for the winter blues. When you see the quilts from a distance, they look like paintings. Pam has created all these amazing techniques to apply drawing and painting techniques to fabric, so the quilts are incredibly textured and dimensional. Looking at them close up, you can see they are created from an infinite variety of different patterns of fabric, painstakingly chosen to contrast, blend, or do whatever The Artiste wants them to do — she is master of her materials, that’s certain. Pam has a stunning sense of color, as you can see, plus her sense of humor comes through the work so clearly. I laughed out loud looking at the quilts — in the Food Pyramid (below), the hieroglyph camel has a tiny cigarette hanging out of his mouth, for instance. Pam calls them “cartoon quilts,” and that is really apt.
It was so great to see Pam after all these years. We had a good laugh about my taking her to her first concert – Kansas – and my brother swiping my car to take his girlfriend home, leaving us stranded so that Pam didn’t get home till 2 a.m. — to a frantic mother. (This was way before cell phones, dear readers — and I doubt if either of us had enough change to make a long-distance call on a pay phone.) Pam was one of those people who, even as a kid, you just knew she would do amazing things. If there had been an award for “Most Likely To Live An Artistic Life,” Pam would have won. Because she did and she is and I am so very proud of her.