And here's the best part; my friend Colleen won the top prize. I'm thrilled for her; her felted garment-cum-installation was stunning. (Sorry, I never got the photo from Colleen.)
I'm grateful the judge chose her piece for the prize, and I'm grateful Colleen submitted her work at all. It's a garment, and yet it's installation art, and edgy in the context of the Area Exhibit.
I can blog on and on about "art vs craft", and how I see "what I do", and whether I am an artist, an artisan/craftsperson, or a weaver. But let's face it, I make scarves and shawls with wool, (top quality, wonderful texture, but still wool), and I don't dye my own colors or even use lots of colors. So, even though I manage to make them look a little flashy, on account of having 16 computer-controlled shafts, I realize, thanks to Colleen, it's not art.
Art, starting today, is going to require a bit more thinking on my part; not just taking longer to design something more complicated, but something qualitatively different, something about more of the maker's soul being included in the finished work. Her work is not at the high end on the art/craft spectrum, but in a totally different place.
Food for thought.