|For Immediate Release: June 1, 2004:|
Woman’s Work: Making Quilts ~ Creating Art
An inspiring new documentary about 10 women quilt artists and how they each have found their creative “voice” through this rich medium. Produced by Emmy Award-winning editor and first-time director Charlotte Grossman
For release by American Public Television
What viewers are saying about Woman’s Work:
"Woman’s Work made me proud to be a quilter!” “ It expanded my definition of quilting!” “ I will remember this film!”
Quilters at a screening of Woman’s Work: Making Quilts ~ Creating Art
“I was so moved and inspired by your video and the artists. My husband also watched your video and looked at me and said that by hearing these women talk it affirmed for him how special my work was. Your quiet yet powerful video inspired my husband to say something that I will forever hold precious.
Tatjana Loh, photographer
WOW!!! What a wonderful film. I plan on telling anyone who will listen that they need to see this film!
Louise Thompson-Schiele, Fiber Artist
An up close and personal look at quilting as an art form equal to any other. Woman's Work: Making Quilts ~ Creating Art is an original and important work. Not to be missed by anyone interested in people, process and art.
Reviewer: Connie Peretz Herr Amazon.com
Like a quilt itself, the documentary is multilayered… there's thoughtful, articulate, down-to-earth reflection on a wide range of variously intriguing and inspiring topics.. ... I was struck by the variety of life experiences, working conditions, and chosen methods these women bring to their art.
Review by Carolyn J. Hill from Amazon.com
A Different View of Quilts: The first thing you learn about the “eye popping” world of Art quilts from watching Woman’s Work: Making Quilts Creating Art is that these creations are not your grandmother’s bed covers!
While the battle rages on about what is Art or Craft, the women of Woman’s Work go on creating wonderful works in fabric and fiber as an expression of their inner lives, their individual voices.
These women invite us in to watch them create their works of art in gorgeous color, pattern and texture. We hear them pay homage to their cultures, their mothers, aunties and grandmothers; they reveal their individual inspirations, preoccupations and obsessions.
There is a universal appeal to be found in the lives of the women of Woman’s Work that touches not only other women or quilters, but also anyone who has struggled to find a way to give voice to their own creativity.
The Stories of 10 Women Quilt Artists: In her new hour-long video documentary Woman’s Work: Making Quilts ~ Creating Art, longtime film editor Charlotte Grossman steps into the role of director to explore the world of the Art Quilt. She tells the stories of the Faultline Studio Artists, a group of ten dedicated women artists who use the traditional idea of quilting as a starting point for the creation of non-traditional art.
“This is a documentary about the artistic process,” Grossman explains. “I wanted to engage each of these women in conversation about what they do, how they do it, and hopefully reveal why they do it.”
Connect with 20 Million Quilters: “There are over 20 million quilters in this country. Out of that number, 600,000 call their work “art quilts”*, more likely to be found on a gallery wall than covering a bed” says Grossman. “Quilting is often seen as social and utilitarian --something that women gather together to do in groups, to make quilts that will keep friends or family warm. But this misses an important aspect of the work -- the Quilt as Art. The women in this film are artists, working individually in their studios, and then coming together at the monthly meetings of the Faultline group to critique each other’s artwork, discuss new ideas, and inspire each other. These women boldly demonstrate that making quilts is indeed a 21st century art form.”
Hear Their Stories: The film not only provides an intimate look into the process of creating fabric art. These 10 artists talk frankly about their lifestyles, how they struggle with their inner demons, face their failures and successes, and how the details of their lives seep into their work
The 10 women of Woman's Work: Making Quilts ~ Creating Art, come from different hometowns, but their deep feeling for fabric art binds them together:
v “I think there's some sort of ingrained feminine quality to fabric. For me, making a painting that invites you to touch it because it’s made from fabric is very attractive,” says Alexandra Von Burg. She is a quilt artist who originally trained as a lithographer at the studio that produced Andy Warhol's work in New York.
v Claudia Comay, who moved to the United States from Bogotá, Colombia as a child, is creating a series of quilts that play on the idea of hardness and softness with her images of rock formations.
v Sue Mary Fox, a self described "mercenary seamstress" from Maine, who designed costumes for circuses and theater for a living, is a recent arrival to the world of the art quilt.
v Karin Lusnak, a scientist who spent 27 years working as a molecular Biologist, now creates three dimensional fabric art from paper, silk and found objects.
Diversity of Expression: The artworks featured in the film range from traditional patterns to abstract designs; from photo-realistic fabric images to three-dimensional sculptures of silk, paper, and found objects, with many of the artists hand-dyeing, hand-printing, and hand-painting their fabric pieces.
The Producer’s Personal Angle: The authenticity of Woman’s Work: Making Quilts ~ Creating Art is reinforced by the fact that the producer, Grossman, is a member of long standing in this group of women artists. She has included her own story in with everyone else'sbut it is not until the closing credits, as we catch a glimpse of her screening footage in her editing studio, that she reveals her triple role as quilt artist, director and film editor.
Because of her personal connection with her subjects, Grossman is able to give the viewer the privileged position of ' fly on the wall ', observing the bursts of thought and creativity which take place in an artist's work space. Says Grossman "I wanted to be there as a friend observing, rather then as a stranger making a film."
Weaving Stories in a New Way: Grossman has enjoyed a long career in the film industry as a successful editorincluding her work on the Academy-Award winning documentary “He Makes Me Feel Like Dancin’” for which she won the Emmy Award in Editing following the television broadcast, as well as the “Body Human” for which she was nominated for the Emmy, “The Heart of Healing”, “Free Willy: Keiko’s Journey Home” and “The Promise of Play” among others.
After these many years weaving together stories as an editor, Grossman felt the urge to take the helm and produce her own film. "I said I would do this before my 60th Birthday, and I did it!” she exclaims. Woman’s Work: Making Quilts ~ Creating Art is the pilot for a series in production on women and how they have found their creative voice through artistic media from weaving to clothing design, ceramics, print making, glass and metal work and more. Grossman is currently seeking sponsors for the series.
Good Response to Early Broadcasts: The film was broadcast as part of the KQED TV San Francisco featured line-up for Women’s History Month in March 2004 and during sweeps month on Louisiana Public Broadcasting -- May 24th and 30th, 2004. The public response to the show has been outstanding. The DVD and VHS are already selling on the Woman’s Work website (www.womansworkvideo.com and on Amazon.com.
MEDIA COLLEAGUES PLEASE NOTE: Contact us to request a review copy of the film (please specify VHS or DVD format). Clips from the film are available for viewing online at www.womansworkvideo.com. The press release, letters from viewers, quilt images and stills of the women of Woman’s Work are also available for downloading on the web site. Hard copies or jpegs of the electronic press kit will be emailed or snail mailed upon request.
Artist Biography: Filmmaker Charlotte Grossman is an Emmy Award winning film and video editor living and working in the San Francisco Bay Area. Originally from New York, she has edited documentaries shown on ABC, CBS, NBC, Discovery, TBS and PBS. Grossman edited the original ABC Women in Sports shows, co-edited the documentary for NBC titled “He Makes Me Feel Like Dancin’” which won an Academy Award and for which she won an Emmy. She also edited shows for “The Body Human”, for which she received an Emmy nomination, “The Heart of Healing”, “The Promise of Play” and “ The Free Willy Story: Keiko’s Journey Home” for Discovery, among other documentaries. A full resume and video clips of her editing work are available on www.charlottegrossman.com
* Statistics on quilting are taken from NFO/ABACUS Custom Research, Inc. Survey, “Quilting in America 2003,” Primedia Publications.
DVD/VHS copies available for purchase on www.womansworkvideo.com
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