As a needlepointer, I find that often my work gets trivialized by
artists and by people who do other fiber arts. Needlepoint suffers
from a “little old lady” syndrome, which is completely out of sync
with the reality of the art we produce, which is often far more
advanced than what is done by other, more accepted arts.
As needlepointers we should carry the banner for acceptance of our
work as a fiber art.
We can do this in lots of ways small and large:
- enter your pieces in the local fairs as art not as craft or
“home arts” You may not win prizes, but you will start to lay the
- carry your needlepoint with you, show off the work in your home
- host an exhibit of your work at the local library, school or
shopping mall (often they will do this free for non-profits)
- do you have a good story to tell, send a press release to the
- create a gallery of your original work on your website and
list it in art directories
But most importantly, organizations like ANG can do much to promote
acceptance of our work as art. They need to make and keep to firm
rules about classifications, they need to read and accept the work of the artists when they submit and artist’s statement. They need to look at the classifications of original and adaptation in other
fields of endeavor and use those as a basis for classifying
needlepoint. They need to applaud those teachers who have created
new stitches and techniques and those stitchers who use these tools
to create original work. But most of all, the entire judging process needs to be free of the prejudice, rudeness, and disbelief of artist’s which has been appearing lately.
ANG has a bully pulpit as do other organizations in the field —
let’s ask them to use it to make us and our art better known!
About Janet M Perry
Janet Perry is the Internet's leading authority on needlepoint. She designs, teaches and writes, getting raves from her fans for her innovative techniques, extensive knowledge and generous teaching style. A leading writer of stitch guides, she blogs here and lives on an island in the northeast corner of the SF Bay with her family
I agree with you I have seen some amazing works of art that were needlework.
I am amazed at the skill.
when I first see the art. I wondered how it was done. Then when I begin to look at the handiwork envolved I think I can do that.
Then I tried without taking the time to truly teach myself well. I just did some surface reading and skimming. I just was not successful at all. My attempt was the heart shape.
Now I have a friend who is going to take the time to show me the correct way to do the counting of the stitches.
and I will attempt to learn from you as well.
Joyce Shannon says
My EGA chapter took out a booth at a local arts (not craft)festival. Now I am getting emails from various art shows asking if we would exhibit or donate a piece (yeah right) to a charity for their auction. The latest gave us exactly minus three days to fill out the paperwork and get a piece up there. Not gonna happen, but at least we are getting recognized. Still can’t figure out if anyone could have met the deadline since I got the email 3 days after the paperwork was due.
Janet Perry says
I hear you and I know the feeling. I can think of a couple of strategies to deal with this. Most of these kind of things are annual, keep track of the ones you, or your members, want to support and contact them 3-6 months before next year.
You could also team up with local framers to support these events. You donate needlework, they donate the frame. Do it in advance so the framer an display it for awhile. Publicity for them and for the event.
Another thing I do when I know something is coming up is take something stitched but unfinished from my stash, finish it, and then donate.
It’s the three days that’s so irritating.
Linda Pearce says
I believe original work in any medium is art. Open minded curiosity about materials and colour can lead us in unimagined directions.