Art Quilts XXVI: Behind the Book with Vision Gallery

In its 26th year, Art Quilts is an exhibition of powerful storytelling told through the medium of fabric. We spoke with book creator Peter Bugg to find out more about the exhibit and the creative process in making this commemorative book.

You say that quilts have a story to tell. What is one such story from this book that has stuck with you?

Asake Denise Jones’ story of family land in Alabama. The land was purchased with funds made from selling quilts her great grandmother made, which brings the story depicted on the quilt full circle.

What story does the entirety of this book tell?

The book does a good job of showing a broad variety of stories—some more personal, some more universal, but all relatable. Each story was important enough to the quiltmaker that she spent hours crafting a beautiful object that will share the story with others.

How closely did you work with Ellen Blalock who juried the exhibition?

The gallery staff worked to do all the logistical work—communicating with the artists, collecting the images of the quilts, information, and statements. We then organized everything to make it easy for Mrs. Blalock to choose which quilts would be exhibited. We gave her a little bit of guidance in terms of the number of quilts we were looking for but left it up to her to make the selections.

Were all of the artists in this year’s exhibition women? Are there any particular women you’d like to thank or acknowledge who have had an impact on your life or creative process?

Yes, all of the artists this year were women. The overwhelming majority of quilters in our exhibitions have been women, but there has also been the occasional man.

There are many women who have made an impact on my life: My two closest colleagues are Caroline and Jillian, and we would not be able to provide the quality arts programming that we do without their input and hard work. My boss Michelle and her boss Kim are very supportive of our efforts. My mom influenced me in many ways, including forcing me to visit art museums until it became something I looked forward to. My sister is a great sounding board and continues to teach me a lot of important lessons. And of course, the list wouldn’t be complete without my wife Melissa, who helped guide me through all of the scary parts of getting an MFA and has continued to support me personally and professionally.

What have you learned about this medium of art since doing this book?

This is the fifth art quilts exhibition I have helped coordinate. Each year, I am impressed with the variety of themes and techniques, and I love filling our art galleries with large swathes of color.

What type of camera did you use?

Nikon D750

What is your personal experience with self-publishing or publishing in general?

Since 2009, I have published 35 books personally through Blurb. Most of them were single-issue creations of family photos, but more recently, I have also created a few books for public consumption. When I was an educator through 2015, I also worked with many students and student groups to design and create books through Blurb. I love the quality and the ability to publish as few or as many books as I want.

How did you do the design for this book? Did you use BookWright or a different software?

After editing my photos, I always do all of the layout and design directly in BookWright.

Is there anything else you’d like to share or like us to know about your work?

This book was created as a catalog for an exhibition at the Vision Gallery and Chandler Center for the Arts Gallery.

Ready to inspire someone with your own book? Create your photo book now!

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