The international quilt festival was initiated in 1974 (eventsinamerica.com, 2018). The celebration is held in Houston in the fall period, and the Quilts incorporation produces the event. The 2018 Houston international quilt festival can be considered as the largest annual consumer quilt show across the globe. The show attracted more than sixty-thousand attendees across the US and in more than twenty-five countries around the world as well as it hosted five hundred exhibitors. The event was held at George R. Brown Convention Center, and as usual, it had unique quilt exhibits placed inside booths in the same hall.
Over the years, the International Quilt Association (IQA), has remained the only global non-profit organization that is committed to the preservation and the art of quilting, the spread of the state of art across the world as well as the achievement of public credit for quilting as a form of art (Cowen, 2018). The membership to the association is always open to persons interested in quilts and quilting.
The yearly fees are twenty dollars for one year and seventy-five dollars lasting three years. The dues are payable by check that is drawn on a US bank or by credit card. Also, the membership registration gives one access to an official IQA card and a free online subscription to a quarterly journal and Teachers Directory, the chance to join the annual Judged show, and opportunity to apply grant for quilt-related projects among other privileges.
Interaction with an Exhibitor
During the event, I was able to interact with one of the exhibitors; Susanne Miller-Jones. She had organized an exhibit of forty-two quilts aimed at celebrating the 50th anniversary of the United Nation's Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Moreover, her displays touched on the themes that describe the international headlines, for instance, environmental issues, immigration, racial and ethnic tolerance, refugees and fair labor practices. The exhibitor claimed that she came to the show because quilting offers a platform for educating, expressing and challenging ideas. More so, she argued quilting affords her a chance for creating a material culture; hence she perceives the event as a facet of culture and society.
Also, the exhibitor claimed that her work borrows from popular culture and cultural studies. Besides, culture encompasses individuals' ways of being, acting, knowing, and creating; this can be best expressed through public displays such as quilts. Nevertheless, the exhibitor believes that participating at the event will raise awareness of human rights around the world. According to Jones, the event attracts individuals from all over the world, and this makes it easier for her quilts to communicate her message of international headlines across the globe.
Interaction with a Visitor
I had a chance to interact with a couple who had their reasons for attending the festival. The couple claimed that the festival in Houston was not their first, and they knew what to expect. First, the couple expects that in a quilt festival there are numerous vendors; thus one can purchase unique items, the couple claimed that one should always wear sensible shoes and carries a wallet because the event is full of surprises. Secondly, the couple loves art, and the best place they can see a unique art is at a quilt festival.
Moreover, the couple claimed that in all quilt festivals one could not get enough of what the quilt makers do with thread and fabric. Also, the couple was elderly, and attending any quilt festival reminds them of the American's history. The event display quilts from as early as the 1800s, and this makes the couple proud of their heritage in that Americans have been known for sewing together pieces of fabric to design quilts; this connects them with the country's history because they have attended the festival since 1970.
However, the couple complained that the ticket prices increase each year from as low as five dollars to eighteen dollars. Also, the higher rates make it hard to afford food, and this contributes to some of the individuals losing the value of the quilt festival. Additionally, the event needs to introduce favorite foods, dance, and music from other cultures like in the old days. The event organizers should always remember that the festival is an international one; hence everyone in the event would feel more appreciated.
General Impression and Experience of Visiting the Show
Over the years, I have heard a lot of stories about the international quilt festival, and this time I had to witness the event at the George R . Brown Convention Center in Houston. The convention center was not only clean but easy to navigate. I did notice that the exhibitor area was enormous and it would take someone like six hours if one were to visit all the booths. Some of the booths that captured my attention were Studio 180 Designs, Sew Kind of Wonderful, Robin Ruth, and Blend Fabrics. I admired the Blend Fabrics because they had some incredible designs.
Nevertheless, I came across art quilts that depicted different messages, for instance, the ancient methods of communication. Also, I managed to attend one of the classes in the event; Quitapalooza. The class was about a fundraising event where participants were supposed to wear unique sweaters while competing for prizes in fashion show runway style. The whole experience was good, and it gave me a good impression for visiting the next quilt festival.
Comments on what the Show does Well
The Houston international quilt festival provides an opportunity for students to advance their knowledge. The event offers individuals with a chance to register online as well as booking a class of choice where one can ask questions or get a lecture. Moreover, the event grants individuals an opportunity to showcase their talents, for instance, art. Also, individuals can sell their merchandise at the event. Further, the event attracts individuals from more than thirty-five countries; hence one is given the opportunity to learn from other cultures.
The Houston international quilt festival should lower their ticket prices; this would attract a large pool of individuals, and still make the same profit as a result of economies of scale. Also, the affordable ticketing will expose the event to a large group of individuals. Despite the event being international, it is always advisable to consider the local community through reduced ticket prices; this would be an excellent corporate social responsibility. The event aims to attract many individuals, hence marketing the country and at the same time satisfying the clients; this can only be achieved if the visitors have a unique experience from the event. Therefore, the event organizers should ensure that the event has the favorite food, dance, and music from other cultures.
Also, the event organizers should ensure that the date of the festival does not clash with other significant events, for instance, Cinco de Mayo events in Mexico. Such events have cheaper tickets and visitors have almost the same experience. Therefore, individuals are tempted to visit these events; hence the Houston international quilt festival ends up losing its target audience. Additionally, the event organizers should eradicate the issue of non-refundable tickets. Instead, they should refund part of the money, if the event does not happen or reschedule the ticket for the next festival. The issue of non-refundable ticketing frustrates visitors, especially when the weather is terrible.
How the Show Helps in Understanding the Exhibition Industry
The Houston international quilt festival helps one in understanding the exhibition industry. Now, I have the idea that the exhibition industry does promote not only beauty and talents but also other concepts such as patriotism, feminism as well as advocating for human rights through the arts. Also, I have learned that the exhibition industry has its rules, for instance, exhibitions can be classified into works for hire, original works, and finalist works among other groups.
Typically, the international quilt festival aims to attract individuals from all over the world. This is one way of promoting tourism in the country as a result of money spent by the foreigners. Therefore, the exhibition industry plays an essential role in developing both domestic and foreign tourism. More so, the industry is one of the fastest growing sectors in the 21st century.
Cowen, D. (2018, November 2). International Quilt Festival will feature a Texas touch. Retrieved from Houston chronicle: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/life/home/design/article/International-Quilt-Festival-will-feature-a-Texas-13355813.php
eventsinamerica.com. (2018). International Quilt Festival- Houston 2018. Retrieved from Events in America: https://eventsinamerica.com/events/international-quilt-festival-houston-2018
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International Quilt Festival Reflection Paper Example. (2022, Oct 08). Retrieved from https://proessays.net/essays/international-quilt-festival-reflection-paper-example
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