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Be a Prof. Quilt Artist #4: Exhibition Catalog posted: 8/30/2004
by Carolyn Lee Vehslage Printable Page
Category: Tips Method: All Series: Be A Professional Quilt Artist
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Exhibition Catalog: Printed vs. CD?
By Carolyn Lee Vehslage

For the past four years, the ArtQuilts at the Sedgwick volunteer committee has been producing a CD Catalog of the exhibition artwork.

Why is it important to prepare a catalog of any form? Producing the catalog gives this contemporary art form an historical reference and elevates the AQATS exhibition to that of other hallmark art installations.

2003 ArtQuilts at the Sedgwick Catalog

2004 ArtQuilts at the Sedgwick Catalog

2001 was year three of the then annual ArtQuilts at the Sedgwick. It had evolved from a local invitational show to a nation-wide juried exhibition. The core of the AQATS volunteer committee, of Deborah Schwartzman, Lonni Rossi, Leslie Pontz, and Cindy Friedman put their own individual reputations on the line by announcing an exhibition catalog in the 2001 prospectus.

Initial plans for this ambitious project included having individual images of each exhibited art quilt, the artists’ biographical and contact information, images of the committee’s art quilts, and a statement by juror Judi Warren Blaydon.

Lonni Rossi, a career graphic designer, priced a printed catalog. By ‘donating’ her design services, the cost for 2000 copies of a soft-cover, 50-page, bound book would be a staggering $25,000. When anticipated grant funding of the catalog for the Sedgwick Cultural Center fell through, the AQATS committee had to quickly switch production plans.

Inspired by CD-ROM catalogs of museum exhibits, Cindy Friedman investigated costs involved in creating this format of catalog. She found that if she and Lonni could create the master CD ‘in-house’ and only outsource the reproduction, the final cost of the CD catalog would be just 10-15% of a printed version.

Cindy took on the imposing task of CD production manager once her 13-year-old son Steven, a true computer wizard, assured her that he would provide the technical input required. With a turn around deadline of a scant six weeks, her first task was to convert slides from 46 artists into digital images. The next agenda item was to collect the statements and biographies of the artists plus the committee members. Most of which was accomplished through e-mail.

With Lonni’s vision for image layout, Steven went to work building the structure of the CD in FLASH, an animation software program by Macromedia. Once the programming was in place, Cindy was under intense pressure to assemble the images, statements, and biographical information into the structure before the ever-looming deadline. When this Herculean task was accomplished, the team turned to Discmakers ( to reproduce and package the CD-ROM Catalog in bulk.

The end result has garnered rave reviews from art critics, art collectors, art quilters, and even Apple Computers. To obtain any or all of the 2001, 2002, 2003, or 2004 CD collections of Art Quilts, call the Sedgwick Cultural Center at 215-248-9229 or order online at

For the prospectus of ArtQuilts at the Sedgwick 2006 send a SASE to:

Deborah Schwartzman
646 Westview Street
Philadelphia PA 19119

ArtQuilts at the Sedgwick Mission Statement:

It is our mission to create a biennial East Coast venue for art quilts that will promote the contemporary quilt as an art form. It is our intent to present contemporary quilts that reflect or embrace original, unique and innovative methods incorporating impressive craftsmanship and technical prowess.

AQATS CD-ROM Catalogs Article Contact Information

Sedgwick Cultural Center
7137 Germantown Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19119
CD Sales:

Deborah Schwartzman
AQATS Director

Cindy Friedman
AQATS Committee - CD Catalog Production Manager

AQATS Volunteer Publicist Carolyn Lee Vehslage’s artwork is in private, corporate, gallery and museum collections around the world. Her artwork is viewable online at

Reviews of AQATS CD-ROM Catalogs

"The CD and the work it presents, is really marvelous. Congratulations on what must have been a magnificent show! I especially liked how unique each artist's work and commentary was. Clearly a lot of thought and effort went into bringing this group of works and artists together, and the catalog really communicates the complexity, depth and variety of the work.” -- Paul Sonnenberg, Apple Computers

“Art quilts have evolved to the point where it no longer seems appropriate to call them by that name, which subtly denies them the status of fine art.

“This insight comes courtesy of the third art-quilt exhibition at the Sedgwick Cultural Center in Mount Airy. "Quilt" implies both function and a traditional way of making that imparts a regular, and limiting, structure. But the "quilts" in this exhibition, by 46 artists from all over the country, regularly ignore those boundaries.

“Even the CD-ROM catalog is innovative." --Edward J. Sozanski, Art Critic, The Philadelphia Inquirer
“The best CD catalog I have encountered” --Sandra Sider, quilt artist and curator
“What a success! The CD Rom is fantastic. Karey Bresenhan asked for a contact because IQA is looking into a better, more affordable way to produce a catalog for Houston. I sent her a rave review. I also mentioned that the list of resources in the back is a very, very valuable set of contacts.

“On a more personal note: the colors on my quilt and the detail are spot-on accurate. I am so proud to be included in this group of art quilters. Pass on my kudos to a really professional team who produced a knockout show--my best to you in your quest to become THE East Coast Art Quilt Exhibition.” --Linda Colsh, quilt artist, Brussels, Belgium
“It was a wonderful catalog. I'm always interested in seeing what's going on out there in the world of art quilts. Books and the web are wonderful sources but often bear little resemblance to the actual work…seeing the whole as well as a close-up of each was quite wonderful. I look forward to more CD catalogs - particularly if they are as well produced as this one. --Susan Pel-Or, quilt artist, Israel
I really think you did an outstanding job on your CD. It's polished and professional looking and just overall great. – Julie Duschack, quilt artist, USA

©2004 Carolyn Lee Vehslage
Carolyn Lee Vehslage’s artwork is in private, corporate, gallery and museum collections around the world. Her artwork is viewable online at

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