The Side-Eye Glance

I belong to a professional organization of textile artists called Studio Art Quilt Associates (SAQA). Every year they host a fundraiser where members participate by creating and donating 12″x12″ art quilts for auction. I’ve been a bystander in the event, never yet having either donated a quilt or submitted a bid on one. That’s not to say I haven’t spent plenty of time perusing the quilts up for bid every year, studying, and even lusting after some of them. Life and resources being what they are, that was the extent of my participation…until this year.

Careful consideration of the 2018 quilt auction offerings yielded several favorites. I zeroed in on two in particular and decided to bid when their prices fell within my range, provided either one was still available. Happily for me, I succeeded in purchasing this beautiful mixed media piece, “Eve” by Judith Quinn Garnett.


I love this lush and textural piece even more now that it’s in my possession and I’m able to appreciate it’s qualities in person. “Eve” is both rough and delicate, with fanciful rich colors, unexpected seams, and apple imagery that plays slyly on the title to imbue the work with an entire story.

I looked around my home for the perfect place to display it…and had a slowly dawning moment of revelation. My original art acquisitions through the years have been few (the afore-mentioned resources!) but I am the proud owner of some small paintings and photographs. Not surprisingly, I’m drawn to figurative works. It was the expressions on the faces in these works that gave me pause. I never realized before how drawn I am to the subversive mystery of the side-eye glance!

Paranoid by Barbara Hranilovich (Gouache)

Yes, the side-eye, in all of it’s suspicious glory. According to the Urban Dictionary, the side-eye glance conveys passive-aggressive criticism at varying levels of intensity; a sidelong glance of disapproval, contempt, scorn, or veiled curiosity. Well! I scarcely know what to make of the fact that I’m so enamored of it. I’ll just decide to share these side-long looks and let you think what you will.

At a Glance by Barbara Hranilovich (Gouache)


Girl Talk by B. Abel (Photograph) (detail)

I’ve decided that I quite like this collection – now that I’m thinking of it as such – and therein lies one of the many beautiful things about art; it can open your eyes to ideas and possibilities not yet considered. Art invites awareness, which can usher in growth, and speaking for myself, I’m all for that. No side-eye glance accompanies that statement!


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