At this year's International Quilt Festival, held annually in Houston, the eminent textile artist and teacher Jane Dunnewold spoke on the subject of "A Taxonomy of Art Quilts". Her lecture is available through YouTube, above.
In the process of classifying art quilts into categories, Dunnewold surveys the broad range of current work in the field. She also raises some interesting issues about the predominance of women in this medium. What are the implications of this "sociopolitical reality"? Are we content to work in a "ghetto" or do we wish to participate in a broader art context? Simply by characterizing our work as "mixed media" rather than "art quilt", do we enhance the likelihood of having our work viewed in a more serious way?
The taxonomy devised by Dunnewold is available in pdf form here.