Monday, December 2, 2019

The Life of a Fabric Artist -- Cathie Ugrin


In this post, MB/SK member Cathie Ugrin shares with us the very exciting work and exhibiting she's been doing.  Enjoy!

A Day in the Life of a Fabric Artist
Actually, the title of this blog post should read ‘A Season in the Life of a Fabric Artist’ and believe me, this has been a busy one! 
Two years ago, my good friend (and excellent photographer) Dmitry Kirshner and I decided to create an exhibit highlighting both of our work and playing off of each other. We named it ‘VIEWPOINTS – A Unique Photofabric Journey’ and started making our plan.

Featured in the invitation - bottom photo:
Endless Time



Endless Time

Endless Time - Detail

The main focus of this exhibit would be five images taken by Dmitry which I would than interpret in fibre.* Each photograph would be different and unique; each fibre art piece would reflect some element present in each of these photographs. This was one of the most challenging yet rewarding projects I have ever done as it really pushed me outside of my comfort zone all whilst meeting numerous and continuous deadlines.
*Editor's Note: Dmitry's photographs are on the left; Cathie's interpretation, on the right.

Northern Lights/Northern Sky

Northern Sky

Northern Sky - Detail



Dancer/The Dancer



The Dancer  - Detail



Golden Aspens/Kaleidoscope of Seasons


Kaleidoscope of Seasons


Waiting/Stormy Skies


Stormy Skies - Detail


The rest of the exhibit was composed of individual work by both of us that fell within the theme. The gallery owner, Jordan Miller contacted the Winnipeg FreePress and VIEWPOINTS was the featured article for the October First Friday column!





Our exhibit dates were October 3 – 29, 2019 and we could hardly wait for our Opening Reception on October 11 - little did we know Mother Nature had other plans!  








Our families and friends were true Winnipeggers though – supportive, brave and not scared of a big dump of snow - and we did have a small gathering of people at the Opening Reception/ Blizzard evening.
With enough food for a small army, all purchased the day before, and lots of room to run around the empty gallery space, my grandkids were probably the happiest people there!
Jordan agreed to a Redo Reception that was well attended and all in all it was a fabulous experience for both Dmitry and I. We are already starting to plan VIEWPOINTS II where we will combine not only the concept of fibre and photography but the actual artwork as well.
At the exhibit, I also featured a sampling of a huge project I am working on for March 2020 - 6” x 6” thread portraits of seventy of the artists involved in the last ten years of the Cluster New Music and Integrated Arts Festival.





I started with an ink image that I then traced onto Water Soluble Stabilizer, sewed over the lines on my fabric, dissolved the stabilizer and then finished the detailing and quilting. The finished pieces will hang as a massive grid which will be exhibited during all four days of the 2020 Festival.



Close-up: Matthew Rickets, Composer

Next up, the Textile and Fibre Artists of Manitoba were asked to show a portion of their
Manitoba Moments Exhibit at a Folk Music Workshop in support of Manitoba Opera’s ‘Susannah’, the premier opera of the 2019/20 Season.  As the TFAM Exhibits and Events Coordinator, I am always on the lookout for this unique kind of opportunity. We are so proud of this exhibit and it has been to 16 different venues since June 2018!






Close up: Manitoba Moments

Meanwhile, I was sewing like a maniac in preparation for the Winnipeg Art Gallery/ Manitoba Craft Council’s annual juried event, CRAFTED Show + Sale which took place at the WAG on November 8 & 9. Every time that I am accepted as a vendor at CRAFTED, I create a collection of Table Art specially for this fabulous event. I choose a theme that is reflective of what has been going on in my life – this year it was Inspiration!




I even ended up creating a double-sided, appliqued, reversible Table Art piece that I will definitely be making more of.
The idea came out of the practicality of not wanting the back to look like a dog’s breakfast after all the layers of stitching I was doing on the front. One of the Quilt Store owners who popped in to CRAFTED even asked me to teach this technique in the spring!



Detail: Bloom 'Table Art'



 To the left: Artichokes by the Dozen - from the front.

To the right: Artichokes by the Dozen - from the back









I couldn’t resist doing a few thread portraits of my grand-kids Henry and Ruby  as examples of possible commissions!





Finally, I finished off the month teaching and lecturing in Canmore, Alberta and enjoying a couple of days of vacation in the beautiful mountain air.  
The Play with Piecing technique [shown below] was inspired by the one day workshop I took from Joe Cunningham during 2015 Quilt Canada called Rock the Block. I have since modified the technique, added more fabrics and finishing options.

"Play with Piecing" - Class Sample


From the Editor:  Many thanks to Cathie for sharing a season of her artistic life with us!  This is the sort of story-telling that I believe weblogs (blogs) were made for: an assortment of photos with accompanying text that documents a personal journey and/or highlights events in the life of the writer.

As December winds down, I expect to have fewer opportunities to create posts of interest for our SAQA Western Canada membership, and as you likely know, I am retiring from the Blog Editor position at the end of this year.  If you like to tell a story -- or to help other SAQA WC members share their stories with others, please consider giving the Blog Editor job a go.  Contact me (Margaret) or one of your SAQA Western Canada Co-Reps (see the side-bar for links) if you are interested and/or need further information.

And thanks for your support!


Thursday, November 7, 2019

On Now, Coming Soon...and Other News

In Alberta, Calgary area members and friends -- collectively known as "Spectra Textile Arts" -- are on show later this month at Calgary's Southern Jubilee Auditorium!  SAQA WC members participating include Ilse Anysas-Salkauskas, Marie McEachern, Barbara J. West, Margaret Jessop, Beverly Patkau, and Linda Van Gastel.  If you're able, do join them in the Auditorium's Lower Lobby for their Reception on Friday, November 29 at 7 p.m.



Also in Alberta, member Margaret Blank will have ten of her "matted minis" on show -- and for sale -- at the "Encore Under $100 Art Market" to be held November 21 (4 p.m. - 10 p.m.) and November 22 (10:00 a.m. - 4 p.m.) at the Lacombe Memorial Centre.


The Market is a new event this year at the City's annual "Light Up the Night" Festival, and the commissions taken on the works sold will go toward the Lacombe Arts Endowment Fund.

Meanwhile in B.C., member Terry Aske has finally revealed the artwork she exhibited at the "LAD Anonymous Art Show" held last month in New Westminster.  Congratulations, Terry, on selling two of the three pieces she had accepted into the show!  Check the link to her blog post for the reveal!

And Karlie Norrish McChesney currently has work on exhibit at the Ranger Station Art Gallery 98 Rockwell Drive, Harrison Hot Springs, B.C.  Her exhibit opened November 2 and runs through December 8.  Gallery hours are 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. weekdays and noon - 4 p.m. on weekends.  Karlie is showcasing some new work in this exhibit, including the following (shared from her Facebook post):

F 2 is part of a new series entitled Fluidity 10" x  10" 
(c) Karlie Norrish McChesney, 2019

REMINDER: Margaret Blank is retiring as Blog Editor as of December 31, 2019.  The blog has been a valuable way to share information -- especially about member accomplishments -- with photos and stories -- for those who don't use other forms of social media.  A new editor is needed if the blog is to continue to provide this service to these members in our far-flung Region.  If you are interested in taking over this spot, contact either Regional Rep (Jennie Johnston or Susan Selby) or Margaret herself. 

And thanks for your support!


Saturday, November 2, 2019

Calling SAQA WC Members -- In British Columbia!


Open Call Fibre Exhibit

"Change"


Where: Gallery Vertigo, Vernon, BC 

When: Exhibit Date March 3 – 28, 2020 

Show Concept: Gallery Vertigo is inviting fibre artists to submit to a scheduled exhibit entitled Change. Is change impacting you? Perhaps you are experiencing a change in career, or a change in your residence. Some of you may be experiencing a change in your health, your relationships, or perhaps a change in your perspective. Scientists and skeptics alike are talking about climate change. Then of course there is the change of seasons. Perhaps your thoughts of Change relate to urban renewal. How would you portray Change

We are challenging fibre artists to interpret the theme of change in whichever direction your creative muse takes you. The fibre art piece may be either realistic or an abstraction of the theme. 

Eligibility and Guidelines: PLEASE PAY CAREFUL ATTENTION TO THESE REQUIREMENTS; ANY SUBMITTED PIECES THAT DEVIATE FROM THESE PARAMETERS WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED.


  1.  Fibre art pieces must be original work that is layered and stitched or that references this form of stitched layered structure. Fibre art sculpture is also acceptable.
  2. The fibre art piece must be prepared in such a manner as to be ready to hang in the Gallery. In the case of a fibre sculpture it must be able to display as a “stand alone” without additional supports.
  3. The fibre art piece should not exceed a maximum perimeter of 120 inches.
  4. Any works entered which deviate from the guidelines and submission requirements may be rejected at the discretion of the Exhibition Chair.
  5. Artists are responsible for shipping and insurance to and from Gallery Vertigo. 
  6. Artwork MAY be for sale. Gallery Vertigo will charge a 30% commission on all sales. 
  7. The Artist(s) confirms the artwork entered does not violate any copyright laws. 
  8. By submitting your work for exhibit, the Artist(s) confirms she/he will adhere to all the above. 
Calendar:

Oct. 15, 2019 - Announce call for entries 
Dec. 15, 2019 - Online submission of entry opens
Feb.1, 2020 - Entry deadline at 3:00 pm PST. All registrations must be in by this date 
Feb. 15, 2020 - Notification of acceptance (All notifications will be sent by email) 
Feb. 29, 2020 - Artwork to be RECEIVED by Gallery Vertigo (details to be given upon acceptance)
Mar. 12, 2020 - Opening Night Reception 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Gallery Vertigo 

Mar. 31, 2020 - Artists may pick up work at Gallery during business hours or have it shipped (NOTE: Shipping is at the expense of the Artist(s))

For further information and/or a Submission Form, please contact Gallery Vertigo directly via e-mail: galleryvertigonoaa@gmail.com.  


NOTE: As the title of this post indicates, this Call is open to B.C. artists only.


Thanks to B.C. member Brigitte Red, Acting Director, Gallery Vertigo, for this information!



Sunday, October 20, 2019

NEWS UPDATE!

SAQA WC members Lesley Turner and Barbara McCaffrey are also members of the Vancouver Island Surface Design Association...which has an exhibit on NOW at the Portals Gallery, run by the Cowichan Arts Council.

Entitled "Current Threads 19", it includes work Lesley showed earlier this year in Gimli, Manitoba, as part of an exhibit by the group known as Articulation.  It also includes Barbara's piece entitled "Ogham, Oracle of the Trees".

Lesley reports about the Opening Reception HERE It will be up through October 24 -- which is Thursday THIS WEEK.  If you are in the area, and haven't seen it but want to...get thee to the gallery pronto!

  • Gallery Location: 2687 James Street, Duncan, B.C.
  • Gallery Hours: Monday - Friday: 11 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Over and out!  😉

Friday, October 18, 2019

Exhibits -- Recent and Ongoing

A week ago I stumbled over an exhibit that was opening in La Conner, Wa.  The stumble was made on Facebook, with photos from B.C. member, Katie Stein Sather.  I got a bit more info from her -- but not the dates of the show.

Sigh.

I thought I had some time to group her part in the exhibit with other posts from other members about their work -- because, frankly, I don't like to innundate members with several posts in a clump.  I'd rather showcase two or three events in a single post.

This time it backfired on me.  Today -- and Fridays seem to be my best days to post at the moment -- I went to the link Katie sent me for the venue, only to find out that the venue was the Pacific Northwest Quilt and Fiber Arts Museum and the event was the International Quilt and Fiber Arts Festival 2019 -- which ran from October 10 through October 14.

And Katie -- per her post -- had five pieces of work in that show!  Well done, Katie!

For those of you not on Facebook or Instagram, here are the photos she shared on FB, over which I stumbled.  They reflect her love of nature, and her passion for wielding a paddle in a canoe.  Enjoy!











Meanwhile, MB/SK member Cathie Ugrin and her collaborator, photographer Dmitry Kirshner weren't cowed by the blizzard that blew through Winnipeg recently.  Undaunted, they moved their Opening Reception from October 11 to the 16th -- and the show goes on!

  • Where?  cre8ery Gallery, 125 Adelaide Street, Winnipeg, MB;
  • When? On through October 30.  Gallery hours: Tues. - Fri., noon to 6 p.m. and Saturdays, noon to 5 p.m.
  • What? "Viewpoints: A Unique Photofabric Journey" that encompasses contemplation, creative voice, seasons, collaboration, texture and movement.
Here are a couple of examples -- photos shared by Cathie on her Facebook page:







For more information about Cathie and Dmitry and their work, check the gallery's website HERE.

And now a word from your Editor:

 I've been a member of the Blogger weblog "community" since 2003 because, well...I like to write, and to tell about the processes involved in my artwork, as well as to express ideas and thoughts on a variety of topics.  Currently, in addition to my personal blog, I maintain a blog for my parish church and I contribute every other week to posts on the blog owned by the shop where I work part-time.  I also have two Facebook pages (one personal, one business), and manage two others (parish church and local community).

I've been the collator and/or Editor of this blog for about six years now (with time off briefly while Val Wilson took it on.  Thanks Val!) Most of the "news" I glean by accident -- usually via Facebook through pages of friends and colleagues and/or the SAQA Members Only page.  I also follow a few SAQA WC members who post regularly to their own blogs, so pick up news from reading their posts.  Other news is sent to me directly by the Regional Rep(s) -- and very occasionally I will get a direct request to make a post on behalf of someone leading a workshop, for example.  Sometimes, as you read above, I collect the news but...there's a short time-line by the time it finds me (or I find it!) and while it's still worth sharing, it also may be just a touch out of date. 

I try to post every week or two, as long as I can find something interesting going on to share with readers who might not be on Facebook or Instagram, or who might be in another Region (yes; we have readers in other parts of Canada, as well as in the U.S. and Europe/Middle East).  And every few months (or as needed) I update the information in the left side-bar re: SAQA events, our reps' contact info, and our membership list -- with links to their websites or blogs if available.

A picture may be worth a thousand words, but blogs tell the story behind the pictures -- and that's why I've enjoyed blogging so much for so long.

That said, sometimes...well...it's time for a fresh face, a fresh voice on the page.  So...if someone out there is a story teller, if someone feels called to share SAQA WC news with his/her colleagues, and/or if someone hankers to suss out this news on a variety of social media and present it here for those who prefer this space to others...Please let me (Margaret) -- or Jennie Johnston (Co-Rep, B.C.) or Susan Selby (Co-Rep, MB/SK) know.  I'm thinking January 1, 2020 -- ending this decade with a face to the future -- would be a good time to pass the torch.  And thanks for your support! 


Friday, October 4, 2019

It's October 4...






And that means there are fewer than three (count 'em!) months left to the deadline for entering the "Colour With a 'U'" Call for Entry.  SAQA WC's Co-Rep for MB/SK is on the committee charged with recruiting artists for this exhibit, and she's sending along these words to encourage any who are working on their entries, have just started them, are still pondering them, or didn't plan to answer the Call.  You know who you are... 😉

You will never have a better chance!
You will never have a better chance to have your work accepted into a SAQA exhibit.  The ‘Colour with a U’ call for entry is an all Canada  and Canada only SAQA  show.  The exhibit organizers are expecting about 100 artists to enter pieces into this call.  Between 30 and 45 pieces will be chosen for ‘Colour with a U’ and a further 10 to 12 pieces chosen for a smaller exhibit ‘Colour with a U Too’.  Both will tour around Canada for three years.
Can you do the math?  Your chances of your work being chosen are excellent, especially since only one work per artist will be accepted.  The deadline is January 3, 2020:  you have time.
You will be able to take ‘Get into a SAQA Show” off of your bucket list.
-- Susan Selby, SAQA WC Co-Rep, MB/SK
  (emphasis from the Blog Editor) 

Monday, September 30, 2019

Week Three at the Benefit Auction!

The final week of the 2019 SAQA Benefit Auction -- Section Three selections -- kicks off this afternoon.  Congratulations to Karen Johnson, Linda Ingham, Marie McEachern, Susan Selby and Terry Rammel, all SAQA Western Canada members whose work sold in Section 2.  Unsold quilts remain available for purchase in the SAQA Store through December -- and there's a great selection, perfect for holiday gifts!

This third section includes work by these Western Canada members:











The selection also includes pieces by a number of well-known artists, among them Margaret Abramshe, Susan Shie, Deborah Boschert, Jean Wells Keenan, Judith Trager, Jane Dunnewold, and Katie Pasquini Masopust.  What wonderful company we get to keep when we participate in SAQA's fund-raising auctions!  Our next opportunity to contribute will be the Spotlight Auction for MoSAiQA, the 2020 Conference in Toronto.  Submission forms will be available November 1. Stay tuned!


Sunday, September 29, 2019

The K's Have It!

Karen Cummings and Karlie McChesney, that is.  Both have exhibits on now and in the near future that came to my attention this week.

Karen Cummings shows and sells her work at the Okanagan Art Gallery in Osoyoos, B.C.  It's a co-operative gallery that features the work of twenty-five artists, including Karen.  She says that she tries to change out the works every two months, and that she creates an e-mail invitation each time she has a new showing.  When she posted the photo of this single piece on Facebook, she reported that is was only her third 'statement' piece -- and a powerful statement it is too!

Someone Knows - (C) Karen Cummings

Someone Knows - Detail


This is Karen's statement about this particular work:




The above piece will be at the Okanagan Art Gallery through October and November.  There will be a reception at the Gallery on Friday, October 4, 2019 -- in the tradition of their First Friday events, 5:00 - 7:00 p.m.  Regular gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 11:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. at 8302 Main Street, Osoyoos, B.C.  (Call 778-437-2238 or e-mail office@okanaganartgallery.ca for more information.)

Meanwhile, Karen is now working on three large pieces featuring the hand-printed fabric with which she enjoys working.  We look forward to seeing more of your work, Karen!

*****    *****    *****


Another B.C. member, Karlie Norris McChesney is known for her work featuring complex and colourful geometric shapes that appear three-dimensional.  Last June her work was included in the Fraser Valley Biennale at the O'Connor Group Gallery in Chilliwack. B.C

Karlie explains, "The 2019 Fraser Valley Regional Biennale is a dynamic, collective representation of exceptional artwork produced by artists in the Fraser Valley region over the past two years. Small, tailored iterations of the exhibition will be presented at multiple venues throughout 2019, culminating in a full showing at The Reach from October to December.  The exhibition is planned by The Reach Gallery Museum Abbotsford in partnership with the Abbotsford Arts Council, the Mission Arts Council, the Kent Harrison Arts Council, and the Chilliwack Visual Artist Association."



In her statement about the work showing in the Biennale, Karlie writes:
All things mathematical inspire me.  I love to solve puzzles especially those with 3-D form; like origami modulars.  I am drawn to the accurate meticulousness required to make origami. It has a simple complexity; simple because it is paper folded and creased, and complexity because intricate shapes are constructed. I became even more intrigued with origami after watching the documentary 'Between the Folds' by PBS's Independent Lens. It demonstrated how mathematics and physics have informed origami structure.
My work explores how 3-D models can be represented in a 2-D format. 'Box Patterns' depicts 7 of my favourite origami boxes accompanied by the unfolded paper pattern to assemble the box.  The colour on the 'pattern' piece shows the placements of the inside, outside, and hidden parts of the folded paper used to construct the box.  The plastic embellishments tell the number of papers used and folds needed to make each box.

Karlie is also pleased to announce that she's returning to the O'Connor Group Gallery for a solo exhibit  that runs from early October through mid-November...




About her work for "Crossroads", Karlie shared this information:

Karlie's art making frequently explores her love of perspective and structural form.  Her art practice requires much measuring, calculating and arranging of colour, so much so that her work is a form of puzzle solving. Her preferred medium is fibre in the form of stitched textiles with an element of mixed media applied to the surface or standing as an installation accompanying the 2D work; these materials include paint, paper, plastic, metal, clay, and/or wood.
This body of work is her response to a time of great change in her life, where many decisions were required. All the pieces of work contain a path representing the choices a person has available to them and a container representing the restrictions or parameters that influence the decision making process.
Karlie is a retired art teacher from the Chilliwack School District.  She is an active member in SAQA (Studio Art Quilts Association), FAN (Fibre Art Network) and in the CVAA (Chilliwack Visual Artists Association).
This is Karlie's first solo exhibition and she is very excited to share it with you. She invites everyone to join her at the Opening Reception on October 12, 2019 from 1:00 to 3:00 pm in the O'Connor Group Art Gallery, 9201 Corbould Street, Chilliwack, B.C.  
The exhibition runs from October 10 to November 16. Gallery hours are 12:00 noon to 5:00 pm, Wednesday to Saturday, as well as 6:30 – 7:00 pm preceding evening theatre performances.  Admission is free.

(C) Karle Norris McChesney

If you are able to view one or both of these exhibits, we're certain they won't disappoint!

Thanks to Karen and Karlie for sharing this news with their colleagues 
through the SAQA WC blog.

Monday, September 23, 2019

The 2019 Benefit Auction Rolls Along!

First off, congratulations to SAQA WC members Judy Leslie, Debbie Plett and Nancy Riemersma, whose pieces were sold in Section 1 of the bidding!  (Pieces that aren't sold during the auction are still available for purchase in the SAQA store, at $100 USD plus shipping.)

Section 2 is now open for bidding.  Again, it's getting off to a slow start (only 1 piece purchased as of this writing at 4:40 p.m. Mountain Time) but...as Yogi Berra used to say, "It's never over till it's over!" 

One hundred and six quilts have already been sold, for a total of $20,850 USD (That's over $27,400 CAD!)  That's a lot of funding for education about art quilts, and for shipping!  With postage costs destined to increase now that the U.S. appears to be pulling out of the international Universal Postal Union, this is valuable support from our members to keep our work "out there" going forward.

And who in the Western Canada region is showing in Section 2, you ask?













What a variety of styles, palettes and compositions!  Prices on these pieces decline daily through Saturday, September 29.  For details on how to bid, or how the auction works, click HERE

And thanks to everyone whose contributions will make this auction successful!  😊