Monday, January 13, 2020

Your Professional Toolkit SAQA Seminar 2020

One of the benefits of your SAQA membership is participating in online seminars.


Launched in 2016, SAQA Seminar is an annual project offered through the Education Committee just for SAQA members. It provides members with opportunities to learn more about a particular topic, share their expertise, ask questions, have conversations, and meet new people.
SAQA Seminar is a multi-media collection of content that will be released weekly over a 6 week period. It will include articles, resources, video conversations, and more. All the offerings are accessible online.

Considering moving your art in a more professional direction?  Wondering where to find information about the possibilities and pitfalls, how others have navigated this path, and most importantly, what you might need on your journey? Then this seminar is for you!
This year's theme is YOUR PROFESSIONAL TOOLKIT.  It covers six topics:
  • Exhibiting Your Art
  • Marketing Your Art
  • Selling Your Art
  • Sharing Your Art Online
  • Multiple Income Streams from Your Art
  • Elevating Your Art Career.
The six-week session will begin January 27, 2020. New content will be released throughout February and the program will conclude March 6.
Registration is open now! Login to mySAQA is required. 

Monday, January 6, 2020

Happy New Year!



Welcome to a new year art quilters!
Our first Zoom Meeting of 2020 is happening this Sunday January 12 from @6pm EST.
What are your art aspirations for 2020?
What is one goal that you would like to share with the group?
Join us and share your goal(s) and we can check in each quarter to update each other, offer advice, support and encouragement.
Details about how to log in will be emailed to you this week.
Need some help? Contact your Regional Reps Jennie or Susan.
Here's to a wonderful year of art and art making.

Monday, December 30, 2019

So Long, Farewell, Auf Wiedersehen, Adieu...

At the Opening Reception for
My Corner of the World
Stratford, ON, May 2016
Checking back in the archives this morning, I found my first post on this SAQA Western Canada Blog.  As its title read, I was the "new kid on the block" -- a newly-minted Co-Rep for our Region, following in the footsteps of Patti Morris (now retired from SAQA), who'd served at least five years of a two-year term.

These were big shoes to fill (yes, I said this at the time, too!)  Patti didn't do much blog writing -- but she did spearhead at least two exhibits, along with her colleagues Jill Sullivan of B.C. and Dawn Piasta (MB/SK): "Meet the Best of the West" and "The Burgess Shale".  The latter exhibit is now part of the permanent collection at the Philip J. Curry Dinosaur Museum in Wembley, Alberta -- just 19 km. west of Grande Prairie.

Patti also managed to have almost annual "Parlour Meetings" in her spacious home in Red Deer.  Me?  I live in a 1,050 square foot mobile home in the tiny hamlet of Mirror, a good hour's drive NE of Red Deer.  It's perfect for my life and work, but...not for large groups!

I managed -- with the significant help of members Marie McEachern, Helene Blanchette and Alison Cowitz -- to orchestrate one in Calgary in September 2014.  In a blizzard that brought down trees and coated streets and highways with slush and ice.  The meeting was to include a workshop by Susan Purney Mark.  Bless her and over a dozen others who made it -- including my indefatigable team!  We had a great day!

Except for a brief interlude when Val Wilson (who took on Co-Rep MB/SK from Dawn) wrote the posts, I've been doing this Editorial task ever since.  In the past six-plus years, I've tried to glean news, share solo and group exhibit information, post up-dates re: SAQA Benefit and Spotlight Auctions and Conferences, and share information about our members -- people in a Region that comprises 29% of Canada's land mass, clustered on Vancouver Island, on B.C.'s Lower Mainland, in Calgary, Edmonton and Winnipeg -- and sprinkled hither and thither in between.

But...now it's time for a fresh face, a new perspective and unique writing style to show up on these pages.  Co-Reps Jennie Johnston and Susan Selby have helped me put the word out...and now it's up to you.

Without a willing writer/Editor, these pages will disappear into Internet archives -- wherever that is.  Those who don't keep up with SAQA on its website or on Facebook, who don't (or aren't able to) participate in online meetings, and who don't read their newsletters -- whether from SAQA international or from our Co-Reps -- well...maybe they won't miss the stories about their colleagues, or news about the Region as part of the whole organization.

SAQA Regional Reps - Portland, 2015
But isn't that why we gather -- electronically and, when we're able, in person?

Connection, critique, inspiration, encouragement, education, exhibition...this is what SAQA is all about at every level.


Where am I going from here?  Not far -- not at the moment at least!  I'm a member of the SAQA Regional Grants Review Committee, chaired by Bethany Garner (former Co-Rep, Central Canada), alongside Georgia French, Karen Hansen, Jen Solon (Assistant Exec Director) and Desi Vaughn (Regional Reps Co-ordinator).

I'll be at MoSAiQA in March, and am excited to help Maggie Vanderweit and her team as an on-site volunteer.  It will be my fourth conference and my first since Portland (2015).  It's an understatement to say I'm excited about this first conference outside the U.S.!  Canadian members from coast to coast have played a quiet but firm role over the years, helping our neighbours to the south to develop international perspective as SAQA has grown, and we should be proud of that.

Closer to home, I've been selected as Feature Artist at the 21st Annual Lacombe Art Show and Sale in April 2020...the first time a textile artist has been chosen for that honour.  As I work with the organizers to plan my special exhibit for that event, I am mindful of the role my SAQA membership will play in helping me to educate the general public about studio art quilts -- and I look forward to the challenge.

On January 1, 2020 I'll change the settings on the blog so that Jennie and Susan can be 'writers'. I'll keep my access to the blog in order to help a new Editor feel comfortable, and then bow out.  That said, I won't be a presence at all after March 31, 2020, and what will be, will be.

Thank you all for reading, all these years.  Thanks especially for those who sent me news to share, photos of their work, awards, workshops and other accomplishments.

I'd be remiss, though if I didn't close with a couple of reminders 😉:

The Call for Entry for Colour with a 'U' closes Friday, January 3.  Better hop to it if you plan to enter!



AND...submissions to the SAQA 2020 Spotlight Auction can be sent in any time now! (Eeeek! I have to make mine!)  Online submission ends February 1; Canadian artists have until February 21 for their piece to arrive at Maggie's home in Fergus, ON.  See this page for details!

All the best to you for the New Year -- and the New Decade...May 2020 bring you inspiration, creativity, new friendships and experiences...and many happy memories.  -- Margaret






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!