Sunday, April 20, 2014

Still More to See (Part II)

Diane Duncan of Calgary is another of our members who currently has work in exhibits beyond the SAQA umbrella (and yes, she has a piece in both "Meet the Best of the West" and "The Burgess Shale Project").  She joins Ilse Anysas-Salkauskas and Wendy Klotz (and others?) in Surface Design Alberta's first show, "What's on the Surface?" -- closing April 29! -- at the Atlantis Framing and Arts Studio, 4515 Manhattn Road S.E., Calgary.  (I first posted about this exhibit as it was preparing to open - click HERE.)

Diane has shared these photos of her piece from that exhibit:

The Lure of the Open Road - Diane Duncan, 2014

The Lure of the Open Road - Detail

In addition, Diane has a piece in the up-coming Alberta Society of Artists Exhibit, "Self-Portraits: Within the Artist", which opens May 5 at the Northern Jubilee Auditorium in Edmonton:

We are the Sum of Our Past - Diane Duncan, 2014

Information about this exhibit can be found at the above link, but Diane kindly sent along a copy of the poster:

For those of you in Southern Alberta, it's scheduled to travel to the Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium for dates in June and July.  Wherever you are in Alberta this spring and early summer, you have an opportunity to take in this exhibit.

Looking at the work of other artists can be an inspiring and motivating experience.  If you have a piece in an up-coming show anywhere in Western Canada, please share the information with the rest of us -- and even if you don't, when at all possible add an exhibit to your plans for Artist's Dates and shop-hops.  You won't be disappointed!  Please contact Margaret at margblank AT xplornet DOT ca with your exhibit information so it can be posted here on the blog.  Thank you for your support!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Still More to See from Alberta Artists! (Part I)

Margie against a backdrop that
showcases her talents.
Last week at the Preview for "Western Threads" ( April 10)  I chanced to meet up with Margie Davidson, a SAQA Western Canada member and Edmonton artist whom I much admire.  In addition to her fabulous sun dyeing and quilting, Margie is a knitter.  She is also a member of the Alberta Craft Council.

I'd not seen her in some time; it turns out that almost a year ago Margie suffered several injuries as a result of a cycling accident.  She is well on the road to recovery, but her journey isn't over yet, and she has had to scale back time in her studio.  That said, Margie is a trouper, passionate about her work, and continues to forge ahead as energy levels permit.

This includes appearing as artist-on-site on Thursdays at the McMullen Gallery -- located in the main floor of the University of Alberta Hospital -- with her knitted installation, Measuring a Year.   I had the delight and privilege of seeing this installation last year (scroll down) when it debuted in the Alberta Craft Council's Feature Gallery, and I commend it to anyone going to Edmonton in the near future.  The work opened at the McMullen on March 22 and runs through May 11.  I'm going to be back in Edmonton during that time and hope to visit it again, as it's been a powerful inspiration and encouragement to me in the work I am currently doing.

Speaking of the Alberta Craft Council, concurrently Margie has work in the group exhibit, "Furnish", which opened in the Feature Gallery on April 5 and runs through July 5, 2014.  I quote from the show description on the website:
The desire to furnish one’s home goes beyond the mere practical. We seek comfort, beauty, meaning and individuality along with function.  Many people reinforce who they are through their home; from a wall hanging, a handcrafted entry table, a favourite chair or a cherished ceramic serving bowl.  Designed to encourage customers to buy and collect local hand-crafted furnishings and products for their homes, this exhibition features over 50 pieces by 21 Alberta Craft Council members.
 This exhibit, too, is on my "MUST SEE" list when I am up in Edmonton for a few days in early May.  Maybe I'll see you there?  ;-)

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Please Welcome...

An organization of colleagues...

Many of us belong to more than one "collective" -- more than one organization that reflects who we are and what we do.  One of these is Focus on Fibre Arts...which companioned with SAQA Western Canada and the Heritage Rug Hookers of Saskatoon -- under the auspices of the Royal Alberta Museum -- to assemble "Western Threads", which opened April 12.

Another is the Surface Design Association, which has a very active chapter in Alberta!  To whit: SDA (Alberta)'s very first exhibit...Do take some time to read about the opening HERE...and perhaps contact a friend/fellow-artist to congratulate him/her on a fine bit of work.  If you can, go to see the exhibit, which runs through April 29 at Atlantis Framing and Arts Studio. 4515 Manhatten Rd. S.E., Calgary.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Another Opening...Another Show!

"Western Threads: Contemporary Fibre Art" opened to the public today at the Royal Alberta Museum in Edmonton.  This is a collaborative exhibit, comprised of the work of three groups:

Those of us who attended the Preview on April 10 were greeted with fibre art even before we entered the building:

"Yarn bombing" was everywhere -- on the trees, outdoor benches and tables, covering the handles of the doors...

Inside, following a welcome presentation and refreshments, we were invited to enter the exhibition gallery:

The SAQA exhibit -- 37 pieces -- looked impressive, all on one wall:

SAQA Western Canada -- Meet the Best of the West

The other walls were taken up with pieces by the Rug Hookers, such as these...

Jan Hague's Icon Now in Ashes: Fleming, SK

Angela Possak - Prairie Castles

Some SAQA WC members had pieces included in the Focus on Fibre Arts Retrospective.  Most fascinating was that of Anna Hergert, which was accompanied by a video showing the piece's secrets...Can you guess?

Anna Hergert - Golden Mean Meets Fibonacci

Focus on Fibre Art includes wearables and other pieces as well...some of which were show-cased thus:

If you're travelling to Edmonton between now and August 4, do try to take in this beautifully presented exhibition -- all of the creativity, colour and texture of textiles is found here!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Spreading the Word at the Central Alberta Quilters' Guild Show

Since moving to this part of Alberta, I've made a point of getting to the Central Alberta Quilters' Guild Show each year, if possible.  This year I had an ulterior motive.  With my new 'SAQA Co-Rep' hat on, I planned to take over a table in the refreshment area for two hours each of the two days of the show -- April 4 and 5 in the Parkland Pavilion at Red Deer's Westerner Park.

I took SAQA publications -- such as Portfolio 16 and Art Quilt Portolio: People and Portraits -- and show catalogues, such as Art Meets Science, Sightlines, and those from our two Western Canadian shows, Meet the Best of the West and The Burgess Shale.  I also took a cello-wrapped copy of Portfolio 17, for which I held a free draw.

A View of the Table - Day 2 of the Show
The artwork you see in the above photo was what I was working on while I waited for folks to drop by and say "Hi!"  I needed to get facings and labels sewn down and sleeves sewn on for an upcoming show and sale, so I brought them along.

I admit, though, I didn't get much stitching done during my table time -- between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. each day.  As the noon hour approached, people came in looking for seats and I invited them to join me, have a cookie, look at the books (with clean hands, please!), sign my 'guest book' (the front page of the orange binder) and put their name in for the copy of Portfolio 17.

On Friday, SAQA member Helene Blanchet stopped by for a mini-meeting.  She is one of three members who make up my "feet on the ground" in Calgary as we plan a September Parlour Meeting/workshop day, and she had some questions for me.  Her enthusiasm for the event and for SAQA was palpable -- and as we chatted, numerous quilters came to join us.  Even after Helene left to enjoy the show before heading home, the bodies in the chairs around my table came and went.  No other members showed up -- just people looking for a seat who found themselves surprised by the content of the publications and the names they recognized in the Western Canada exhibit catalogues.  One gal even texted her friend, SAQA member Christine Wiggett, who was unable to be there that day, to enthuse about the table, the books, the artwork, and meeting me!

On Saturday, the scenario was similar -- no members visited (though I ran into a couple after I'd closed up shop), but many quilters stopped by, including several I knew from my years in Calgary. On both days, the SAQA WC exhibit catalogues were the most popular books at the table. It was a bit of old home week, and I did a lot of public education about SAQA and art quilts in general.

My big surprise on Saturday was a visit from a fellow I've known since our days at the Alexandra Writers' Centre Society, where we both served on the board. Bob and his wife, Carol, have recently returned from the better part of a year in the United Arab Emirates.  Although he was working on a contract there, they spent a great deal of time travelling in the area, and he kept up a great blog, with beautiful photos.  I have been blessed with permission to use some of them as inspiration in my work.  Carol took this photo of us at the show, with a piece I had with me at the time:

Margaret, Bob, and "Across the Road"
One of our Western Canada members who didn't get a moment to stop by the table was Wendy Greber.  She is a fixture in the Central Alberta Quilters' Guild, and every year provides a polished and professional presence as the key Master of Ceremonies, announcing door prizes, up-coming demonstrations, lost items (from children to credit cards to car keys) and the like.

She also enters pieces in the show, such as this hand-applique, machine-pieced beauty:

Wendy calls this piece "I've Been Everywhere" because it was carried along on her extensive travels as her go-to handwork project.  I believe she said it took 15 years to get it finished in this stitch-on-the-go manner.  During those years, though, Wendy took classes from the likes of Gloria Loughman and others, and is now moving into the world of art quilting.  One of her pieces -- Alberta Trees 2 -- is in the "Meet the Best of the West" exhibit, which finishes its two-year tour as part of "Western Threads", opening to the public on Saturday, April 12, at the Royal Alberta Museum.

It's not surprising that, living in this area, Wendy is fond of trees -- in particular the poplar aspen that are so prolific here.  Her beautiful rendition of these trees won her a first place red ribbon and "Best in Show: Art/Innovative Quilt" on Saturday:

Wendy Greber with her winning entry
Congratulations, Wendy!

NOTE: You can learn more about Wendy on our SAQA WC Featured Members page (scroll down).  :-)

My day ended at home with the drawing of the winner of the copy of Portfolio 17 I had on display at the SAQA WC table.  Ann B. of Red Deer, a member of the guild and volunteer at the show is the lucky recipient.   All in all, it was a rich and full weekend, and I'm glad so many people -- quilters and non-quilters alike -- got to learn a wee bit more about SAQA and the studio art quilt in the process.

Psst! Going to any quilt shows this season?  Let your SAQA WC Co-Rep know!  Perhaps she can join you -- or give you some cards/brochures to take along.  Spread a little studio art quilt love where-ever you go!