Wednesday, January 13, 2016

ETA (Editted to Add):

RE: The Edge of the Forest: B.C. SAQA/SDA member and one of the "Edge" artists, Judi MacLeod, tells me that this exhibit will also be showing in Victoria, B.C. - March 23 - April 16 at the Coast Collective Gallery, #103 - 318 Wale Road, Colwood, B.C.  This, according to the website, is a new address at the Holiday Inn Express Suites at Westridge Landing.  All who are in the area or travelling through it at that time -- enjoy!

'Edge of the Forest' Comes to Calgary

On January 11, the Fish Creek Library in Calgary opened the "Edge of the Forest" textile art exhibit.  I last posted about this exhibit just over a year ago when the team of Melanie Siegel, Sheila Thompson, and Rikki Blitt -- all Canadian members of the Surface Design Association (SDA) were preparing to exhibit it in Ontario and later, in Newfoundland.

This juried exhibit features work by 53 artists, in a variety of techniques incorporating textiles.  Several of the artists also belong to SAQA, including:

An article describing the exhibit was written by Leslie Barnes and published in the January/February 2016 issue of The Country Register (Alberta).  For artist biographies and to view images of their work, visit

The exhibit continues at the Fish Creek Library through January 30, with a "Meet the Artist" evening planned for Thursday, January 21, at 7 p.m.  If you are in the area, be sure to take in this very special show!

Sunday, January 3, 2016

My Corner of the World - Celebrate Canada!

The names are out!  

Congratulations to all the Canadians who answered the Call for "My Corner of the World: Canada" and "My Corner of the World".  Juror Micaela Fitzsimmons had her work cut out for her -- selecting only 40 pieces for each exhibit, from over 100 entered in each competition.

Here are the SAQA members whose pieces will be in the MCOTW: Canada exhibit:

Western Canada:

Terry Aske - B.C., Margaret Blank - AB, Jaynie Himsl - SK, Paula Jolly - SK, Marie McEachern - AB, Mardell Rampton - B.C. and Janet Scruggs - AB.

Central Canada*:

Shirley Bailey. Sharon Collins, Albert Cote, Linda Coulter. Millie Cumming, Diane Eastham, Janet Elliott, Ann Fales, Mita Giacomini, Gunnel Hag, Philida Hargreaves, Robin Laws Field, Toni Major,
Judith Martin, Lynn McCulloch, Mary Pal, Joan Reive, Hilary Rice, Jocelyne Sobeski, Arja Speelman, Catherine Timm, Maggie Vanderweit, Joan Willison

*I was told by Rep Bethany Garner that there were no entries from Quebec; these artists are all from Ontario.

Atlantic Canada:

Holly McLean - N.B., Kate Madeloso - N.S., Penny Berens - N.S., Sandra Betts - N.B., Susan Lilley - N.S., Heather Loney - N.S., Susan Tilsley Manley - N.S.

And congratulations to these Canadians whose work was accepted into the All-SAQA "International" My Corner of the World exhibit:

Millie Cumming*, Fergus, ON; Bethany Garner, Kingston, ON, Mita Giacomini*, Dundas, ON, Kate Madeloso*, Wolfeville, N.S., Joan Reive*, Belleville, ON and Maggie Vanderweit*, Fergus, ON.

*These artists also have pieces accepted into the MCOTW: Canada exhibit.  The requirement was for different pieces to be submitted to each Call, so these artists are to be commended for their pluck and industrious creativity!

For those who entered but were not selected, please remember that a juror’s decision is just one person’s opinion on one day and is based on her interpretation of the call for entry, the pool of entries and how important she felt it was to create a cohesive show. In addition, the competition for both of the MCOTW Calls was keen: 116 pieces were submitted to the "Canadian" Call and 189 to the "International" Call -- and only 40 pieces could be selected for each competition!

In our humanity, it's tough not to be disappointed if our work isn't accepted for a particular competition...but in the end each of us is the true judge of the pieces we create.  Was the making a pleasure?  Was it a source of inspiration?  Of learning?  Will it be the start of a series, exploring a particular idea in greater depth?  

Yours truly is thrilled to have had a piece accepted into the all-Canadian exhibit (my first ever acceptance into a juried SAQA show); I submitted three.  This means that I too got a 'letter of non-acceptance' for the other two pieces.  It's likely that they were viewed as not as 'strong' compared to the one that was accepted.  One of them was quite abstract, and might not have fit the juror's interpretation of the Call for Entry.  Does this mean I was foolish to enter more than one piece?  Of course not!  :-)  I thought all three stood a good chance of acceptance...and chose to risk submitting them all to get the most value out of the entry fee!

None of the pieces I submitted were made specifically for this Call.  Rather, the Call suited my 'voice' -- which focuses on landscapes -- and I'd made the pieces as assignments for an online class I was taking all through 2015.

At the outset of the Calls for MCOTW, I heard some grousing about the entry fee, especially considering it was to be paid in USD, and our CAD has been dropping in value.  Please don't think your entry fee was 'wasted' if your piece was not accepted.  As Chris Nielsen, Rep for Atlantic Canada, expressed to her members:

"It might be helpful to consider your entry fee the cost of the learning and growth you will experience in preparing art work for a specific show.  Entry fees are also an investment which ensures that high quality shows can continue to exist and travel."

Indeed, these exhibits will be travelling across Canada, East to West, in the next year or two, and it is expected that venues in the U.S. and overseas will be procured as well. 

It is my fond hope that I can travel to Stratford for the opening of these exhibits at the Stratford Perth Museum on May 21.  They will be on show there through August 14, 2016, and then will begin their Canadian tour.  I look forward to seeing them "up close and personal" -- and I'll be sure to identify for all and sundry, the work of our Western Canada artists! 

Please avail yourself of the "Exhibitions" information on the SAQA website (under the "Artwork" tab) so that you can take in the MCOTW exhibits when they come to a venue near you!