- Co-Rep Valerie Wilson is putting the finishing touches on her solo show, which opens within days.
- The Calgary-area POD is preparing to mount its first show -- a local effort which we Reps hope will inspire them to take on one of Regional proportions -- which opens in Calgary in less than a week.
- And Co-Rep Coleen Adderley is working on a venue for a Regional retreat, with dates tentatively set for the spring of 2017.
The annual SAQA Conference has just ended in Philadelphia...and the debriefings will begin this week. In the aftermath, Sue Bleiweiss, recipient of the first Yvonne Porcella Volunteer of the Year Award, has written these words in the SAQA Yahoo group:
I am truly honored to be the first recipient of the Yvonne Porcella Volunteer of the Year award for outstanding rep given to me at the SAQA conference this past weekend. Being one of the reps for the MA/RI region for 2014 and 2015 was truly a wonderful experience. It gave me an opportunity to not only contribute to the overall success of SAQA but it allowed me to connect with my local SAQA community. We created and developed a lot of new opportunities and had some terrific programs at our quarterly meetings over the course of the two years I served as a rep. I say "we" created because although I received the award for outstanding rep I did not manage the region in a vacuum - I had a lot of help and support not only from the membership but also from my co-rep Nancy Turbitt. Nancy and I worked as a team to re-energize our region, hold quarterly meetings all over MA and RI and organize two exhibits, the first of which premiered at the Fuller Craft Museum and is now on view at Highfield Hall and Gardens.
I've been a member of SAQA since 2007 but up until I became a rep for the MA/RI region in 2014 I stayed mostly on the sidelines being content with the extent of my membership benefits being just reading the Journal and the posts on the yahoo group. My only regret when I look back on those first 7 years is not making an effort to be more involved with the organization by volunteering in some capacity even if it was just to reach out to my local rep at the time to say "how can I help at the local level to make our region the best it can be". Please don't wait 7 years like I did to get involved and start taking advantage of all the benefits that SAQA has to offer! Reach out to your local rep or get in touch with Michelle Trachtman (email@example.com) who is coordinating the volunteer database and she'll work with you to find an opportunity for you to contribute whether it's for an hour in a SAQA booth at a show, helping out with a short term project for a few hours or serving on a committee.
My heartfelt thanks to those who nominated me, to Nancy Turbitt for being such a great teammate and to the SAQA organization for giving me the honor of being the first Yvonne Porcella Volunteer of the Year award for outstanding rep recipient.
Sue Bleiweiss (emphasis mine)
|Sue in her studio|
I post this here for those of you who aren't participants in the Yahoo group or who may have missed Sue's post in the group's messages...and to identify what may be obvious to many of you but not to others: a Region doesn't run itself. An international organization doesn't run itself. Yes, SAQA (like many organizations) has some paid staff members who carry on the nuts and bolts of the operation -- and who often work many hours more than those for which they are paid. But...most of us -- Regional Reps, Board members, project participants, committee coordinators and members, local conference planners, exhibit docents, webinar presenters et al -- are volunteers who are passionate about SAQA's mission and purpose.
In just over seven months, my two-became-three year term as Co-Rep (Alberta) comes to an end. I will stay on till the end of this year, but in reality, my replacement needs to be in place by the end of November so there can be at least a bit of overlap.
If you are passionate about your art, passionate about having it exhibited with the work of your colleagues in venues around the globe, passionate about educating others about your chosen medium...If the possibility to make a difference in the Western Canada Region makes your heart beat just a bit faster...please consider the Co-Rep position as a way to connect with your colleagues and with the art-viewing public in a new and vibrant way.
What Sue said.