Friday, September 30, 2016

Congratulations are in Order for Valerie Wilson!

Congratulations, Val!
SAQA WC's newest Juried Artist Member!

Yes...our very own SAQA WC Co-Rep (MB/SK), Valerie Wilson is one of the newest Juried Artist Members (JAMs) of SAQA!

"What's that?" you say?  

A JAM is a juried artist member of SAQA who has successfully presented a portfolio of professional quality images and documents to the JAM Review Panel (JRP).
The portfolio presents a body of work that represents a singular point of view or signature collection. The artist’s resume demonstrates a record of juried exhibitions beyond the local. Documentation and images are of high quality, as expected by gallery and museum personnel, as well as collectors and publishers.

In recognition of this achievement, JAMs are featured in various special ways in SAQA publications and on the website.  One of these is the Artist's Portfolio -- and you can click HERE to see Val's.   Another is having work included in the beautiful "Porfolio" books produced regularly and available for purchase at the SAQA store.

The application for Juried Artist Member status is quite rigorous; of particular importance is the presentation of a singular voice.  Even if one has created work in two different styles -- for example, landscapes and 'statement' or political pieces -- only one must be presented in the application -- presumably the one that best represents the applicant's practice.

SAQA provides assistance in working one's way through the application, though.  There is a SAQA JAM Mentor -- currently Sharon Bass -- to guide you every step of the way.  Even if you are merely entertaining the idea of applying, and wonder if you are qualified, contact the Mentor with your questions; she is ready and willing to help.

For more information about becoming a Juried Artist Member, as well as the benefits thereof to your artistic career, click HERE -- and best wishes for success!

Thursday, September 29, 2016

More in La Conner...and in Manitoba!

Or..."If You Post It, They will Tell You More".  ;-)

Another SAQA WC member has come forward to share her work, which will also be showing at La Conner this weekend -- Margie Davidson of Edmonton.  Her piece, entitled Remembering, is a tribute to her father.  Here's her artist's statement about the piece:

"Remembering" by Margie Davidson -- responding to the poem,  "Elegy" by Carla Funk:
I remember giving Dad ties for Father's Day and birthdays.  Mom said he wore the ties that I gave him most often.  I remember, but with Alzheimer's disease he no longer can.  The father I knew is disappearing.  Making this artwork with my hands and Dad's ties is my elegy.

It is part of the Fibre Art Network exhibit entitled "Ekphrastic":
The term ekphrasis is derived from a combination of two Greek words: ek, which means 'for the sake of,' and phradzein, meaning 'to show, point out or describe.' Ekphrastic poetry is a genre of poetry in which the poet responds to or describes a piece of art. This exhibition will turn this notion on its head by visually interpreting a selection of poems.

Remembering - Margie Davidson

I've been assured that other SAQA WC members are part of this exhibit...please share your work with your colleagues in this space.  To do so, please contact Margaret (Co-Rep, Alberta and current blog editor).

And Cathie Ugrin continues prolific...for while she is in La Conner, she reports that her piece, "Listen Softly", will be on exhibit at the Manitoba Fibre Festival:

Listen Softly - Cathie Ugrin

Listen Softly - Detail

In the newest issue of the SAQA Journal there is an article by Judith Trager entitled, "Rejected? Don't Play the Pity Card..."  It's about putting your work out there -- and dealing with the consequences.  

If you find yourself wishing you could be a Cathie or a Margie or a Katie or a Karen or a Val or a Terry or a Marie or a Janet or an Alison or any one of the members featured in these blog posts with success in exhibits and galleries, you might a) read Judith's article; and b) think about attending our first ever Regional Retreat in West Kelowna, May 4-7, 2017, when the over-arching theme will be "Out of the Studio: Into the Wider World".  Presentations and a panel discussion will focus on preparing your work for exhibit, whether it be for sale in a show or gallery, or entering a juried exhibit.  

Volunteers are needed to help Coleen and Val bring this event to fruition (Margaret will no longer be Co-Rep...that spot also needs filling in Alberta!)... Please contact Coleen (Retreat Co-ordinator) directly if you are willing and prepared to help in any way...and we thank you for your support!

Ongoing and Upcoming in October

First...this weekend at the Quilt and Fiber Arts Festival in La Conner, Washington, viewers will see this piece by member Cathie Ugrin:

Sea at Storm  - Detail at right

Congratulations, Cathie!  

Next, opening shortly in Vancouver, B.C. - this exhibit by members Katie Stein Sather and Karen Johnson:

On her blog, Katie describes her work for this exhibit -- an expression of her spiritual journey.  Best wishes to Katie and Karen for a successful show!

Meanwhile, in Alberta, member Margaret Blank has been preparing for the debut of her installation:

Margaret has written a book about this three-part work, describing the journey she and her family took with her late husband, living with "T1D", and the inspiration to create these pieces after his death.  The book is available online in both e-book and trade paper format at  All proceeds from the sale of the book will be divided equally between JDRF Canada and the Canadian Diabetes Association.  

"Mark on the Body: Making My Mark", the second part of this installation, is ongoing and participatory.  Margaret invites interested stitchers to contact her for a kit to create a small stitched quilt "sandwich" that will hang as part of a mobile or series of mobiles as the installation goes forward.  To date, over two dozen have been completed; Margaret's goal is at least 100.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

An All-Canadian Call for Entry

Ailsa Craig is a small town in Southern Ontario, the name of which is fast becoming synonymous with "International Quilt Show".  From its inception, the Ailsa Craig Fibre Arts Exhibit -- completely volunteer-run -- has focused on presenting work in textiles from artists around the world, one country at a time: the Netherlands, Denmark, Israel, Great Britain, France, Latvia and now...


Help celebrate Canada's Sesquicentennial!

This Call for Entry is open online NOW  through January 31, 2017.  Pieces must have been created between January 2014 and February 2017, and measure a minimum of 30" x 30" to a maximum of 80" x 80".  The cost is $40 CAD for a maximum of three pieces.

This is a juried exhibit.  Selected pieces must be sent to the ACQFAF no later than April 1, 2017.  Shipping to the venue is at the cost of the artist; however, return shipping will be covered by the ACQFAF, as well as insurance for the pieces for the duration of the Festival and their return to the artist.

Having visited the ACQFAF on its opening day in May 2016 -- to see the work of Latvian fibre artists, both quilted and woven, I have to say --- I was impressed!  The entire village gets on board for the Festival, and the atmosphere was electric!  Ailsa Craig is a delight to visit -- and its only 1/2 hour's drive from London, Ontario, and 45 minutes from Stratford, so anyone planning to take in the Festival could expand that to include theatre, art, and museum visits as well.

Cynthia McNair, a SAQA member, is on the Board of the Festival; she and I met at that opening day last spring, and I assured her I would spread the word about the 2017 Festival far and wide around our Region.

Here's Cynthia modelling a quilted creation from one of the Latvian artists:


So...tell your quilting friends, your art group buddies, your POD members, your Guild members, your Surface Design and SAQA colleagues...Spread the word!  Spread the celebration!

For full information and online entry, please click HERE.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Up for Bid - SAQA Benefit Auction 2016 - Group 1

Are you watching the Annual SAQA Benefit Auction?  I am!  I love to see what's available, and plan what I'd buy if/when it gets to a price I can afford.

The offerings for Group 1, starting September 19 at $750 USD, include a Western Canada member:

A SAQA Central Canada member:

And some international members -- friends -- people whose blogs I follow, and/or whom I've met at conferences or other SAQA-related events, such as the My Corner of the World opening:

SOLD on the 'Diamond Day'

This is not to say I'd buy a piece simply because I know someone...but chances are, if I follow someone's work via blog or website or other social media, it's because I admire it...ergo...

It's going to be an interesting three weeks.  Whose piece are you waiting for?  

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Closing -- and Opening -- SOON!

Further to our recent e-mail about "Up-coming Dates and Deadlines"'s another reminder, in case you want to catch these events in our Region before it's too late!

Closing Soon!

In Alberta...Calgary-based Contextural's exhibit, Contextural Meets Barbara at the Leighton Centre, Millarville, closes September 18 and that same group's exhibit, SelfEDGE, their end-of-summer Residency show at Alberta College of Art and Design (ACAD) does too.  The Closing Reception for SelfEDGE is tomorrow evening -- Thursday, September 15 -- starting at 6 p.m.

This talented group includes SAQA members Wendy Klotz, Leslie Barnes and Terri please give them your support if you are in the area!

Opening Soon!

In B.C....Nancy Riemersma, Patt Wilson and colleagues are mounting an exhibit entitled "Architextiles" at the Reach Gallery Museum, 32388 Veterans Way, Abbotsford.  The show opens September 29, and runs through January 8, 2017; the Opening Reception is September 29 at 7:00 p.m.

Elements of Contstruction: METAL: The House Resembles Earth's Crust
(C) Gail Hunt, 2016
Photo transfer, paint, dyes, cotton fabric and thread

There are more openings coming in October -- so please stay tuned!

Monday, September 12, 2016

Learning in Your Jammies

Members have been asking for more education -- particularly for those new to art quilting.  Now it's here!

Check out SAQA Seminar 2016 -- running from now through December -- with the subject of "Stitching".  This part of the site includes "...articles, video conversations, challenges, tutorials, artist profiles and much more!"   And you don't have to travel -- don't even have to leave the comfort of your sewdio.

Tune in regularly for the updates, follow along, select what piques your interest, join the conversation with your SAQA colleagues and most of all, enjoy it!

"See" you at the Seminar!

Saturday, September 3, 2016

A SAQA Benefit Auction Dream Collection: "Eclectic"

The start of the Annual SAQA Benefit Auction is less than two weeks away. How'd that happen?!

Darn!  I couldn't generate a good idea for a piece this year, and just realized that I missed the deadline to create a Dream a mere four days.  Sigh.  Some years are like that, I guess!

But...I can follow the Auction closely from Diamond Day on September 16 through to the finish...and if I'm fortunate, I can find a piece I really like -- and buy it!  And I can share my own personal 'Dream Collection' with you, SAQA Western Canada here's an "Eclectic" bunch...

My SAQA Mentor, Bonnie Smith, has donated one of her signature 'swimmer' pieces...

My 15 x 15 Group colleague, Caro Higgs, has made a contribution that's pretty and peaceful...

And another colleague, Chantal Guillermet, has donated a still life in warm tones...

Then there's the piece by former Co-Rep (Atlantic Canada), now SAQA Board member, as well as a colleague and friend, Chris Nielsen...

SAQA Western Canada member, Gloria Daly of B.C., has donated one of her signature pieces as well.

And lovely, eccentric Gunnel, whom I met at the MCOTW opening in Stratford in May....

Then there's my friend Heather Dubreuil of Hudson, Quebec, whom I met at my first SAQA conference in Denver in 2011...and whose pieces remind me of the years I lived in Montreal...

And SAQA WC member from Saskatchewan, Jaynie Himsl -- my travelling companion to MCOTW, a firebrand who created an entire art festival in her home town of Weyburn throughout the summer of 2015...

My long-time friend, Jenny Lyon of California, whom I met at the conference in Santa Fe. She's a whole-cloth quilter extraordinaire; her piece makes me smile.

And Kathie Briggs, formerly of Michigan and now living in North Carolina, whom I also met in Santa Fe, 2013...

What about Lisa Ellis -- our new SAQA President?  I was blessed to enjoy her company at dinner and at brunch in Stratford at the MCOTW opening.  Young and full of energy, as expressed in the vibrancy of her contribution...

Then there's Maggie Vanderweit  (SAQA Central Canada), whose pieces in neutral tones generally make a statement...I met her in Portland at the conference in 2015.

And another fire-brand, SAQA WC member Marie McEachern of Calgary, whom I've known for years as a colleague, since our days together learning from Anna Hergert...Something different from her Calgary city-scapes...

Or maybe veteran textile artist Marianne Williamson, whom I've admired...and finally met at the conference in Portland, OR, in 2015...

What about Sherry Davis Kleinman, my room-mate at the Santa Fe Conference, and a dear friend?  My son got married this summer...maybe there's a gift opportunity there...

If I had a sweet little girl somewhere in my life who had a birthday coming up, I'd look no farther than this delightful piece by the fun and energetic Sue Bleiweiss...

And I can't forget my friend and inspiration, the 'I swear she never sleeps', most prodigious Susan Lenz.  I already have one of her Benefit Auction pieces on my studio wall...why not another?

SAQA WC member Terry Aske of B.C. has contributed this peaceful piece with an oriental feel...

While my friend and fellow student in Elizabeth Barton's Master Class (2015), Wil Opio Oguta, would have me sail away to forget my troubles...

See what I mean?  With the SAQA Benefit Auction it's easy to get carried away.

I trust that if you make art, you also find room to show art in your home.  Share it with friends. Give it as gifts.
What collection would fill your dreams?

An Invitation from SAQA Washington State

Carolyn Higgins - Washington State
Carolyn Higgins has extended an invitation to all SAQA Western Canada members who are going to be in the area to join her, her Co-Rep Lisa Jenni, and their members for their first ever Regional Meeting.  She tells me several SAQA WC members from B.C. already plan to be there.

On a personal note: almost a decade ago, yours truly took a Level 1 Certificate in Contemporary Hand Stitch from Gail Harker, one of the presenters at the meeting.  In addition to Gail there are two other superstars on the roster.  If I could, I'd make a weekend of it!

When: Sunday, September 11th
Time:  10 AM – 5 PM
Where: The La Conner Civic Garden Club (across the street from the La Conner Quilt & Textile Museum)
Cost: $65 USD/person

What's happening:
  • A mixer to get to know other people who love art quilting from all over the state and some surrounding areas;
  • A lunch-time lecture by Jane Dunnewold: "Creative Strength Training". You'll also be able to buy Jane's book of that title;
  • An afternoon panel on finding your professional feet as an artist, featuring Caryl Bryer Fallert-Gentry and Gail Harker of the Gail Harker Center for Creative Arts;
  • Show and Tell;
  • ATC exchange;
  • Visit to La Conner Quilt & Textile Museum to see the space where SAQA WA will have its first regional exhibit next summer.
Hope those members from B.C. share their experiences when they return!  Have fun!