Sunday, October 9, 2016

SAQA's 2017 Trunk Show: An Opportunity to Create and Educate

Detail, Circle Play - M. Blank, Alberta
from "This is a Quilt!" Trunk Show, 2011-2013
Commercial & hand-dyed cotton, sequin waste

Very shortly, I'll be submitting my third contribution to the SAQA Trunk Show.  Since 2011, I've used this travelling exhibit as a vehicle for experimenting with an idea, for playing with shapes, colours and materials -- and it's been a lot of fun.

It wasn't until I worked with a SAQA Trunk -- one of eight filled with pieces created to celebrate SAQA's Twenty-fifth Anniversary -- that I really understood the Trunk Show's other purpose: public education.

Alberta Debut - Red Deer -
November 2014
In the fall of 2013, then B.C. Co-Rep, Katie Stein Sather, booked a Trunk to come to Western Canada the following spring.  The trunk toured in B.C. from June through October, and then came in to Alberta before moving East to Manitoba, then back to B.C. and Alberta, where it ended it's year-long Western Canadian tour at Quilt Canada 2014 in Lethbridge.

While it was here in Alberta I was able to get some photos.  The first stop was the Central Alberta Guild in Red Deer, with thanks to members Wendy Greber and Patti Morris for helping me arrange this.

There was a similar fascination with the pieces at the Sylvan Lake Guild...

But not everyone was enthralled, and I overheard a couple of quilters distinctly unimpressed with this "art stuff".

Ah well... You can't win 'em all!

In Cochrane in May, there was modest enthusiasm, though one of their own -- Karen Jurek -- is a SAQA member who has a piece touring in Radical Elements.  I'd just returned from the Portland Conference and had with me the catalogue of that exhibit, which was well received indeed.

The final stop at Quilt Canada was a three-day affair, and the booth was full much of the time.  I am thankful to SAQA WC members, Coleen Adderley, Jaynie Himsl, Karen Johnson and Val Wilson for spelling me off at the booth even though many of them were also working at the Fibre Art Network booth immediately behind the Trunk Show booth.

These photos were taken of the booth before the show opened -- after that, there were too many people in there!

Half the pieces here

Half the pieces there

SAQA materials for sharing

In each and every venue, the fascination, the curiosity, and the surprise on the faces of viewers -- quilters and non-quilters alike -- was fun to watch.  Though the pieces are wrapped in clear envelopes so they can be picked up and examined. people had to be encouraged to do so because folks aren't used to being able to handle artwork this way.

Therein lies a great "plus" for Trunk Show participation: your work gets "out there" into the public eye, shown around the world to those who share your passion, those who might want to make art with textiles but are hesitant, and those who've not seen much artwork at all, ever.

The next SAQA Trunk Show will be rolled out at the Conference in Lincoln, NE in April 2017.  Everyone who is a SAQA member can participate; there's no jury and no entry fee.  The only cost is shipping the piece once its entered.  Your piece can also be offered for sale.  The pieces tour for up to three years, and receive wide exposure, travelling to such places as Taiwan, Australia and Europe -- not to mention around the U.S. and Canada.

This year to encourage participation, SAQA has initiated a Regional competition.  At the Conference the Trunk Show pieces will be displayed by Region -- and the Region that has the highest percentage of contributors will win $250 USD to put toward a Regional event -- such as a Regional Exhibit, Regional Retreat or Regional Conference!

Let's show our stuff, Western Canada!  For full information about the 2017 Trunk Show, and to see its prospectus, click HERE.  And thank you for your support!

Detail, Tree Study III - M. Blank, Alberta
25th Anniversary Trunk Show - 2014-2016
Commercial cottons, acrylic paint, dryer sheets

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