Saturday, February 27, 2016

Showing in Winnipeg in April!

Our SAQA Western Canada Co-Rep (MB/SK), Valerie Wilson, has been working hard to prepare for her up-coming solo show.  As mentioned in earlier posts and -- as promised -- are the details:  

A Moment in Time:
fibre art by Valerie Wilson*

April 5 - May 14, 2016

Opening and Artist's Talk: April 7, 2016

11 - 2nd Street N.E.
Portage la Prairie, MB R1N 1R8

Gallery Hours: Tuesday - Saturday 11 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Here's what Valerie has to say about her work and this exhibit in particular:
History has always fascinated me. Whether it’s an old house and its heritage, or a person glimpsed in an antique photograph, their stories call to me.
When I see an old photograph of people, I wonder what lives those people lived, and why they chose to have a photo taken at that moment. Was it a gift for someone, or did they want to record a special moment?

Working from vintage black and white photographs, allows me to imagine the lives of these people, and to choose what details, and colours, best express my vision. I combine a love of history, and a curiosity about people from the past, to capture character in fabric.
If you can't get there in person, you can see more of Val's work on her website.  
Congratulations, Val!

*Exhibit sponsored in part by E. F. Moon Construction, Ltd. (est. 1962)

More Exhibits Worth Viewing!

Lesley Turner
B.C. member Lesley Turner is an artist with a clutch of exhibits happening this spring.  Yesterday she posted on her blog about the installation of "Aunty Flow Speaks Out", a collaboration with Kirsten Horel, at the Community Arts Council of Greater Victoria.  The piece is part of an exhibit the CACGV is mounting at its Bay Centre gallery -- Women Hold Up Half the Sky -- in honour of International Women's Day.  This exhibit is on now and runs through March 13.

Oh to be able to take that in on an Artists' Date!

In addition to this newly-opened exhibit, Lesley -- with several SAQA Western Canada colleagues -- has work in Edge of the Forest (see this blog post) which will open at the Coast Collective Arts Centre in Victoria in March and at Fibreworks Gallery, Pender Harbour, B.C., in July.  She also has several exhibits throughout the spring and summer at Tulista Gallery and other B.C. venues throughout the Spring and Summer.  For more details, check the side-bar of her blog HERE.

Later this Spring, in Central Ontario...the Encounter Art Quilt Group from Israel will be exhibiting their work at the Jewish Community Centre in London, Ontario.  Several of the artists in the group are SAQA members. 

To quote from today's post on the SAQA Central Canada blog,
Encounters” was established in 2009 and includes 15 Israeli Art Quilt artists[Their] meetings are bi - monthly, and the emphasis in each meeting is the exchange of opinions, ideas, mutual enrichment and fertilization, practice new techniques and work toward exhibiting our works together. 
The exhibit's theme, "Song of Songs" is taken from the book by the same name (sometimes called the "Song of Solomon") found in the Hebrew Scriptures (referred to by Christians as the Old Testament).

Christine Seager, Co-Rep for SAQA: Europe and the Middle East, shares this information about the theme and the artists' inspiration:
The book incorporated Love Songs: between a lover and his wife, among family members and the love of Israel and their God.
Many verses were composed into songs that are an inspiration to feelings and emotions, describes colors and intensity, and glorify landscapes and way of life.  
Each quilter chose different symbols she felt expresses the verse of inspiration in the best way: flowers or thorns, fruits (apples, pomegranates and grapes), depicted places, use traditional images and symbols to create colorful, realistic and poetic exciting quilts.
Some of the topics you'll find in this exhibition:

  • "As the lily among thorns": symbolizes Israel surrounded by a hostile environment.  

  • "My Beloved"; "Doves eyes"; "The fairest of women": an expression of a private love.

  • "Doves in the clefts of the rock": descriptions of nature viewed from a home window or caves in the desert.

  • "Refresh me with apples"; "Apple among the woods": the female's voice point of view, seductive, full of love and loaded with Garden of Eden features.
On my wish list now?  A prayer that this exhibit would be held over through the end of May so I could see it when I'm in the area for the opening of the My Corner of the World exhibits!

Meanwhile...those of you in the Region who are having solo shows or have work in wider exhibits in your area or elsewhere -- whether those showings are SAQA-founded or not! -- please let your Co-Reps know so that this information can be shared with your colleagues.

Viewing the work of other artists, colleagues and others, is one way to fill the well of inspiration we all carry within as we create our own work.  Soak it in and enjoy!

Special thanks to Bethany Garner (Co-Rep, Central Canada) and Christine Seager for passing on this information.

Friday, February 26, 2016

A Wee Bit o' News

Gloria Daly
Photo credit:
Vancouver IslandSurface Design Association
Congratulations! to B.C. member Gloria Daly, whose piece entitled "Detained -- Denied -- Displaced" is one of thirty-nine pieces selected for the SAQA exhibit, Stories of Migration: Contemporary Artists Interpret Diaspora, which will open at The Textile Museum -- part of the new George Washington University Museum -- on April 16, 2016, showing until September 4, 2016.

Gloria is not only a member of SAQA, but also of the Vancouver Island SDA (B.C. Regional SDA), Fibre Art Network, and the Articulation group of textile artists.

You can read more about this new SAQA exhibit HERE.

In the PODs...

The Calgary-area POD is busy preparing for its up-coming local exhibit, Road Trip, to take place at the Fish Creek Library in Calgary, April 17 - 30th.

Less than a month after their exhibit, the POD is hosting a workshop with Martha Cole: "When Collage and Artist Meet" -- May 12 - 16.  Earlier this month there were a couple of spots left...but it may be full by now.

The next Calgary Area POD meeting will be March 22; a reminder will be sent to the Region by e-mail closer to the date.

Stay tuned for more information!

The Lower Mainland, B.C. POD is also hosting a workshop -- April 9, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. at the Elements Casino, Fraser Downs, 17755 - 60th Avenue, Surrey.  The title is "What was I Thinking? -- An Introduction to Quilt Judging" and the facilitators, Judy Villett and Joyce Brown are both trainers in the Canadian Quilters' Association Quilt Judge Certification Program.  Register by e-mail to Katie Stein Sather:  

The next Lower Mainland POD meeting will be March 16.  Again, a reminder will be sent to the Region via e-mail closer to the date.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016


So often when someone of note dies, those of us who admired -- but never knew -- that person are wishing they'd had an opportunity to meet her. or at least get to know more about her in a more personal way.

(L) - (R) - Alex Anderson,
Yvonne Porcella, Ricky Tims
Photo: The Quilt Show 
For those who would like to learn more about Yvonne Porcella and her adventures in quilting arts, The Quilt Show -- generally available only by subscription -- has made available a FREE viewing of their 2010 "Quilt Legend" episode, honouring Yvonne.

In this episode, she not only provided a tour of her studio and taught a couple of fun and interesting techniques, but also spoke at length about her family, her childhood, her background in sewing, her inspiration, and her passion for colourful textiles, for quilting, for studio art quilts and SAQA -- the organization she founded and served.

Click HERE for the link to the episode, available through February 29.  Scroll down to Episode #713 -- and enjoy!

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Farewell, Yvonne

Yvonne Porcella
May 12, 1936 - February 12, 2016

It is with sadness that I learned this morning of the death of Yvonne Porcella, a founding member of SAQA and the association's first President, on February 12.  She was a legend in the quilting arts community, a gifted creator of wearable and two-dimensional art -- all in glorious, joyful colours.  The SAQA community as a whole is planning a tribute; please stay tuned to the SAQA Yahoo Group for further information.  In addition, any wishes you wish to express to Yvonne's family may be done via the Yahoo Group.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Candles for Yvonne

Cynthia Wenslow
SAQA Social Media Coordinator
I'm not sure how many of you read the conversations on the general SAQA Yahoo group...and I'm not sure how many of you read the Regional e-mails you receive...

So I am sending out this message received recently from Cynthia Wenslow:

"In 1989, Yvonne Porcella, a California quilt artist, sent out 50 letters to artists and friends to rally them to her cause of establishing a place for art quilts in the world of contemporary art.
Studio Art Quilt Associates (SAQA) was launched from Yvonne's initiative, rapidly growing to include hundreds of members across the USA.
Forward to 2016. Yvonne Porcella is facing some very serious health challenges. SAQA, the organization that is her brainchild, would like to surround Yvonne with positive thoughts from the membership, and with candle light, which is particularly meaningful for her.
Yvonne Porcella
We invite SAQA members to participate in two ways:
1. Email us at with an image of original art you have created for Yvonne featuring candles, either art quilt, fabric collage, or photographic art, and a positive statement for her challenges or statement of gratitude for Yvonne's efforts in advancing the art quilt (no stock photos, please)
2. Create a 4"x 6" postcard-sized art quilt featuring a candle and/or positive sentiments or affirmations. Email image to AND mail the actual art quilt to Candles for Yvonne, c/o Cynthia Wenslow, 1862 E Belvidere Rd, Ste 121, Grayslake, IL 60030
It is our hope that these positive thoughts and images will surround Yvonne at a time when she needs them most.
These images, sentiments, and art quilts will be shared with Yvonne as possible, and posted on SAQA social media for her to enjoy.
If you have any questions, please email
We thank you in advance, in sincere gratitude."

As befitting our 25th anniversary celebration, Yvonne -- the first SAQA President -- was the Keynote Speaker at the SAQA Conference in Washington, D.C. in 2014:

Those of us who come after her in the studio art quilt world, owe her a debt of gratitude.  Whether or not you remember her with an art card, please keep her and her family in your prayers.  Thank you.

Do You Read the Times?

The New York Times, that is?

If so, then the article spotted therein on Feb. 2 by Alberta member Bush Eastep may not be news to you -- but it was to me, and it was (IMHO) news worthy of sharing!  Yes...I know I've sent this information off to Western Canada in a Regional e-mail, but other regions read our SAQA WC blog too, so I am repeating it here, paraphrased briefly:

Art quilts made the news in the New York Times this week!  Appearing in the 'Art & Design' section on February 2, the article describes an exhibit by a guild in Oakland, CA.  Three of the artists mentioned are SAQA members in California. 

To enjoy and be inspired, click HERE!   Thank you, Bush!