Monday, July 31, 2017

And Now He-e-e-ere's...Jennie!

In my last post I briefly introduced you to our new SAQA Co-Rep for B.C., Jennie Johnston.

Jennie at LaConner, 2016
with her piece, Beryl
This past week Jennie sent me some information about herself and a few photos of her work.  When she wrote, she'd just returned from a holiday to visit family in Quebec.  Although we hail from different parts of that Province, I felt an immediate connection, and am delighted to report that at last here she is -- Jennie, in her own words:

Hello, everyone.  Margaret kindly asked me to prepare a small introduction about myself for the blog.
Currently I live in Burnaby, British Columbia, a suburb of Vancouver.  I have lived here for the last 16 years and have fully converted to the west coast life style.  I live with my husband and two sons, ages 9 and 6. I was at home with my boys full time until I started working part time this spring at a House Museum called Mackin House in Coquitlam BC.
I grew up in rural Quebec, in a small English language pocket called the Eastern Townships. My family has a dairy and maple syrup farm. Growing up there was idyllic and I am very drawn to nature and have a strong current of ancestral lines running through my work.
My grandmother is a quilter and both my mother and aunt are avid crafters/makers. Growing up around creativity was imperative to my development as an artist.  Along with the wanderlust that continues to compel me travel, I attended university in New Brunswick at Mount Allison University where I earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree. In my last year of school, I finally realized that I wanted to sew more than paint and that greatly influenced the arc of my work. 
I was a member of the Vancouver Quilt Guild for several years but found getting to meetings very hard once my first son was born.  It was through the transformation of motherhood that I began developing my quilt work and found the layering of techniques that I use today including photo transfer, painting, embroidery and quilting.  Most of my work is done by hand because I prefer the level of intimacy that hand stitch offers.  Finding SAQA was a great boost to my sense of community.  I think the struggle between the art/craft dichotomy is important to break down in the art community.  I see that happening slowly and SAQA is working to make quilts receive their due as objects capable of bridging art and craft perfectly.
I wish to thank Margaret very much for taking on the editing of our SAQA Western Canada blog. And I will be sending out the newsletter each month. You can make sure that you are opted in to receive those emails through your SAQA membership account. To find out more about me, my work, and connect on social media please visit my website www.jenniejohnston.com and I look forward to hearing from each of you about how we can make our region more enriching for everyone. 

Jennie in the Yellow Dining Room
at the home of Claude Monet, Giverny, France, 2016

Jennie and company at the Round House
Community Centre, featuring her installation,
Lifelines, in the Window Gallery - 2013

As  you know, it seems that most Reps/Co-Reps have a vision to accomplish something during their tenure.  For Patti Morris (Alberta) and Jill Sullivan (B.C.), it was collaborating to create exhibits of members' work that toured the Region, ending with the Burgess Shale Project that now lives at the Burgess Shale Interpretive Centre in B.C.  For Katie Stein Sather in B.C., it was bringing a 25th Anniversary Trunk Show tour to the Region.  For yours truly in Alberta, it was helping tour that Trunk, educating traditional quilters about art quilts at Quilt Canada in Lethbridge (2015) and expanding communication through the blog and regular newsletters.  For Val Wilson (MB/SK) and Coleen Adderley (B.C.) it was bringing us our first Regional Retreat.

Jennie has already embraced the idea of having another Trunk Tour -- as part of a Canada-wide initiative that will be starting Down East and heading West.  In addition, the West Coast Regions of the U.S. want to include Western Canada in a multi-Regional Exhibit.  Be sure to read Jennie's future newsletters all the way to the bottom 😉 to be sure you don't miss out on any details of these projects, and whatever else she has up her sleeve.

Desi Vaughn,
SAQA Reps Co-ordinator 
Valerie Wilson,
SAQA Co-Rep, MB/SK
And please -- if you live in Alberta or Manitoba/Saskatchewan -- those parts of the Regions need closer representation with SAQA -- and Jennie will soon need help!

If you are interested in taking on a two-year term as a Co-Rep for SAQA based in Alberta or MB/SK, please contact Valerie Wilson (outgoing, MB/SK) or Jennie (B.C.) -- or the main SAQA Reps Co-ordinator, Desi Vaughn -- sooner rather than later!

And thank you for your support!


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