|At the Opening Reception for|
My Corner of the World
Stratford, ON, May 2016
These were big shoes to fill (yes, I said this at the time, too!) Patti didn't do much blog writing -- but she did spearhead at least two exhibits, along with her colleagues Jill Sullivan of B.C. and Dawn Piasta (MB/SK): "Meet the Best of the West" and "The Burgess Shale". The latter exhibit is now part of the permanent collection at the Philip J. Curry Dinosaur Museum in Wembley, Alberta -- just 19 km. west of Grande Prairie.
Patti also managed to have almost annual "Parlour Meetings" in her spacious home in Red Deer. Me? I live in a 1,050 square foot mobile home in the tiny hamlet of Mirror, a good hour's drive NE of Red Deer. It's perfect for my life and work, but...not for large groups!
I managed -- with the significant help of members Marie McEachern, Helene Blanchette and Alison Cowitz -- to orchestrate one in Calgary in September 2014. In a blizzard that brought down trees and coated streets and highways with slush and ice. The meeting was to include a workshop by Susan Purney Mark. Bless her and over a dozen others who made it -- including my indefatigable team! We had a great day!
Except for a brief interlude when Val Wilson (who took on Co-Rep MB/SK from Dawn) wrote the posts, I've been doing this Editorial task ever since. In the past six-plus years, I've tried to glean news, share solo and group exhibit information, post up-dates re: SAQA Benefit and Spotlight Auctions and Conferences, and share information about our members -- people in a Region that comprises 29% of Canada's land mass, clustered on Vancouver Island, on B.C.'s Lower Mainland, in Calgary, Edmonton and Winnipeg -- and sprinkled hither and thither in between.
But...now it's time for a fresh face, a new perspective and unique writing style to show up on these pages. Co-Reps Jennie Johnston and Susan Selby have helped me put the word out...and now it's up to you.
Without a willing writer/Editor, these pages will disappear into Internet archives -- wherever that is. Those who don't keep up with SAQA on its website or on Facebook, who don't (or aren't able to) participate in online meetings, and who don't read their newsletters -- whether from SAQA international or from our Co-Reps -- well...maybe they won't miss the stories about their colleagues, or news about the Region as part of the whole organization.
|SAQA Regional Reps - Portland, 2015|
Connection, critique, inspiration, encouragement, education, exhibition...this is what SAQA is all about at every level.
Where am I going from here? Not far -- not at the moment at least! I'm a member of the SAQA Regional Grants Review Committee, chaired by Bethany Garner (former Co-Rep, Central Canada), alongside Georgia French, Karen Hansen, Jen Solon (Assistant Exec Director) and Desi Vaughn (Regional Reps Co-ordinator).
I'll be at MoSAiQA in March, and am excited to help Maggie Vanderweit and her team as an on-site volunteer. It will be my fourth conference and my first since Portland (2015). It's an understatement to say I'm excited about this first conference outside the U.S.! Canadian members from coast to coast have played a quiet but firm role over the years, helping our neighbours to the south to develop international perspective as SAQA has grown, and we should be proud of that.
Closer to home, I've been selected as Feature Artist at the 21st Annual Lacombe Art Show and Sale in April 2020...the first time a textile artist has been chosen for that honour. As I work with the organizers to plan my special exhibit for that event, I am mindful of the role my SAQA membership will play in helping me to educate the general public about studio art quilts -- and I look forward to the challenge.
On January 1, 2020 I'll change the settings on the blog so that Jennie and Susan can be 'writers'. I'll keep my access to the blog in order to help a new Editor feel comfortable, and then bow out. That said, I won't be a presence at all after March 31, 2020, and what will be, will be.
Thank you all for reading, all these years. Thanks especially for those who sent me news to share, photos of their work, awards, workshops and other accomplishments.
I'd be remiss, though if I didn't close with a couple of reminders 😉:
AND...submissions to the SAQA 2020 Spotlight Auction can be sent in any time now! (Eeeek! I have to make mine!) Online submission ends February 1; Canadian artists have until February 21 for their piece to arrive at Maggie's home in Fergus, ON. See this page for details!
All the best to you for the New Year -- and the New Decade...May 2020 bring you inspiration, creativity, new friendships and experiences...and many happy memories. -- Margaret