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!

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

My Corner of the World: An Update!

Great news arrived this morning about the twin exhibits, My Corner of the World and My Corner of the World: Canada!

The exhibit's stay at the Stratford Perth Museum has been extended till October 20.  Thereafter, it begins it's cross-Canada tour with first stop in Thunder Bay!

As MCOTW: Canada curator, Bethany Garner, wrote this morning:
We are so pleased to announce that the Thunder Bay Museum has commissioned the joint My Corner of the World and My Corner of the World CANADA exhibitions for three months beginning on November 1 - January 29, 2017. This is a wonderful opportunity to see the amazing collection of Art Quilts by SAQA artists from around the world move into Canada and Ontario's northern areas and be available to the communities nearby for an extended period of time.

As a result, the STRATFORD PERTH MUSEUM in Stratford Ontario has extended the Exhibition in their location through October 10, 2016... hoping those of you who have not had the opportunity to see the 80 amazing  quilts will do just that and make the trip to Stratford before the quilts move on to Thunder Bay.

Once again, Thank You to each of our Canadian and International artists represented in this beautiful and so very exciting collection of art quilts! Special thanks to Micaela Fitzsimmons and her staff at the Stratford Perth Museum for a summer of welcoming the many hundreds of visitors to our Exhibition. And to Bill Reker, SAQA Exhibitions/Shipping Coordinator and the SAQA Executive and Exhibitions Committee members for arranging for the MY CORNER OF THE WORLD exhibition to become a reality as the first travelling exhibition of international SAQA artists work to come to Canada.

I can only add that our Western Canada members did us proud with their level of participation in this wonderful dual exhibit.  The quality of all the entries was so high that the juror, Micaela Fitzsimmons, opined that she could have created three eighty-piece shows with them.  Congratulations to everyone who contributed!

Note:  The Thunder Bay Museum is located in downtown Thunder Bay South, kitty-corner to City Hall near the intersection of Donald and May Streets. Our street address is 425 Donald St. East.  If you're going to be in Thunder Bay in the coming months, or have friends and family there, please suggest they visit!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

A Call for Canadian Artists!

Moonlight Over Cordova (C)
Joan Hug-Valeriote

While at the Opening of the My Corner of the World twin exhibits in Stratford last May, yours truly* chanced to meet SAQA member Joan Hug-Valeriote, an Ontario artist who is mounting a multi-media exhibit of Canadian art quilts to celebrate Canada's Sesquicentennial (that's 150 years since Confederation) in 2017.

Now Joan is inviting all Canadian art quilters to be part of this unique presentation of both photographed and actual art quilts:

Be a part of celebrating Canada's Sesquicentennial Year by submitting photographs of your Contemporary Canadian Art Quilts for inclusion in an exciting multimedia Video and Art Quilt display curated by Joan Hug-Valeriote in the Berlin Tower Artspace, Kitchener City Hall, during April and May 2017.

This Call is open NOW and entries will be accepted through October 24, 2016.

For more details, click on Call for Entry .

*Posted by Margaret, Co-Rep (Alberta)

Monday, August 1, 2016

Show-outs in Calgary, Edmonton -- and Taiwan!

SAQA Western Canada members continue to do us proud in exhibits at home and overseas -- whether as part of SAQA, as soloists, or in other groups.

The Calgary POD has been busy with its own local exhibit, which has just closed at the Crowfoot Public Library in Calgary and opens again tomorrow (August 2) at the Art Gallery of the High River Public Library, 909 - 1st Street S.W. in that city -- and runs through the end of this month.

POD member Alison Dean Cowitz -- one of the artists in this exhibit -- visited it at the Crowfoot Library venue to capture these photographs:

And three Calgary-area SAQA members entered -- and took prizes -- at this year's Calgary Stampede.   "Roving Reporter", Alison Dean Cowitz, writes thus:

A big mention to Marie McEachern in entering for the first time at this years Calgary Stampede Creative Arts and Crafts Competition. A wonderful accomplishment for Marie. Her piece depicting her artistic interpretation of Calgary's downtown Bow building was turned down by the SAQA juried show for My Corner of the World [Canada]*, but was well received by the Stampede judges and awarded first prize ribbon in the Art quilt category and went on to be in the money prize for 2nd in [the entire Quilting] Section. A great shout out to art quilting too! This has shown me once again that art quilts are receiving more recognition in a typically traditional quilt judged show. Here's the link to the Western showcase Calgary Stampede :: Western Showcase.

The Bow Building
Marie McEachern, 2015

Other SAQA members also entered. Alison Dean Cowitz also received 2nd place ribbon in the Art Quilt category for "Rebirth of a Forest" which was a tribute to the recent forest fires in Fort McMurry.

Rebirth of a Forest
Alison Dean Cowitz, 2016.

Deborah Bray entered 2 pieces, one of them receiving a 3rd place ribbon in the Hand Quilted category, just beautiful!

Deborah Bray, 2015*

Deborah Bray, Calgary, 2016

 *Editor's Notes: 

  1. Marie's piece, "Downtown" was successfully juried into My Corner of the World: Canada and is currently touring with that exhibit, at the Stratford-Perth Museum, Stratford, Ontario, until September 5.
  2. Deborah's piece, "Orange" was featured in the March 20 e-mail newsletter produced by Janine Vangool, publisher of UPPERCASE magazine.  You can read more about that feature on the SAQA WC blog post HERE.

Meanwhile in Edmonton...

Member Mary Wilton of Camrose had her piece, "Generations of Gardeners", juried into the 2016 Biennial exhibit of the Edmonton-based Focus on Fibre Arts Association.  This year, the theme was "My Heritage"...and Mary's piece beautifully illustrates hers...

Generations of Gardeners
Mary Wilton, 2015

My Heritage  will be on exhibit at the 2nd floor Gallery, Enterprise Square, 10230 Jasper Avenue, Edmonton, through August 31.  For additional venues, please check the "Networking" page at the top of the blog.

And in Taiwan...

The Taiwan International Quilt Exhibition 2016 was held in Tainan City, Taiwan, from April 30 through May 29, the theme of which was "Save the Environment". Following the Exhibition, beautiful catalogues and tote bags were sent to the artists who participated.

By chance...yours truly was able to find out which SAQA WC members had pieces in this prestigious exhibition...and there were at least three:

Alberta member and Co-Rep, Margaret Blank, participated in two group exhibits -- with the Fifteen by Fifteen International Quilting Group and in Trunk C of the 25th Anniversary SAQA Trunk Show.

Back to the Garden - 2013
One of three pieces by Margaret
included in the 15 x 15 Group exhibit at TIQE

Saskatchewan member, Paula Jolly of Mossbank, participated in Trunk H of the 25th Anniversary SAQA Trunk Show.

Painting Rocks - 2014
Paula M. Jolly

And Alberta member Patricia Scott of Edmonton participated in a group exhibit mounted by The Canadian Group, founded by Brenda Miller of the Huron Perth Quilters Guild in Ontario, after she was inspired by a meeting with SAQA Rep Hsin-Chen Lin while on a trip to Taiwan in 2014.  Brenda tells the story of how the group came about on her blog HERE.

Here's the photo of Pat's piece, straight from the TIQE catalogue...

Waterlily - 2015
Patricia Scott

Congratulations to all these artists!  Best wishes for continued success -- and continued exhibiting of your work -- and thanks to Alison for the Road Trip and Stampede photos and the story behind them.

(Apologies to anyone we missed!  If you were excluded -- through ignorance on our part -- please contact Margaret with your story and photos so that your work can be celebrated too.)

Friday, July 29, 2016

The Ties that Bind

"No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the Continent, a part of the main..."   These words of John Donne's, from his Meditations XVII, introduce a new exhibit from the Art Gallery of Alberta (AGA).  The Ties That Bind will be travelling through Alberta under the auspices of the Alberta Foundation for the Arts Travelling Exhibition Program.

Gracing the cover of the brochure for this exhibit is Alberta member Diane Duncan's piece, Diane Duncan, 2016; Diane, who hails from Calgary, is one of four artists participating in the project.  The others are former SAQA member Margie Davidson and artists Judy Weiss and Matt Gould, all of  Edmonton.  The Ties That Bind will be touring to over 60 venues in  approximately 35 Alberta communities.  Four a touring schedule, check the AGA website HERE.  Congratulations, Diane!