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!

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Ongoing and Upcoming!

July is perfect for picnics...and Terry Aske and Judy Villet have the perfect one for you if you're going to be out and about in the Lower Mainland of B.C. this adventure Into the Heart of the Forest.  NOTE: this exhibit is now open and runs through July 24.

Going to the Stampede in Calgary?  You might stop by the Crowfoot Library  (8665 Nose Hill Drive N.W.) to see the Calgary SAQA POD's locally-produced exhibit, Road Trip.

If you missed this one when it showed at Fish Creek Library in April, do try to make it up to the Crowfoot venue.  It will be there through July 24.  From there it goes to the High River Library (909 - 1st Street S.W., High River, AB) from Aug. 2 - 31.

Fancy art on the hoof?  There's an Artwalk going on in Camrose, Alberta this summer which includes work by Mary Wilton, another one of our Alberta members.  From July 20 through September 6, you can see her work at the Jeanne & Peter Lougheed Performing Arts Centre4901 46 Avenue, Camrose, as part of that city's 21st Annual Artwalk, sponsored by the Camrose Art Society.

Through the Barn Door - Mary Wilton, 2015

Planning ahead for the fall... 

Calgary Area POD is hosting a workshop in High River.  Presented not long ago in B.C. by the Lower Mainland POD, here's an opportunity for members all over the Region -- but particularly east of the Rockies! -- to find the answer to that eternal question, "What Were the Judges Thinking?" 

The workshop is described as "Module 1 of the CQA quilt judge certification program" and is designed for anyone who is considering becoming a judge, scribe, juror or aide, or for those interested in organizing a judged show, or simply expanding their knowledge about judged competitions.
  • Date: Saturday, September 10, 2016.
  • Location: High River Library, 901 - 1st Street S.W., High River, AB.
  • Time:  9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
  • Cost: $50.00 per person, including kit fee.
Registration: the registration fee may be mailed, paid in person or by e-transfer.  Payment must be in full; it will be non-refundable unless the workshop is cancelled.  Registration is on a first-come, first-served basis -- and there is a class limit of 20. For a registration form, please contact Marie McEachern or Nan Williams.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Another "Drive-by Sighting"!

Honestly, SAQA WC colleagues, it's getting harder and harder to keep up with all the random sightings of art you're creating -- and exhibiting -- without sharing it with your Ever-curious SAQA WC Blog Editors!

Here's another one!

Terry Aske's an award-winning SAQA member from B.C.  Judy Villett's not a SAQA member...yet... ;-)

If you're going to be in the area and want more information, click HERE for the Arts Council of New'll find a link there with directions to the Gallery.

P.S. Thanks to B.C. member Susan Purney Mark for sharing this info on Facebook...where I could stumble upon it... ;-)

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Braggin' on Terry...

Once again the blog has found out about a Quilt Canada 2016 National Juried Show achievement...surreptitiously...through the back door, as it were. (GRIN)

Thanks to B.C. member Brigitte Red, I was put onto the fact that B.C. member Terry Aske -- creator of "Inside the Tipi", currently on exhibit in My Corner of the World: Canada -- took not one but two awards at the NJS!

Stealing from her blog (with apologies for being behind in my blog reading/snooping)... here she is with her pieces:

Terry with Circular Thinking - Quilt Canada  NJS 2016
First place - "Art -- Abstract" category

Terry with Swoop - Quilt Canada NJS 2016
Third Place - Art - Naturscapes, Pictorial

She's lookin' pretty happy -- and so she should be!  Congratulations, Terry!

P.S. If you've had a major achievement you want to share with your SAQA Colleagues (remember, this blog is read by SAQA members around the world, not just in the Region), PLEASE contact your Co-Rep.  If she can't post it directly to the blog, she will forward it to someone who can.  :-)  And beware...If we can't get you to 'brag on yourselves' directly, we will find a way...

Thursday, June 16, 2016

This Just In...

Congratulations are in order...

...for SAQA WC member, Cathie Ugrin of Winnipeg, MB, whose quilt, "Listen Softly", won second place in it's category (Art: Naturescapes or Pictorial) at the Quilt Canada 2016 National Juried Show!

Listen Softly
(C) Cathie Ugrin

Her prize was what appears to be a lifetime supply of Wonderfil thread -- from the sponsors of this award.  Whoa!  Well done, Cathie! Invitation from SAQA Washington State Region - a Regional Conference!

SAQA Western Canada member, Terry Aske of B.C., has asked that the following message from WA State be shared with our WC region, as there may be those who are interested in attending (emphasis mine):

This quick bulletin is to let you know that we now have a link on the SAQA website to register for our first-ever regional conference: "Trajectory: Washington's Exciting Path Ahead". This one-day conference will take place on Sunday, September 11 in La Conner (at the La Conner Civic Garden Club), and it needs you to make it as fruitful and fulfilling as possible.
The highlights of the day will include:
  • Mixer and opportunities to get to know SAQA members from all over the state
  • A panel discussion with Caryl Bryer Fallert-Gentry and other artists/experts about furthering your career as an artist
  • Jane Dunnewold's lecture "Creative Strength Training" and sale of her new book
  • A fabulous box lunch with the filling of your choice from Calico Cupboard (gluten-free available)
  • A tour of our exhibit space at the La Conner Quilt Museum (Our first regional exhibit is coming up in August of 2017). This is your chance to help plan for this exhibit.
And those are just the highlights! At $65 for admission, we feel that this is a great value (made possible by a grant - also our first - from SAQA). 
Travelling from out of town? We are beginning to compile lists of hosts and people needing space. We know that for some people, both Saturday and Sunday night accommodations may be necessary. Please contact me if you have a room to offer for one or two nights, or if you need help finding a new friend to host you so that you can attend the conference.
Also, we're fortunate in our great planning committee: Mary Berden, Kate Grieshaber, and Paula Murakami. We can always use more help. Please let me know if you can pitch in. We have jobs of all sizes - big and small.
Our "real" newsletter will be out soon. For now, please put September 11th on your calendar. 
See you in La Conner!
Carolyn & Lisa

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Margaret Jessop: Celebrating Distinction -- and Distinctive -- Quilting Art

Quilts hanging on the Wainright Hotel,
Heritage Park, Calgary, Alberta - May 28-29, 2016

This year marked the twenty-first annual Festival of Quilts at Heritage Park in Calgary, AB, held at the Park on May 28-29.

Part of the Festival's history and tradition is the selection of a Quilter of Distinction, often in keeping with the theme of the given year.

This year's theme was "Hearth, Home and Community"...and the Quilter of Distinction was SAQA member Margaret Jessop of Calgary.

Introducing Quilter of Distinction 2016,
Margaret Jessop

The piece to Margaret's immediate right in the photo is, in her words, "...a self-portrait of me in 1990 - I'm holding the baby and there's silhouettes of the other 3, ages 2, 4 & 6."

When I spoke with Margaret about the award on my visit to Calgary in early April, she told me she was very nervous about the event, and wasn't sure the visitors to the Quilt Festival "would like it"...because, as far as one can tell, Margaret is the first QoD who has so few bed quilts in her repertoire.

From the look on her face, though, I think she and her work were well received by all in attendance!

In this year's brochure, the Quilt Festival wrote this about selecting Margaret for this honour:

"It is with great excitement that the 2016 Festival of Quilts welcomes Margaret Jessop as the Quilter of Distinction. Margaret is an acclaimed quilter, winning awards from International, National, Provincial and Municipal quilt groups. Some of these awards have been presented by the Canadian Quilt Association and International Quilt Festival.
"Along with her amazing talent, Margaret also gives so much of her time and talent to charities. Her quilts have been auctioned off for charitable causes and she has volunteered with the Heritage Park Festival of Quilts and Quilt Canada. With this year’s theme of Hearth, Home and Community, there is no one better than Margaret to showcase the importance of all three. Margaret has had to overcome obstacles such as losing her studio to the 2013 floods and the losses of her daughter and mother in 2014.
"Through all of that, her artistic self remained steadfast and she has continued to create beautiful pieces of art. Margaret’s journey into the fabric art/quilting world began over 30 years ago. Her first quilt was for her four year-old daughter. Margaret took a course from Dianne Sutton and made the quilt. From there she was hooked. Now she has close to 250 quilts to her credit, most of which are art quilts.
"It is evident when looking at her work that she is inspired by personal experience, and she leans toward familiar subject, people and surroundings. Some of her most memorable pieces include portraits of her children, and the landscapes of her favourite places.
"Moving forward, Margaret says her challenges are to create original fabric work influenced by fine art and craft knowledge, and to continue working full time in her home studio.
"Margaret has successfully been the student, teacher, wife, mother and inspirational artist to those in the quilting community. She has fully committed herself to her art form, which is evident with her involvement with four different guilds, becoming an ACAD* graduate, quilting in her own studio and still finding time to quilt for charity. In her own words, 'My work makes me happy and I’m sure I will spend the rest of my life exploring new techniques and ideas.' The Festival of Quilts hopes this honour gives credit to her body of work thus far and we will continue to watch for what is new in the future of her quilting legacy."
*Alberta College of Art and Design

And now, a retrospective of some of her work, for your enjoyment:

A Carolina Patchwork pattern

Moving more into her own creations...

Margaret talks about her work

Behind her (clockwise from left, above): "Dream Tree", "Ode to Emily Carr", "Caste Mountain" and "Heart of the Rockies".

"Mirror Lake" - inspired by Group of Seven
painter, Frank Carmichael

A series of family and other portraits

Dale the Woodworker -- with his portrait

Anna -- with her portrait

It's clear that in addition to the inspiration of her family and her Alberta home -- in the Foothills of the Canadian Rockies, Margaret enjoys working with colour, and has a real sense of whimsy...such as is found in her "Catfish" series:


Congratulations on your award, Margaret!  I'm sure your SAQA colleagues will join me in wishing you many more years of creativity and enjoyment -- and we thank you for sharing your work with us.

Margaret with her award

Photo credits -- with thanks -- Marie McEachern and the artist herself.

Friday, June 10, 2016

"Meeting" SAQA Members at "The Edge of the Forest" -- Online

Thanks to a lovely blog post from SAQA member Lesley Turner (B.C.), you can see her and several of her colleagues with their pieces from the exhibit, The Edge of the Forest, currently touring in British Columbia.  For those of us in the hinterland of the Western Canada Region (grin), it's an opportunity to put faces to names we've heard or seen on mailing lists.

SAQA members included with Lesley in the blog post: Donna-Fay Digance and Terry Phillips.  Click HERE to view the blog post.

The Edge of the Forest is an exhibit created by Canadian members of the Surface Design Association; as of this writing it's last planned stop will be at the Fibreworks Gallery on the Sunshine Coast, opening July 9 and running through August 21, 2016.

Thanks, Lesley!

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Braggin' on the West!

This past weekend -- the Opening of the twin exhibits for My Corner of the World -- far exceeded my expectations...dreams...I kept wondering if I'd wake up and find it was all in my imagination.

The dual exhibit is wonderful.  Beautiful.  Well laid out.  Creative.  Colourful.  Touching.  Stunning.  Excellent.

And SAQA WC, you did us proud!

While I will post on my personal blog about pieces from other corners of Canada and the are some photos of  the Western contributions to "MCOTW: Canada" taken in situ, "up close and personal"...

First, my travelling companion, Jaynie Himsl of Weyburn, SK, with her piece:

Jaynie with Poplar Point
MCOTW: Canada
Stratford Perth Museum, May 21, 2016

Now the individual pieces which, once these begin to tour, you need to see to fully appreciate them:

Inside the Tipi - Terry Aske, B.C.
32" W x 42" L

It's Still About the Sky - Margaret Blank, AB
27.25" W x 23.5" L

Poplar Point - Jaynie Himsl, SK
23" W x 34" L

The Road Home - Paula Jolly, SK
29.5" W x 24.5" L

Downtown - Marie McEachern, AB
36.5" W x 30" L

Beaches #1 - Mardell Rampton, B.C.
27.5" W x 22.5" L

Looking Down - Janet Scruggs, AB
27.5" W x 21" L

The Museum had some challenges hanging so many pieces (81 in all)...and there were optical illusions along the wall with the ramp that allowed access from one level to another.  My piece and Jaynie's are along that wall; the way the brain works, there was some sense they were crooked, but Micaela assured us they'd been hung with a level...

And don't you just love the effect created by hanging a blue piece on a red wall versus one painted in a neutral colour?

Thank you to everyone who contributed...thank you to Bethany Garner (SAQA Central Canada, curator of MCOTW: Canada), thank you to Micaela Fitzsimmons (SAQA member, museum liaison, juror, and curator of MCOTW), thank you to Lisa Ellis, SAQA's new President...

I think it's been shown that SAQA can open an International Exhibit in any corner of the world...and it will intrigue, entertain and inspire any and all viewers. 

Stay tuned for it's eventual arrival in this corner of the world!

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Make Art, Buy Art, Do Good!

It's the Mennonite Central Committee's Springfest 2016 in Winnipeg, MB!

Included in the three-day festival, which runs from May 27 to 29 this year is the Annual Quilt Show and Sale.  Manitoba member Cathie Ugrin will be displaying her Table Art at the show, which is being held at Ten Thousand Villages.  All proceeds from the show will go to support the work of MCC with the ECS Mother's Union Development Project in Sudan.

Here's a taste of what Cathie will have on offer:

Iris Musings

To see the beauty that's on the other side of each piece, you'll just have to go to the exhibit!  ;-)

For details, admission fees, times, and links to the full range of SpringFest activities, click HERE.