01 August 2022

Commotion at the Craig!

  The SAQA Atlantic juried show, Commotion, is opening at the Craig Gallery in Dartmouth on August 4, and will be there until August 28.

If you are in the vicinity, please join us for the opening reception on the 4th, between 5:30 and 7:30.

30 April 2022

More Commotion!



The Forest Bath by Susan Lilley 

SAQA Atlantic's 6th regional exhibition, Commotion, will have a new showing at the Museum of Industry in Stellarton, NS.  It opens Saturday, April 30th and will run until July 29th.  Opening hours and directions are on the Museum's website.

For more information about this regional exhibition, check out our post from June, 2021.


28 April 2022

Refocus on Fibre Art Exhibition


Celtic Cross Lee McLean

SAQA Atlantic members Darcy Hunter, Kathy Tidswell and LeeMcLean have work in a group exhibit at Sunbury Shores Arts and Nature Centre in St. Andrews, NB. The exhibit, "Refocus on Fibre Art", features varied work by fourteen of the members of New Brunswick-based Fibre Arts Network.

"We have been through an extraordinary time, being asked to retreat to our homes, to limit human contact and to make do with what we have. Once we moved past the initial stress of the unknown, we returned to our studios to seek the regenerative, healing energy of creating with fibre."


Fireweed on the Beach  Darcy Hunter

Fibre Arts Network (FAN) is a Fredericton-based network of fibre design artists who produce fine craft items for the fine craft market. This exhibit includes weaving, basketry, thread painting, felting, knitting, quilting, sewing, sculptural pieces and more! It will be on display until the end of October.

The opening is May 6 from 5:00 - 7:00 p.m. and runs until May 28. 

Willow at Dawn Kathy Tidswell

26 April 2022

Kristi Farrier: You Can't be Here if You're There

Alberta – Arrival #1 by K. Farrier  (2021) w23" x h29”   

Alberta – The Ties That Bind

Alberta is my place of birth and coming of age.

Often a place of memory and revisiting – even when I am there in the present.

Saskatchewan – Renewal

Saskatchewan provided me with the space to grow.

It holds spirit and inspiration, mixed with myth, mystery, and a bit of magic.

Cape Breton – All That’s Possible

Cape Breton is my home; my here and now. 

It’s a place of everyday ordinary life that I love and yet, where all things are possible to me.

(KF, excerpt from a longer piece, 2020)

SAQA Atlantic member Kristi Farrier is a textile artist and hand papermaker based out of Flying Finch Studio in Middle River, Cape Breton Island.

You Can’t be Here if You’re There is a series of art quilts Kristi created as part of a three-artist collaboration on the theme: Place in Perspective. Her pieces examine her personal experiences with the three provinces the trio has in common: Alberta, Saskatchewan and Nova Scotia.  

Hélène Blanchet and Alison Dean Cowitz complete the trio, each having created her own body of work reflecting that same theme. Their exhibition opened in September 2021 at the Cape Breton Centre for Craft and Design and will be travelling to galleries across the country.

I recently spoke with Kristi about her own experience as part of this collaborative project.

Kristi, how would you describe your textile work? 

I would describe it as contemporary abstract art. My pieces express my responses to significant experiences, events and places. Line and color are primary elements in these whole cloth fabric pieces which I mark with thread-stitch, paint, dyes and inks. 

The 15 quilts in You Can’t Be Here If You’re There explore my links to Alberta, Saskatchewan and Cape Breton, three places with which I am deeply connected. The pieces feature colours and motifs which spring from these places and which emerge through my spontaneous curvilinear machine quilting.  

Saskatchewan – Father’s Finery by K Farrier (2020)
w18.5" x h 27½”  

How was your experience of working collaboratively?

This was my first artist collaboration, and it was amazing! I feel it really lifted me to a new level as an artist. We met regularly, had deadlines and were all committed to the project. We became close friends, creating an inspiring and safe space for exploring new ideas. Each of us brought different skills to the group, forming a strong team for planning and executing the exhibition. 

Our SAQA mentor, Tracey Lawko, challenged us creatively and guided us through the curatorial and exhibition coordination processes.

The project’s success came because we really supported each other creatively, raised each other up during the trying times, and balanced each other well for the administrative aspects of the project.

Where can this exhibition be seen?

We currently have five confirmed venues and expect to confirm more in the coming months. 

  • The Chester Art Centre, Chester, Nova Scotia - October 26 to November 13, 2022
  • The Ice House Gallery, Tatamagouche, Nova Scotia - February 2023
  • The Craig Gallery, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia - March 2023
  • The Quilt Canada Conference, Halifax, Nova Scotia - June 8 to 10, 2023.
  • The Crowsnest Pass Gallery, Frank, Alberta - May 2024

Cape Breton - Maple Buds and Snow Squalls
by K. Farrier (2021) w12.5" x h18”  


See more of Kristi Farrier’s work on her website, Flying Finch Studio

05 April 2022

SAQA 2022 Benefit Auction contribution: Deb Plestid


Victory by Deb Plestid (2022) 12"x12"

Deb Plestid, from Tatamagouche Nova Scotia, created her SAQA Benefit Auction piece on a snowy day in April. Her piece, Victory, is the first contribution from the Atlantic Region.

DP: The piece is named 'Victory' and recognizes the anguish of war. I quote Volodymyr Zelensky, "It's a victory when the weapons fall silent and people speak up."

See more of Deb Plestid's quilted artwork on her website, deb plestid fibre art.

The deadline for submissions to the 2022 Benefit Auction is June 30 and each piece must be exactly 12"x12". You can find more information about the Benefit Auction here. The auction will start on the SAQA website in September.

23 March 2022

Deb Plestid and Sheree Fitch publication: Sing in the Spring

Congratulations to fibre artist Deb Plestid and poet Sheree Fitch, who together recently published Sing in the Spring, a children's book of poems entirely illustrated with quilts.

A book launch and reading will be held at the Grace Jollymore Joyce Arts Centre in Tatamagouche, from 1-2pm on April 30th. Woozles Book Shop, in Halifax, will host a second reading on May 7th. Copies of the book may be ordered from Woozles, here.

They're Back! by Deb Plestid

Enjoy a short preview of their book:

Come meet Deb and Sheree in a recent CTV interview.

Deb Plestid is a SAQA Juried Artist from Tatamagouche, Nova Scotia. Learn more about this project on her website: deb plestid fibre art.

21 March 2022

Spotlight on Deb Plestid!


 Fiddlehead Fern: A Blueprint for Spring (2022) by Deb Plestid w6"xh8"

Fiddlehead Fern, A Blueprint for Spring is Deb Plestid's contribution to the 2022 SAQA Spotlight Auction. Deb is a SAQA Juried Artist from Tatamagouche Nova Scotia.

Technique: painted fabric, painted fern, applique & machine stitched.

See more of Deb Plestid's quilted artwork on her website, deb plestid fibre art


The SAQA Spotlight Auction is an opportunity for all SAQA members to showcase their artwork to a worldwide audience. Online entry forms must be completed by March 31, 2022. Check out the SAQA 2022 Spotlight Auction page for entry details.