06 April 2014

SAQA Atlantic Trunk Show - An Update

Heather Loney was the caretaker of the SAQA Atlantic trunk show for the latter part of 2013. She provided us with this report:

The SAQA trunk show was seen by 5 quilt guilds (over 250 people): Mayflower QG [Halifax-Dartmouth], Mariners QG [Cole Harbour], Sackville QG [Sackville NS], Northumberland QG [Stellarton-New Glasgow] and Mahone Bay QG. All of the people who examined the art quilts loved what they saw, and several at each 'showing' asked for information about becoming possible future members. (I do hope they followed through!) Having the artist's statement on the back of each piece was great too -- people took the time to read the comments and would discuss the attributes of the pieces with their friends.

Susan Tilsley Manley also showed the trunk show during that time period and provided this report:

I took the trunk show to my kids' elementary school. There are five classes and six grade levels in Scotsburn Elementary. I expected to show each class, have a bit of discussion (fifteen minutes tops), and be home before noon. Not so much.

I began with a blanket, asking what it was and what it was for. Then a quilt.   Then I asked the difference. The children's answers were insightful and wise.

Then I showed them an Art Quilt. Again they were engaged. Then I showed each piece, and passed them around. The children were completely engaged. They appreciated knowing something about each artist and/or technique. They asked great questions, "What inspires you?"  "How do you decide what colours to use?"  "Can you use ANYTHING on an art quilt?” Each and every child was into it, and for a long time. Even the ones who normally check out all together were asking things like, "Are we going to get to do this?" and my favorite, "How much does it cost to do this?”

One of the liveliest discussions followed a teacher's question, "Which one would you buy if you could?” One girl who I have know all her ten years, and who is normally too shy to speak to me, said, "I just couldn't pick one to buy, they are all so beautiful. I wish I could take them all home.” 

The principal, secretary, custodian, lunch lady, education assistants, teachers and a few stray parents all managed a peek. I was there till the dismissal bell rang at the end of the day. I had no voice left at all, but my spirits were high. I thought it went quite well. Then in the next week, I was a bit amazed when parents started telling me that it was all their kids could talk about over the dinner table that night. Yipee.

Later that week, I hosted my bookclub. About 80% of whom have children at Scotsburn school. These ladies have been my "Soul Sisters" for ten years. We have been through all the usual child rearing stuff together.

As I showed them the pieces, telling stories about who does what or from whom I learned a technique, they started to move from simply appreciating the work, to really understanding what this group of creatives means to me. They began to comment on how at home I must feel in a such circle of colleagues. They understood that this group of women were also my sisters, and they really celebrated that for me. I suddenly went from being the arty one, to one of many in their eyes. And it felt really good.

I am grateful for the opportunity to have shown the trunk show, the work of my colleagues, in places that are not necessarily typical. It was so well received and so satisfying, I'll do it again the next time it is near.

Thank you,
Susan TM

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