27 June 2014

Yvonne Porcella’s Keynote Address

Grab a cup of your favorite beverage, perhaps some hand stitching (or beading for those of us who have a renewed interest in embellishment thanks to Lisa Binkley and the Vermont Quilt Festival!) and watch and listen to Yvonne Porcella’s Keynote Address at the SAQA 25th Anniversary Conference on May 4th, 2014 in Alexandria, Virginia.

In conjunction with that address, a very interesting and also retrospective viewing is Quilt Alliance President Meg Cox’s interview of the SAQA Presidents

21 June 2014

Oh, Canada comes to the Maritimes

Widow by Janice Wright Cheney, velvet and hand-dyed felt
A similar work appears in Oh Canada

Oh, Canada, the landmark show of contemporary Canadian art which was put together for the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, opens June 26 in four Maritime art galleries. Almost all of the works from the 2012 show can be seen in the Confederation Centre Art Gallery in Charlottetown, the Owens Gallery at Mount Allison University, Sackville, N.B., the Louise-et-Reuben-Cohen Art Gallery at Universit√© de Moncton and Galerie Sans Nom, Moncton. 

This show received rave reviews when it opened at Mass MoCA in 2012. The curator made over 400 studio visits to select the artists and work for the show. In doing so she deliberately omitted some of Canada's best known artists in order to highlight less established talent. To give you a better idea about the show here is the review in Canadian Art and another in the Boston Globe

The show will remain in the galleries until September 21. I hope you will be able to fit a visit or two into your summer plans. There appear to be a few fibre pieces in the show but don't go for that reason. Go because this is an exceptional opportunity to view some of the best contemporary art in Canada and to become better acquainted with the artists. A visit to one or more of the galleries is also a vote of support for the cooperation that allowed a significant show like this to be seen in our region.

20 June 2014

Member Profile - Kim Larracy, Dieppe, New Brunswick

Welcome to one of our newer members, Kim Larracy of the Moncton, New Brunswick area! In Kim’s words...

Working wife, and mother of two young adults. Hockey player and Zumba lover, and a “can’t say no” kinda gal; I quilt when I can!

I started with a Beginner Quilt Sampler class over 15 years ago, was hooked immediately, and then joined the Greater Moncton Quilt Guild. I’ve since tried many techniques: paper piecing, some simple fabric dying, thread painting, machine quilting; hand applique and hand quilting are still my favourites.

I try to add my own touch to a project, and I don’t like to make the same block or quilt twice. I love a quilt challenge: to work within basic guidelines, but with freedom to add, change and create. I don’t get too far ahead in the project planning – things like to go their own way sometimes, and I audition fabric/color/thread at each step of the process.

Batik fabrics and all things “Quilt” excite me, as does the great talent found in books, online, at quilt and trunk shows, and from quilt artists in my own small part of the world.  Inspiration is all around, and too often out of blue I’ll say, “that would make a beautiful quilt”... and it will, someday.

16 June 2014

Congratulations, Regina! - Regina Marzlin, Antigonish, Nova Scotia

Regina Marzlin received word that her piece, “Barn Boards” won first prize in the medium original quilt category of the Focus on Fibre Art Association's biannual fibre arts exhibition held in Edmonton, Alberta. The theme of the exhibition was “Prairies”.

Congratulations, Regina!

11 June 2014

A Joyful Teaching Experience - Penny Berens, Granville Ferry, Nova Scotia

I have just returned to the quiet woods of the Annapolis valley after a busy and energizing trip to Ontario.  My first stop was a teaching engagement for Fibreworks in Kingston.  Fibreworks is run by the extraordinary Bethany Garner.  Every year Bethany organizes a series of workshops taking great care with every detail in order to maximize both the teacher's and student's experience.

First thing on the agenda was a Friday night talk and slide show.  When I started getting ready for said talk imagine my horror when my suitcase would not open.  A few of us tried and tried to no avail, eventually wire cutters saved the day and destroyed my luggage!  That evening was another first...I gave my talk with the assistance of my iPad.  Sooo easy and the ability to zoom into details allowed me to react to questions on the spot making for a more interactive talk.

The next two days were devoted to my approach to designing from nature.  Over the last few years I have been working at making my work more personal, more of a reflection of myself.  So we started the process with exercises aimed at recognizing and honouring our own individuality.  This was followed with lots of sketchbook work aimed at really (and I mean really!) studying our photographs getting to know our subject matter.  On the second day I gave everyone the option of carrying on working in sketchbooks or starting a small piece.  Being textile artists we are such tactile people....most chose to get into their fabric and thread stashes!

In between classroom time we frequented restaurants all over town and took several trips.  One evening we caught the ferry to Wolf Island which to my amazement is now covered with wind turbines.  A longer trip was taken with old friends up to the beautiful Thousand Islands area. When relaxing of an evening with my hosts I not only enjoyed the human company but also that of an adorable dachshund and his two feline companions.

Our final two days together in Kingston were spent at the fairgrounds marking fabric with discharge.  So many beautiful pieces were made; so much exploring; so many discoveries.  I for one really enjoyed myself.  At one point most of us descended on Fabricland where we bought out all the best linen colours!  What else would a group of fabric lovers do after a long tiring day of work!

It was an exciting and stimulating week for me.  I have always loved sharing and always go away hoping that I might have inspired everyone to a new way of looking at the world, a new way of processing ideas and a greater confidence in their voice and the art they create.

The icing on the cake for me was the trip Bethany Garner, Hilary Scanlon and I took to the Art Gallery of Peterborough where we walked in awe around Dorothy Caldwell’s show ‘Silent Ice/Deep Patience’.

My son Mark met up with us outside the gallery and whisked me off to Collingwood for the next stage of my lovely visit to Ontario.

Here is a link to the next Fibreworks workshop to be given by Maggie Vanderweit.

Penny Berens

06 June 2014

SAQA Call for Entry - Food for Thought

Food for Thought
Premiere venues: 
National Quilt Museum, Paducah, Kentucky
Festival of Quilts, Birmingham, England 
Additional venues to be added.

Exhibition Concept:
We eat every day, but how often do we really think about the food we eat?  Every culture has its celebrations, family meals, traditions that involve food.  Although these vary in different parts of the world, the impact of food is unmistakable.  Food nourishes and fuels our bodies; food traditions nurture our souls.

So, what inspires you about food?  
This exhibition will allow artists to explore any aspects of food that they find inspirational - from a single piece of fruit, to a still life, to the family table, to the significance of food in culture and the celebration of family milestones and religious holidays.  Artists may portray how and where food is grown and harvested; how it is sold or distributed, prepared or consumed; where it is abundant and where it is scarce.

SAQA intends to  choose approximately 30 pieces for the exhibition.

Juror: Alex Veronelli
Managing Curator: Sarah Ann Smith

Call for Entry opens online: September 1, 2014
Call for Entry deadline: September 30, 2014
Full information:   http://saqacallforentries3.com/ 

02 June 2014

Update on Project Hope and Survival - Laurie Swim, Lunenburg, Nova Scotia

This is the rack card that Laurie will be distributing. It shows the detail of the first piece in the series of her most recent project, Hope and Survival