27 April 2015

Diaspora - a SAQA exhibition opportunity

It is getting late to get to work on a big piece but I wanted to highlight an amazing opportunity which has been negotiated by the SAQA exhibition committee. It is a show called Stories of Migration which will be mounted at The Textile Museum in Washington DC. The theme is related to diaspora - the dispersion of people from an ancestral homeland. The curators and jurors are open to very large and non-traditional work. Three-dimensional and free-hanging pieces will be welcome. The prospectus even makes reference to sculpture and video. The show was announced in November of last year and entries close on October 30, 2015.

You can find more here on the SAQA website. Follow the link on that page for a complete prospectus.

As a resident of Nova Scotia I am aware of several topics which could be explored under the umbrella of this theme - the expulsion of the Acadians, the migration of Black Loyalists (and the return of some to Sierra Leone) and now I eat food weekly that is produced with the assistance of migrant workers from Jamaica.

None of these topics call to me but you may have a personal or historical interest in a subject related to the theme of the show.  If you have a strong urge to explore it and would like the chance to create a unique (and large!) piece, this is a show you should consider entering.

Chris Nielsen

SAQA Atlantic Regional Show -Structures - Juried Members

Congratulations to these members of SAQA Atlantic who were successfully juried into the SAQA Atlantic Regional Show, Structures!

Penny Berens
Sandra Betts
Grace Butland
Nancy Elaschuk
Linda Finley
Lois Wilby Hooper
Susan Lilley
Heather Loney
Kate Madeloso
Regina Marzlin
Holly McLean
Anne Morrell Robinson
Chris Nielsen
ReBecca Paterson
Deb Plestid
Ann Schroeder
Linda Strowbridge
Celeste Thibodeau-Stacey
Susan Tilsley Manley
Detail of Dancing Neurons by Regina Marzlin

Detail of Tulip - Present and Future by ReBecca Paterson

26 April 2015

Structures venues

Regina is distributing the results of the juror's decisions with respect to the Structures show. Congratulations to all whose entries were accepted. Based on what we saw at the retreat this will be a diverse and exciting show. I have received a question about the venues for the show so have listed them below. In the weeks and months to come Regina will have many more details about dates for openings and marketing plan. 

The confirmed show dates are as follows:

Art Gallery of St. Francis Xavier University, Antigonish Nova Scotia, June 1 to July 15

Gallery at the Guild, Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, August 19 to 30, 2015

Inverness County Centre for the Arts Gallery, Inverness, Nova Scotia, September 27 to October 18, 2015

Saint John Arts Centre, Saint John New Brunswick, January 15 to March 4, 2016

Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, Yarmouth Branch, Nova Scotia, March 15 to April 30 2016

Chris Nielsen

23 April 2015

Resources and Suppliers List Now Active

Our Resources and Suppliers List is well under way now thanks to members who have shared their favourite places to buy.

Check out the Resources/Suppliers tab on the upper bar and if you have any suggestions of new suppliers, or if you want to make comments as to what you would buy (or not buy) from particular businesses, let us know.

22 April 2015

Shibori Trees Workshop - Holly McLean, Bathurst, New Brunswick

Shibori Trees Workshop

Monday, April 27, 10-4pm
Sobeys room, Bathurst Sobeys

Holly is teaching her method of wrapping a batik Shibori style around a can and adding fabric paint to produce impressionistic birch trees as featured in her article in Quilting Arts magazine, April/May 2013.

Favorite Tool - Chris Nielsen, Head of St. Margaret's Bay, Nova Scotia

When Jennifer asked us to write about our favourite tools, two came to mind immediately. The first is a ballpoint stiletto made by Clover. I first learned about the stiletto in a segment by Susan Cleveland on The Quilt Show. She was showing how to use it to make and apply piping. I have subsequently adopted some altered versions of her piping techniques and it is indeed perfect for that use. But I find myself reaching for it any time I need to control small pieces of fabric or paper or need to pull a thread out from an awkward place. I like the feel of the handle in my hand and I appreciate that the ball point does not do damage to whatever surface it touches. Contrast that to picking up a small pair of scissors or your seam ripper to hold or guide something (you know you have done it!) Of course you need to exercise caution when using a metal tool when using your machine.

My other tool can’t be found in stores. My husband works closely with ocean and climate scientists around the world and he often receives gifts from them. A few years ago he came home with a very fancy box from Japan. It contained a variety of edible (or not, depending on your palate) foodstuffs. In amongst the fancy packaging were four short bamboo sticks. I grabbed them immediately and have been hoarding them ever since. I have used them as stilettos, corner turners, really short straight edges and glue spreaders. 

14 April 2015

Insurance for Quilters

Sandra Betts has kindly shared contact information for obtaining art quilt insurance..

Chris Johnston, CIC
Senior Account Manager
HUB International Insurance Services Inc
2375 E Camelback Road Suite 250
Phoenix AZ  85016
602-749-4282 Direct
800-688-7472 Toll Free
866-671-6893 Direct Fax

How to add the SAQA logo to a Blogger blog

At the retreat Holly McLean asked about how to add the SAQA logo to the sidebar of a blog which is created on Blogger. I wrote out the instructions and thought it might be helpful to share them here. You can use the same technique to add other images to your sidebar.

Please note that as members you are allowed to use the SAQA logo on your blog or website but you are asked to link it to the SAQA website.

You can find the SAQA logo here on the SAQA website. It is only available after you sign in as a member. Copy it to your own computer. Then follow these instructions.

1. Choose Layout from the menu on the left side of your Blogger page.
2. Choose Add a Gadget. It will be on the page at the top of the area where your sidebar appears ( probably right side)
3. Scroll through the list until you get to the gadget called Image. Select it.
4. You must enter a title for your image (it will appear above the image). You could use Atlantic Canada or Proud Member or I Belong or something like that.
5. Decide on whether you want a caption (will appear below the image and is optional). Enter the caption. 
6. Add the link to SAQA. The full link should appear as http://www.saqa.com
7. Select the option where you will choose file from your computer. 
8. Click on Shrink to Fit button.
9. Click on Choose File button. Identify and download your image.
10. Click on Save.
11. Your image will now be at the top of your sidebar. To move it, go back to Layout and then you can click and drag to change the order of the gadgets in the sidebar. 
12. Click on Save Arrangement on top right of page. 

If you are using Wordpress and would like similar instructions, please get in touch with me.

Chris Nielsen

13 April 2015

SAQA is coming to Canada!

At SAQA's annual conference last year I had an opportunity as a regional representative to address the Board of Directors about concerns and ideas that affected our region. I chose to discuss the fact that a significant portion of the SAQA budget is directed to exhibitions yet none of those shows travel to Canada. We have to go to the United States or Europe to see the artwork in person and reap the rewards of our investment in the shows. My remarks were well-received and it seemed likely that arrangements would be made to ship an existing or future show to a venue in Canada.

I am delighted to report that something even more wonderful has occurred. In May 2016 two brand new SAQA shows will open at the Stratford Perth Museum in Stratford, Ontario. They will tour in tandem in Canada and one will also travel to venues in the United States and possibly Europe.

One of the two shows is open only to Canadian members of SAQA. It is called My Corner of the World: Canada. The text of the call for entry reads as follows:

You are invited, as a Canadian artist, to create a glimpse of the spirit of Canada; to convey through your art something true, meaningful and important about our beautiful country and its people. We are excited by the thought of galvanizing our creative community to express and share, through this exhibit, our vision of Canada. 

Few countries are as richly blessed as ours in geography, humanity, diversity, and artistic tradition. A vision of your corner of Canada might capture a vignette of everyday life or a unique landscape. Perhaps it is a reflection on the mosaic of Canadian peoples or draws on some iconic feature of Canadian history or ideals. Whether reverent, reflective, funny or whimsical, the story you tell should embody the Canadian experience from your unique corner of this land.

Daring to capture the ocean in a cup, you might look for inspiration to the great masters of Canadian artistic expression, visual artists, musicians and writers who have interpreted an essential feature of Canadian life with such perfection that it reflects something authentic about the whole country.

Your artwork can be representational or take an abstract approach. Let the cloth speak to the viewers. We are eager to see what the hearts, minds and skills of Canadian textile artists will craft as a woven love song to this unique and beautiful land.

You can find the complete prospectus on the SAQA Calls For Entry page (Scroll down to closing date of November 30, 2015). In brief, here's what you need to know: 
  • closing date: November 30, 2015 
  • size: 20-40 inches wide, 20-72 inches high
  • number: you may enter three pieces
  • cost: $40US for up to three pieces

What about the second show? It is called My Corner of the World (International) and is open to all SAQA members, including Canadians (yes, you can enter both shows). Here is the text from the call for entry for that show.

My Corner of the World invites you, the artist, to examine your world - the world, real or imagined, that represents what is important in your life.  It might be where you reside, work, or grew up. It might be a favorite place from any point in your life or the special space you take yourself to internally.

Where do you feel most yourself? What place makes you feel most grounded, inspired or at peace? My Corner of the World asks you to look at the big picture including, but not limited to your homeland, ancestry or culture.

The complete prospectus for this show is also on the SAQA Calls for Entry page. Most of the important details are the same as the all-Canada show. Note that you cannot enter the same piece in both shows. The prospectus contains an interesting reference to collaborative pieces - they are allowed so long as all of the contributors are SAQA members. 

The development of these shows is an exciting opportunity to share what we do with the people of Canada. I urge you to give some thought to ways in which you might interpret one or both of the themes.  Let's reward the Board of Directors and the Exhibition Committee for their attentiveness to our concerns with spectacular shows.

Chris Nielsen

12 April 2015

Information on SAQA Yahoo group

During my session at the retreat on SAQA resources and its website, I encouraged participation in the Yahoo group which is open only to SAQA members. The group is a great forum which supports lively discussions on everything from the best iron to the definition of an art quilt.

Go here and find the link for the Yahoo group in the section entitled 'Make connections'. You will be prompted to enter your Yahoo ID and password. If you do not yet have a Yahoo ID you will need to create one. Please let me know if you have difficulties doing so. It can be tricky at times. There may be a slight delay in adding you to the group because the moderator will have to confirm your SAQA membership.


Information on lights and light stands

As promised, here are specifications for my light stands and lights. I am providing them as Amazon.ca links but you can also check in your community to see if you can find something similar at an equivalent or better price.

Light stands

The set of two stands that I purchased doesn't seem to be available at this time. Here is the same thing in a set of ten. Maybe some of you would like to share an order. If not, you can look for something similar on eBay or in local stores.


This is what I purchased. You can find something similar in feed stores as chick incubation lights.


No longer available but this is similar to what I bought and they can be purchased elsewhere.


11 April 2015

Retreat 2015 - The Villa Madonna, Rothesay, New Brunswick

SAQA Atlantic members putting into practice lighting tips learned in today's photography workshop with photographer, Walt Malone.

09 April 2015

Structures - A Reminder


Just a friendly reminder that the deadline for entries is fast approaching! 

If you feel pressed for time, send me a quick email of your intent to enter so I can be sure to keep on eye on my Canada Post box. I will be receiving entries this weekend at the SAQA Atlantic Retreat as well. 


02 April 2015

Silk Screening Workshop - Lunenburg, Nova Scotia

The Lunenburg School of the Arts is offering a 5 day workshop on silk screen printing on fabric. The dates of the workshop are August 17-21, 2015 and the instructor is Nancy Price.

For more information go to Spinnaker Seas: Silk Screen Printing on Cloth