Regina Marzlin, our SAQA-Atlantic Canada Representative has just returned from her first SAQA conference, this year held in Lincoln Nebraska. Here is her enthusiastic report:
RM: The conference was a great success by all accounts. Really great fun, learning and networking. The Canadians there: Bethany Garner, Judy Martin and Maggie Vanderweit (all from Ontario), Jaynie Himsl (from Saskatchewan), Paulette Cornish (British Columbia), our own Christine Nielsen (SAQA board member, Nova Scotia) took many opportunities to connect. Here we are at breakfast, with instructions to be “goofy" for the photo!
|Back row: Maggie Vanderweit, Regina Marzlin, Chris Nielsen, Jaynie Himsl, Judy Martin.|
Front row: Paulette Cornish and Bethany Garner.
So, we are always looking out for and appreciative of your ideas and initiatives to further that mandate. SAQA is about building community for art quilters and this means supporting each other in regular local meetings where possible. It can also mean exhibitions, retreats and zoom conference calls to include more distant members. We also learned about inspiring leadership, regional exhibitions, and getting grants for regional endeavours.
|Regional representatives, hard at work during pre-conference meetings.|
Then, at the actual conference, we enjoyed 20 quick Lightning Talks on a huge variety of subjects. We had break-out sessions, panel discussions with Midwest artists and students from the local Textile and Fashion Department. I attended two workshops. One, presented by staff of the International Quilt Study Center, looked at the information we can gain from looking closely at both historical and contemporary quilts. In the second workshop, Candace Phelan helped us hone our presentation skills and "elevator talk”.
The executive and board shared great ideas and expressed their gratitude for our growing community. The hotel had a huge open indoor lobby where we all met for some meals and happy hour.
|Here’s a view of the hotel lobby from the 7th floor.|
We had the chance to see all the new trunk show pieces in our SAQA Hospitality room during the conference.
|2017 SAQA Trunk Show pieces on display in the hospitality room|
We visited the Deeply Rooted show and the nearby Sheldon Museum Gallery- both wonderful. We also spent a whole day at the International Quilt Study Center and Museum, a must see venue for anyone. We enjoyed their great archives as well as the current shows: Luke Haynes' log cabins (pictured below), Linda Colsh’s “Like Breath on Glass", a Japanese collection and SAQA’s “Layered Voices” exhibition.
|Luke Haynes' log cabin quilts at the IQSCM|
|Michael James' department tour|
Michael James was also our keynote speaker. He shared his journey as a ground breaking art quilter. His latest exhibition “Ambiguity and Enigma” draws from his experiences as primary caregiver for his wife, as she moved through the stages of early onset Alzheimers. It was incredibly moving. He also included some amazing quotes in his talk.
The silent auction this year raised over $13,000. Thank you so much to all of you who contributed your fabulous work!
|Conference delegates bidding on the 2017 Spotlight Auction|
SO HERE IS THE HUGE NEWS: the SAQA board, staff and executive director have chosen TORONTO as the 2020 venue for the first conference to be held outside the USA. This is a huge honour and vote of confidence for Canada. SAQA-Central Canada representative Maggie Vanderweit will chair the local organizing committee. I'm confident that she will do a great job, and we hope that all Canadian members will work together to create an event to remember and make us all prouder than ever to be Canadian art quilters!
I would like to acknowledge Arts Nova Scotia's financial support in awarding me a professional development grant to go to the conference.