14 November 2018

Exhilarating. Informative. Productive. Exhausting. Inspiring. Fun.

Artwork by Jeanine Gunn
These are just some of the words that describe SAQA Atlantic's fourth retreat, held last weekend in Debert, Nova Scotia.

Fourteen SAQA members attended, including new member Jeanine Gunn, from Antigonish County, NS.

By day, we learned about preparing proposals in the art world, whether for a grant, a show or a residency. This session was thoughtfully led by Melanie Colosimo, director and curator of the Anna Leonowens Gallery. 

We listened to lightning talks by Kristi Farrier, Holly McLean, Anne Morrell Robinson and Christine Nielsen. Regina Marzlin presented her experiences with the SAQA Mentorship Program, tempting many of us to sign up. And together we planned some exciting next steps for SAQA Atlantic:

  • Holly McLean will set up an Instagram account.
  • Helene Blanchet will maintain our blog's Call for Entry page.
  • Susan Lilley will begin a series of Artist Studio series on our blog.
  • Regina Marzlin will create a Facebook page for our region.
  • Helene Blanchet will coordinate the next SAQA trunk show tour.
  • Our next regional retreat will take place next fall. Once again, Laureen van Lierop has agreed to coordinate the program.
  • Kristi Farrier will replace Regina Marzlin as our regional representative, beginning March 1, 2019.
  • We decided to form a regional critique group using Zoom technology. Regina Marzlin will set us all up with the technology and prepare the first meeting for mid January. Laureen van Lierop and Jeanine Gunn will be the first facilitators.

But the retreat wasn't all work. By evening, we kicked back with wine, cheese and chocolates, showing and talking about our work. Throughout the event, we continued to build relationships across the region.

Overall it was a great weekend, the mood was constructive, the level of volunteering exceptional and we all appreciated the various learning opportunities provided. 

If you missed this year's retreat, stay tuned for information about the next one, tentatively planned for autumn 2019.

Artwork by Helene Blanchet

Artwork by Cathy Drummond

Artwork by Kristi Farrier

Printwork by Linda Mackie Finley

Artwork by Regina Marzlin

Laureen van Lierop's sketchbook
Artwork by Holly McLean