11 June 2021

The SAQA Atlantic Show, Commotion!

Recently, SAQA Atlantic members were invited to illustrate the concept of "commotion" and express what it means to them. Is it loud and overwhelming? Pandemonium or turmoil? Or exciting, lively, and full of unexpected delights? 

Juried by Lee Cripps, Curator of the Craig Gallery in Dartmouth, the result is an exciting,contemporary fibre art exhibition containing 27  pieces by 16 artists.  

"Commotion" opened this week at the Cape Breton Centre for Craft and Design, in Sydney, Nova Scotia.   It will remain there until July 3 and then will be on tour within Atlantic Canada until 2023. Information on the exhibition's opening hours and COVID restrictions in the gallery, can be found here

Ricochet by Linda Mackie Finley 2021 36"x36"

Journey by Julea Boswell 2021, 45"x 65"
Above are two of the lovely quilts in the show. They give a sense of the broad range of ideas invoked by the word "commotion".  Stay tuned for more, and for information on future sites and dates for the exhibition.


09 May 2021

Kathy Tidswell's show, Colours of Nature, opens in Florenceville-Bristol, NB, May 15, 2021

New Brunswick fibre artist and teacher Kathy Tidswell's latest solo exhibition features both thread paintings and wall quilts, all with the theme Colours of Nature.

The show will hang at the Andrew and Laura McCain Gallery in Florenceville-Bristol NB from May 15 to June 19, 2021.


The piece shown in the poster is my newest thread painting inspired by an old and gnarled willow tree that I see on my morning walks on the NB Trail. It is 15.5 by 20.5 inches and matted and framed. The background started as white cotton fabric which I painted and the texture was added using free motion embroidery and rayon threads.

Exhibition hours:

Tuesday: by appointment at 506-392-669
Wednesday, Friday & Saturday: 10:30-5:00pm
Sunday and Monday: Closed

See more of Kathy Tidswell's work at www.kathytidswell.com

26 April 2021

Spotlight on Lee McLean


Leaving Alone by Lee McLean

Lee McLean is a new member of SAQA Atlantic.  She had the following to say about her entry in the Spotlight Auction: 

I am currently exploring our increasing invisibility in society as we age.  Dylan Thomas' poem, "Do not go gentle into that good night", deeply affected me as a teenager when dealing with the loss of my grandmother.  It resonates as I age.  Working in a series, this piece is inspired by this topic.

The Spotlight Auction is now over for the year, but Lee and the other entrants helped SAQA to raise over $30,000. from the sale of their small works.  Well done, all!


08 April 2021

Kudos to Helene Blanchette and Regina Marzlin


Down the Shore by Helene Blanchette 2021
w34"x h19"

Helene Blanchette has had her work, Down the Shore, accepted into a show at the Argyle Fine Arts gallery in Halifax.  The show, "Get Outta Town" is a group show about travelling.  Argyle asked artists to show their favourite places to escape to, both near and far.  The show runs until April 28 and details of opening hours and directions can be found at www.argylefineart.blogspot.com

For those of you who can't make it to Halifax this month, the show will be available online through the above website.

Down the Shore, detail

Artist Statement:

This is a picture of the drive down the Cabot Trail looking North towards Ch├ęticamp. It doesn't really look like this, but if you take your time and go off the main road, you may come across any of these scenes.

Xylem and Phloem by Regina Marzlin,
w24"x h37" 

Regina Marzlin's work, Xylem and Phloem, was accepted into the SAQA international show, Microscapes.  The show will be opening this fall at the prestigious Houston Quilt Festival before touring internationally for 3 years.  

 Regina's artist statement about Xylem and Phloem

Those two plant cell types have the function of transporting water, sugar and minerals through the plant. Cellular structures look fascinating under a microscope, they reveal a hidden world and let us marvel at the powers of evolution.

Xylem and Phloem, detail

06 April 2021

Audrey Feltham's show, The Inner Landscape, opens April 16th at The Rooms, St. John's NL

Covid 19: The Inner Landscape #6
by Audrey Feltham (2021) w19" x h21"

Printmaker and textile artist Audrey Feltham, from Deer Lake Newfoundland, is pleased to announce her upcoming exhibition at The Rooms Provincial Art Gallery in St. John's NL.

The artwork in Feltham's show, The Inner Landscape, was created during the pandemic. Her pieces combine print and drawing on cotton with stitch and textile collage. 

Covid 19: The Inner Landscape #8
by Audrey Feltham (2021) w19" x h21"

The Inner Landscape is part of the Gallery's Present Tense exhibition series highlighting the work of artists creating in isolation during the pandemic. Audrey Feltham's exhibition continues until July 16th.

I am in search of a new place, a new time, and a new attempt to make a bewildering world less painful, less stressful and less threatening. I have dug down deep, talked (a lot to myself) and have tried to listen carefully to what I am saying.

These pieces are a culmination of several years of trying to see my way forward to marry traditional print practise with textile work. For me, each of the processes is immersed in a very meditative and slow response to the hand and the way of mark making. I delight in both creating marks on a print matrix and also carefully creating a lasting textile mark with a needle and thread. My textile marks are almost entirely done by hand. I find it calming and soothing.

Covid 19: The Inner Landscape #4
by Audrey Feltham (2021) w19" x h21

Covid 19: The Inner Landscape #12 (detail) 
by Audrey Feltham (2021).
The entire Inner Landscape series will eventually be on display on Audrey Feltham's website Atelier West Studios.

Learn more about Audrey Feltham at
 Atelier West Studios, and in our 2018 feature interview Audrey Feltham: Printmaker on paper and textile + stitch.

23 March 2021

Spotlight on Deb Plestid

Swallowtail is Deb Plestid's contribution to SAQA's 2021 Spotlight Auction. Deb is a longtime SAQA Atlantic member from Tatamagouche Nova Scotia.

Swallowtail by Deb Plestid (2021)

DP: Swallowtail is an exploration of the "bones" of a butterfly.


SAQA Spotlight Auction is an opportunity for all SAQA members to showcase their artwork to a worldwide audience. Online entry forms must be completed by March 31, 2021. Check out the SAQA Spotlight Auction page for entry details as well as a preview of many entries.

09 March 2021

Spotlight on Holly McLean

Holly McLean, of Bathurst NB, contributed Birches in the Moonlight to SAQA's 2021 Spotlight Auction.

Birches in the Moonlight by Holly McLean (2021)

HM: I’m always inspired by any stands of white birch trees. There’s something about their vertical whiteness  with etchings in black that attract me. This piece with the darker sky and moon was done from my memories of snowshoeing our favourite trails after dark. It was quite magical.

You can read more about Holly McLean and her artwork on her blog Through my Window, and on our own 2017 feature Holly McLean Interview: Overcoming Distance and Isolation.

Learn more about contributing to SAQA's 2021 Spotlight Auction here.