01 April 2016
Report from Philadelphia, #2
Written by Chris Nielsen
More reasons to attend a SAQA conference:
5. The weather is much nicer anywhere than in Atlantic Canada. It bears repeating. I went out for lunch and the office building signs said 78 degrees (what's that in Celcius?)
6. The keynote speakers are inspiring. Today we heard from Kathy Loomis. She talked about what she perceives to be the benefit of working series. Her talk was well-organized and included thoughts and examples from three other artists. On Sunday we will hear from Maria Shell who made quite a splash at the conference last year in Portland.
7. The students are inspiring. Every year SAQA arranges for local students who are pursuing a fibre track in a local arts college to attend the show and for four of them to appear on a panel to describe their work. It is stimulating to see what they are doing even if isn't to everyone's taste. The group this year was unified in their statements that their work flowed directly from their personal experiences and challenges.
8. Pecha kucha! Check out the link. This is the first time that they have done anything like this (and the idea to do it came from Maria Shell). Today 24 speakers talked for six minutes each. There were personal stories as well as practical topics on things like shipping. It was really fascinating to have an opportunity to know more about so many members. It's a truly talented group. The room was packed and people didn't drift way at the breaks so I am sure that it will become a feature of subsequent conferences.