03 April 2016

Report from Philadelphia, #4

Written by Chris Nielsen

More reasons to attend a SAQA conference:

12. Even when it is cold in the host city, it is colder in Atlantic Canada. As I write this it is sunny with a chilly wind in Philadelphia but there is snow in Halifax.

13. You will get excellent information from inspiring and informative speakers. On Sunday morning we were treated to a talk by Maria Shell which was highly personal and made references to the BeeGees and Karl Ove Knausgard's memoir as she talked about staying true to yourself as you reach for greater recognition as an art quilter. She also offered some practical advice for public speaking as an artist and for writing the various types of documents that will be requested from you. Last year her talk was so popular that SAQA made her speaking notes available to everyone. I will let you know if that happens again this year.

The final session of the conference was a presentation on copyright. The speaker was a lawyer and, impressively, he had done his homework on art quilts. He started by defining copyright and listing the rights are associated with it. I think he was surprised by the sophistication of his audience. Most of us knew that we hold a copyright simply by creating an original work. He followed up by reviewing some recent or significant copyright cases. The message we received was that copyright law is challenging since it requires the courts to interpret important but sometimes vague issues.

14. You will create new friendships in just a couple of days. There is no substitute for getting together with people who have lived your experience and with whom you can share the highs and lows to come. Add to that the fact that all of them have unique skills as artists and teachers which they will share with you and you will begin to wish that there was more than one conference a year.

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