Tuesday, June 9, 2015

SAQA Oregon June Regional News

Greetings to all our Oregon and SW Washington members, and especially to the twelve new members who have joined us within the last month or so. Our Region continues to grow, and we now have 203 members, and continue to have a dynamic Region with four very active Pods – Ashland, Central Oregon, Portland and Valley-South. This is a rather long newsletter, but we have so much to share with you – please read!

Recent Events
Our biggest event so far this year, of course, was the SAQA Yearly Conference “Fiberlandia” here in Portland. It was great to see so many of our regional members there, and I think we all agreed it was an outstanding conference, with excellent presentations, panels and workshops. The conference also sold out way ahead of time – not such good news for those of you who were unable to register, but great for the organization. It’s hard to pick out the “best” parts of the conference, but some highlights for me personally were the keynote address by Numita Gupta Withers, on the role of art quilting in the wider world of art and the development of art; the panel featuring our four regional artists– wonderful artists and great presentations – and the student panel with four outstanding students from the Oregon College of Art and Craft, who showed us examples of their innovative fiber art and new directions.

So many of you responded to the call for Conference volunteers and did a great job in taking on many different responsibilities; you are too many to name individually, but a huge Thank You to you all – your efforts contributed a great deal to the success of this event. I would like to give a special shout-out to the Hospitality Committee, who did an outstanding job in welcoming members from other areas, providing information on Portland, and organizing and leading tours. Thank you!

As many of you know, the Conference also marked the final appearance of our “Exploring Layers”  exhibit, which appeared at the AIR Gallery in central Portland for a whole month, giving us great exposure for our art; it was great to see so many of you at the special SAQA reception there. The exhibit, like all shows, involved a huge amount of work over the last couple of years by many people – the artists who made and shared their excellent art, (including those who sold pieces – congratulations!),those who helped staff galleries and receptions, hung and took down and transported the art and did many other tasks, and above all, the curators: Jean Wells, Betty Daggett and Georgia French, all of whom gave up so many hours and dedicated so much effort to ensure the success of Exploring Layers. Thank you!

Coming up!
“Blending Poetry and Cloth” exhibit. On-line entry has started – the deadline is June 30th. Check all details at www.saqaoregon.blogspot.com.
SAQA Oregon 2016 Conference – September 22nd, 2016. We have already reserved space in the beautiful Willamette Heritage Center in Salem. Preparations will go into high gear this Fall; we’ll keep you posted as plans develop.

Pod News
Ashland. Our newest Pod is forging right ahead. Members are getting ready for a local Ashland show of their art (not an official SAQA show) in July and August. This may involve a field trip to a photographer’s studio to hone their photography skills. They are also starting an exciting new Pod assignment, each member producing 4 quilts over the next year that will be part of a series, working with Elizabeth Barton’s book for guidance.

Central Oregon. Members have recently enjoyed a presentation by local painter Paul Bennett on design concepts in relation to his art; a presentation by the Journeys Art Quilt Group of their current work and a talk about their creative process; and a very fun and productive all-day Surface Design Exploration in April with 22 participants. The June meeting will feature Tonye Phillips, and a reveal of members’ Blending Poetry and Cloth quilts, and August will have the reveal for the “Designing for the Marketplace” project, which will appear at the Stitchin’ Post August 28th for one month.

Portland.  Members were actively involved in preparations for hosting “Fiberlandia” earlier this year, and in staffing “Exploring Layers” at the AIR Gallery. We have been exploring new approaches to critiques, including“speed-dating” critiques in small groups. In March, Paula Benjaminson gave us a presentation on her time in Africa, her wonderful collections of African fabrics and wooden stamps, and Pat Johnson from the Eugene Modern Quilt Guild talked about their group’s new exploration of Art Quilting, and presented small pieces they had made. In April we enjoyed a docent-led tour of the Italian Fashion and Textiles exhibit at PAM, and in May members shared books that have inspired their creative practice. In June we will have presentations on various finishing techniques, and in July we’ll enjoy a picnic at a member’s house.

Valley-South. The Valley-South group continues to meet at the Eugene Textile Center at 2 pm on the third Friday of each month, unless otherwise noted on the Oregon SAQA Facebook page. Recent public demos by SAQA members have been on making Thermofax screens and Gelli printing with fusible interfacing. These demos start at 3.15 and are open to the public. The facility is excellent and we are definitely upping our game with these demonstrations. The group is also preparing for an exhibit (not an official SAQA exhibit, but as the Valley-South Art Quilters) at Oregon State University during Quilt County in September/October. Titled "Artistic Intent", the exhibit will be comprised of one work by each participating member.

Lots going on, and more to come. As always, don’t hesitate to contact Leotie or myself if you have questions or concerns. Keep on making art!

Warm regards from myself and Leotie.

Elizabeth Bamberger, SAQA Oregon CoRep: elizabethbamberger@gmail.com
Leotie Richards, SAQA Oregon CoRep: lotidesignworks@gmail.com

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