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2017 In Review

Here we are – at the time to reflect on the accomplishments of another year gone by. I always start a year by thinking that I am going to create one art quilt a month, and I always fall short of this goal. I need to be more realistic about September when I enjoy weeks of family reunion time, and December with its holiday events and vacation. That leaves ten months and ten quilts, and I don’t hit that mark, either. What I forget about are the peripheral activities that go along with the business. Here is a little recap…

Exhibition Coordinator: In early 2017 I worked as the Exhibition Coordinator for the SAQA Textile Posters exhibit. In this role, I answered exhibitor’s questions, reviewed entries for thoroughness and compliance to the exhibit requirements (how sad to have to tell artists that their work would not be included in the jurying process for non-compliance), and tracked and nudged accepted artists about their bios, artist statements and exhibit contracts. There were a couple of bonuses to this job. First, I got to see all the entries to the exhibit, and second, I started relationships with artists and administrators in the SAQA organization. It was a good gig.

Entering Shows: The time it takes to enter shows can’t be underestimated! Going to the photo shoot. Writing artist statements. Submitting on-line. Preparing works for shipping. Shipping. Tracking the shipping. All these keep you away from the fabric! I am happy to report that this year I shipped two works: Chien Blanc and Van Gogh Dog which are touring with their shows. I hand delivered other pieces this year for show entries with one Best-in-Show award and two pieces in our regional SAQA show.

SAQA Conference: I travelled to Lincoln, Nebraska for the SAQA conference. I will admit that I wasn’t enthused about the location – but am so glad I went! Lincoln is not to be missed! It is a great city, very friendly, easy to navigate, great galleries and the International Quilt Study Center and Museum was amazing! As a perk from being part of the conference, we got a behind-the-scenes tour- wonderful. This was my second SAQA conference. I am still pondering a quilt conference that has no quilts! Aside from the small works donated for the silent auction, there are no actual quilts! The focus, it seems to me, is on the quilters: their methods, journeys and insights.

SAQA Regional Rep: Along with my colleague Kelly, I have been a Connecticut Region representative to the SAQA organization. A big portion of this has been meeting coordination of venues, speakers, lunch details and agendas. There is administrative work with expense and activity reports. My term is ending soon, but I will always be there to lend a hand to whoever takes my spot.

Part of an Artist Community: I am very happy that I have a studio in a building with other artists. We hold six open houses a year, inviting the public to see what we do, and how we do it. This means tidying my workspace, tidying outside my workspace, and working with the group on big building projects to make our NEST ARTS FACTORY shine.

Continuing Education: This year I took a ten week oil painting class. My goal was to work with a teacher in developing “seeing” and translating seeing to expression, and to work in an unfamiliar medium. The class has made me appreciate my fabrics more! I like working with scissors and sewing machines. I will continue my painting, but it will have a back seat to my quilting work for now.

Finally, in 2017, this website, complete with a gallery and a store are up and running! It was a significant undertaking, with a huge learning curve, and I am still learning. The website development meant that I needed to find the photos of my work (I am not the most organized when it comes to this), upload and download til my fingers were blue, and learn the ins and outs of tote bags and T-shirts!

So, what holds for 2018? My first works are in the idea stage. I will commit to only eight works this year and will be open to any Call for Entry that comes my way.

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